Legacy Machine N°1 “Longhorn" Piéce Unique

By Christina Tsangaris

MB&F has decided to auction one of the initial Legacy Machine No.1 (LM1) prototypes in celebration of the collection’s 10th anniversary. This one-of-a-kind timepiece marks the birth of the LM1 series, first presented in 2011. The end of the series was announced in 2017 with a Final Edition of 18 pieces, giving the MB&F team the time to explore other creative horological avenues.

Since all the LM1 editions have now been sold, the only way to commemorate this important anniversary was one of the original prototypes. This historical piece is not only an important part of MB&F history, it is also a rare occurrence as the brand hardly ever produces Pièces Uniques, making the ones that exist highly sought-after pieces.

This LM1 “Longhorn” follows on from the HM4 Thunderbolt prototype, which was also sold on the 10th anniversary of the HM4 collection (in 2020) to one of the brand’s most avid collectors in a private sale. To make this second prototype sale fairer for all MB&F aficionados, MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser has decided to auction the piece at the sale organised in Geneva on November 7th (2021) by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo – and to donate a significant portion of the proceeds to Save The Rhino International.

The LM1 Longhorn refers to the horns or lugs that are one of the most important elements of the design of a watch. During the initial design conversations back in 2009-2010, the idea of long horns was explored, but they were problematic as where do you put the spring bar for the strap – close to the case or at the tip of the lug? Depending on your wrist size both these options can lead to a bad fit. So Max Büsser and designer Eric Giroud ended up going for shorter lugs.

But the long horns were always at the back of Max’s mind. “During one of our recent brainstorming sessions I suddenly had the idea to drill two holes in the long horn for the spring bar – one hole at the tip of the horn and the other closer to the case – and then let the customer decide where he wants to put his strap. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this 10 years ago!”

The vast majority of LM1s were produced in white or red gold, platinum and titanium. The LM1 Longhorn features a stainless steel case; only 18 other stainless steel LM1 models were produced for the “Final Edition” of 2017. The LM1 Longhorn is paired with a rhodium-plated base plate and, for the very first time in LM1 history, the sub dials come in shiny black, instead of the signature glossy white lacquer; combined with the blued hands, a colour combination that makes this piece even more unique. The arched bridge suspending the signature flying balance wheel is the latest iteration, also from the closing collection, and has a more organic form than the earlier “Eiffel Tower” versions.

By Christina Tsangaris