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Stephen Silver is renowned for our extraordinary ability to procure, design and handcraft the world's finest jewelry and gemstones.

The Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry Estate Collection includes some of the finest pieces from the Edwardian, Victorian, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Retro eras. Signed and period pieces are the company's specialty; many of which are from prestigious jewelry houses such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Tiffany & Co., and Harry Winston.

The Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry Signature Collection exemplifies modern day luxury combined with old world elegance to produce true works of art. Exquisitely handcrafted in platinum and 18-karat gold, using only the very finest diamonds and colored gemstones, our Signature Collection is exceptional in quality and extraordinary in style.

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News from MB&F

Legacy Machine 101

Matthew Maciag


For a classically sized 40mm wristwatch, Legacy Machine 101 (LM101) covers a lot of ground. Or to be more precise, LM101 covers a lot of time: over 100 years between inspiration and realisation.

Legacy Machine 101 embodies and accentuates the very essence of what is essential in a wristwatch: the balance wheel, which is responsible for regulating precision; how much power remains in the mainspring, which indicates when it needs to be next wound; and of course, the time.

LM101 has one more very special feature, one that cannot be seen: it houses the very first movement developed entirely in-house by MB&F.

Visually, LM101 is dominated by the monumental suspended balance wheel, its sedate oscillations drawing the eye ever closer. Two pristine-white subdials hover just above the fine sunray-engraved movement top plate: At the top right, highly legible hours and minutes are displayed by beautiful blued-gold hands contrasting against the immaculate white, while the 45-hour power reserve indicator is displayed in a smaller, but similar subdial below.

In an apparent feat of magic, the sapphire crystal protecting the dial appears to be invisible; creating the illusion that you can reach out and touch the prodigious balance wheel hanging mesmerisingly from elegant twin arches. The arches are milled from a solid block of metal and require more than five hours of hand polishing to achieve their mirror-like lustre.

Turning over Legacy Machine 101, the display back crystal – domed to reduce the thickness of the caseband and, visually, the height of the watch – reveals the exquisitely hand-finished movement. Sensually curved plates and bridges pay homage to the style found in high quality historic pocket watches and testify to the respect accorded to historical legitimacy.

With its undulating Geneva waves, hand polished bevels, gold chatons and countersunk blued screws, the beauty of LM101’s movement doesn't just stay faithful to a bygone era. It also heralds the dawn of a new epoch as it is the first MB&F calibre to be entirely conceived and designed in-house.

While award-winning independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen took responsibility for the movement's fine finishing specifications and fidelity to the horological past, its architecture and construction are 100% pure MB&F.

First launched in 18k red or white gold, and then in two limited ‘Frost’ editions with frosted finishing, Legacy Machine 101 is now also available in a limited edition of 33 pieces in platinum 950 – recognisable thanks to its distinctive blue face.



Legacy Machine 101 in Detail

Engine: While the movement of Legacy Machine 101 is superficially similar to that of Legacy Machine No.1, closer examination reveals that it is an entirely new calibre. It is not merely a scaled down version of LM1's movement, but an entirely new calibre conceived and developed in-house by MB&F.

The balance wheel and spring are at the very heart of any mechanical watch movement and their isochronal (equal intervals of time) oscillations regulate the movement's precision. Büsser has long been fascinated by the large slowly oscillating – 2.5 Hz/18,000 vph compared with the much faster 4 Hz/ 28,800 vph more common today – balance wheels of antique pocket watches. So it was no surprise that this was his starting point.

What was surprising though is just how radically he re-interpreted tradition by relocating the balance wheel from its more usual position hidden at the back of the movement to majestically floating not just the above movement but high above the dial.

While the location of LM101's oscillator may be considered avant-garde, ‘tradition’ is upheld by the large 14mm diameter balance wheel, featuring regulating screws specifically developed for MB&F, balance spring with Breguet overcoil and mobile stud holder.

And if you thought that the balance wheel looks impressive in Legacy Machine N°1, it looks even larger in the smaller diameter setting of LM101.

Dial and Indications: While the animated suspended balance visually dominates LM101, the immaculate white dials for the time (hours and minutes) and power reserve indications are both aesthetically appealing and highly legible thanks to the high contrasting blue hands.

Complementing the three-dimensionality of the balance floating in space, the white dials with their bright blued-gold hands float just above the top of the movement. The dials are gently domed with a translucent, high-gloss lustre created using a laque tendue process in which multiple layers of lacquer are applied and heated, causing them to stretch over the surface of the dials.

To ensure aesthetic purity of the dials, a sophisticated fixation underneath removes the necessity of visually obtrusive attachment screws. A fine golden perimeter circumscribing each dial elegantly reinforces their timeless classicism.

Fine Finishing and Historical Legitimacy: While the movement was developed entirely in-house, acclaimed master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen assumed responsibility for ensuring the movement's historical accuracy of the bridge design and fine finishing.

A finely engraved sun-ray pattern on top of the movement plate (dial side) subtly catches the eye at certain angles without distracting attention from the white dials of the time and power reserve indications and suspended floating balance. But it is in the style and finish of the bridges and plates visible through the display on the back of the movement where Kari Voutilainen has excelled in providing exquisite historical fidelity in both the shape of elegantly curved bridges and the traditionally wide space between the bridges and between the perimeter of the bridges and the case.

On the back of the movement, over-sized ruby jewels set in highly-polished countersunk gold chatons provide striking visual counterpoints to the Geneva waves traversing the sensually curved bridges. While providing historical links with the large jewels seen in high-grade antique pocket watch movements, the ruby bearings have a practical application in reducing wear/increasing longevity by accommodating large diameter pinions and holding more lubricating oil.

Inspiration and Realisation: MB&F's Legacy Machines were conceived when Maximilian Büsser started fantasising: "What would have happened if I had been born in 1867 instead of 1967? In the early 1900s the first wristwatches appear and I would want to create three-dimensional machines for the wrist. There are no Grendizers, Star Wars or fighter jets for my inspiration but I do have pocket watches, the Eiffel Tower and Jules Verne. So what might my early 20th century machines look like? They had to be round (tradition) and three-dimensional (MB&F Machine): Legacy Machines are the answer."

Maximilian Büsser has had a long affinity with pocket watches of the 18th and 19th centuries. Virtually all horological complications we see today were not only imagined in that period, they were developed using just paper and pen (no sophisticated computer programs), components were produced to extremely high precision using – by today’s standards – fairly primitive machines (no electricity) and finely finished, assembled and regulated to an incredibly high quality that we still strive to match today. Their generous size compared with modern wristwatches allowed for uncluttered movement architectures with beautifully shaped bridges and plates.

While MB&F’s futuristic Horological Machines have a firm foundation in the very best of traditional horology, Büsser wanted to pay homage to that rich tradition by imagining the type of timepiece he might create if he had been born a 100 years earlier. With its large, sedately oscillating balance, domed dials, historical bridge design and classical fine-finishing, Legacy Machines are the very contemporary, yet traditionally elegant fruition of that dream.

Legacy Machine N°1 (LM1) was the first piece in the Legacy collection; other pieces are Legacy Machine N°2 and Legacy Machine Perpetual. LM101 takes the traditional theme even further in offering a more classically sized 40mm case compared to 44mm for the other Legacy Machines.


Legacy Machine 101 – Technical Specifications

Engine:

Three-dimensional horological movement developed in-house by MB&F

Movement aesthetics and finish specifications: Kari Voutilainen

Manual winding with single mainspring barrel

Power reserve: 45 hours

Balance wheel: Bespoke 14mm balance wheel with four traditional regulating screws floating above the movement and dials

Balance spring: traditional Breguet curve terminating in mobile stud holder

Balance frequency: 18,000bph/2.5Hz

Number of components: 229 components

Number of jewels: 23

Chatons: gold chatons with polished countersinks

Fine finishing: superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style; internal bevel angles highlighting hand craft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings

Functions:

Hours, minutes and power reserve indicator. 

Large suspended balance wheel over dial

Case:

Available in 18k red gold or 18k white gold and a limited edition of 33 pieces in platinum 950

Dimensions: 40mm wide x 16mm high

Number of components: 35

Sapphire crystals:

High domed sapphire crystal on top and box sapphire crystal on back, both with anti-reflective coating on both sides.

Strap & Buckle:

Black or brown hand-stitched alligator strap with gold or platinum tang buckle to match case.

'Friends' responsible for Legacy Machine 101

Concept: Maximilian Büsser / MB&F

Product design: Eric Giroud / Through the Looking Glass

Technical and production management: Serge Kriknoff / MB&F

Movement design and finish specifications: Kari Voutilainen

R&D: Guillaume Thévenin and Ruben Martinez / MB&F

Wheels: Jean-François Mojon / Chronode

Balance wheel bridge: Benjamin Signoud / AMECAP

Balance wheel: Dominique Lauper / Precision Engineering 

Plates and bridges: Rodrigue Baume / Damatec

Hand-engraving of movement: Eddy Jaquet and Sylvain Bettex / Glypto

Hand-finishing of movement components: Jacques-Adrien Rochat / C-L Rochat

Movement assemblage: Didier Dumas, Georges Veisy, Anne Guiter and Emmanuel Maitre / MB&F

In-house machining: Alain Lemarchand / MB&F

Quality Control: Cyril Fallet / MB&F

Case : Fabien Chapatte and Riccardo Pescante / Les Artisans Boitiers

Buckle: Erbas 

Dials: Maurizio Cervellieri / Natéber

Hands: Pierre Chillier, Isabelle Chillier and Marcos Zamora / Fiedler

Glass: Martin Stettler / Stettler

Strap: Olivier Purnot / Camille Fournet

Presentation box: Olivier Berthon / ATS atelier luxe

Production logistics: David Lamy and Isabel Ortega / MB&F

 

Marketing & Communication: Charris Yadigaroglou, Virginie Meylan and Juliette Duru / MB&F

M.A.D.Gallery: Hervé Estienne / MB&F

Sales: Luis André, Patricia Duvillard and Philip Ogle / MB&F

Graphic design: Samuel Pasquier / MB&F, Adrien Schulz and Gilles Bondallaz / Z+Z

Product photography: Maarten van der Ende

Portrait photography:  Régis Golay / Federal

Website: Stéphane Balet and Victor Rodriguez / Sumo Interactive

Texts: Ian Skellern / Underthedial

Legacy Machine Perpetual

Matthew Maciag

Reinventing the Perpetual Calendar

Beginning with a blank sheet of paper, MB&F and independent Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell have completely reinvented that most traditional of horological complications: the perpetual calendar. The result is Legacy Machine Perpetual, featuring a visually stunning in-house movement – developed from the ground up to eliminate the drawbacks of conventional perpetual calendars.

The fact that the new complication looks sensational and can be fully appreciated dial-side is just one of the many benefits offered by the new movement, controlled by a mechanical processor (patent pending).

LM Perpetual features a fully integrated 581-component calibre − no module, no base movement − with a revolutionary new system for calculating the number of days in each month. And it holistically reinterprets the aesthetics of the perpetual calendar by placing the full complication on dial-free display underneath a spectacular suspended balance.

The perpetual calendar is one of the great traditional complications, calculating the apparently random complexity of the varying numbers of days in each month − including the 29 days in February during leap years. But traditional perpetual calendars do have a few drawbacks: dates can skip; they are relatively easy to damage if adjusted while the date is changing; and the complications are usually compromises of modules powered by base movements.

The fully integrated, purpose-built movement of Legacy Machine Perpetual has been designed from scratch for trouble-free use: no more skipping dates or jamming gears, and the adjuster pushers automatically deactivate when the calendar changes, so no problems there either!

Traditional perpetual calendar mechanisms use a 31-day month as the default and basically "delete" superfluous dates for the months with fewer days – by fast-forwarding through the redundant dates during changeover. A traditional perpetual calendar changing from February 28 to March 1 scrolls quickly through the 29th, 30th and 31st to arrive at the 1st.

LM Perpetual turns the traditional perpetual calendar system on its head by using a “mechanical processor” instead of the conventional space-consuming grand levier (big lever) system architecture. The mechanical processor utilises a default 28-day month and adds extra days as required. This means that each month always has the exact number of days required; there is no fast-forwarding or skipping redundant days. And while the leap year can only be set on traditional perpetual calendars by scrolling through up to 47 months, LM Perpetual has a dedicated quickset pusher to adjust the year.

With its open dial revealing the full complication and suspended balance, it's the harmonious mechanical beauty of LM Perpetual that really steals the show. And in an interesting technical twist, that eye-catching balance hovering on high is connected to the escapement on the back of the movement by what is likely to be the world's longest balance staff.

Using an innovative system developed especially for Legacy Machine Perpetual, the subdials appear to "float" above the movement with no visible attachments. The skeletonised subdials rest on hidden studs, which is technically impossible with traditional perpetual calendar mechanisms because they would block the movement of the grand levier.

Taking a clockwise tour of the dial, at 12 o'clock we see the hours and minutes nestled between the elegant arches of the balance; day of the week at 3 o'clock, power reserve indicator at 4 o'clock, month at 6 o'clock, retrograde leap year indicator at 7 o'clock, and date at 9 o'clock.

LM Perpetual: complexity simplified with integrity and beauty.


Legacy Machine Perpetual launches with a limited edition of 25 pieces in 18K red gold and 25 pieces in platinum 950


Legacy Machine Perpetual in detail

Inspiration and realisation

The Legacy Machine collection was conceived when MB&F owner and creative director Maximilian Büsser started fantasising. "What would have happened if I had been born in 1867 instead of 1967? In the early 1900s the first wristwatches appear, and I would want to create three-dimensional machines for the wrist, but Grendizers, Star Wars, and fighter jets would not have been around for my inspiration. But I do have pocket watches, the Eiffel Tower, and Jules Verne, so what might my 1900s machine look like? It has to be round and it has to be three-dimensional." The result of this was Legacy Machine No.1, first launched in 2011 – followed later by LM2 and LM101.

The LM Perpetual project began with a meeting between Maximilian Büsser and Northern Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell. McDonnell had been a long-time Friend of the brand and played an instrumental role in the realisation of MB&F's very first timepiece, Horological Machine No.1. As Büsser was thinking of developing a perpetual calendar for the fourth watch in the Legacy Machine collection, McDonnell replied that he had an idea for a perpetual calendar that addresses many of the drawbacks associated with conventional examples.

Three years and a great many sleepless nights later, Legacy Machine Perpetual was born.

Conventional perpetual calendars

Conventional perpetual calendars are generally modules comprising the complication, which is fitted on top of an existing movement. The calendar indications are synchronised by a long lever (in French: grand levier) running across the top of the complication and passing through the centre. As the date changes, this long lever transmits information to the appropriate components and mechanisms by moving backwards and forwards.

The existence of the grand levier means that there can be nothing in the centre of the complication that might impede it – like a suspended balance with its staff running right down through the centre of the movement to an escapement on the back.

This lever also means that perpetual calendars require a full dial, which may have cut-outs or windows, as it is impossible to support subdials with studs because they would block the motion of the big lever mechanism.

In the traditional grand levier system, perpetual calendars assume that, by default, all months have 31 days. At the end of months with less than 31 days, the mechanism quickly skips through the superfluous dates before arriving at the 1st of the new month. Any manipulation or adjustment of the date during changeover can result in damage to the mechanism, requiring expensive repairs by the manufacturer. The dates can also jump or skip during changeover, negating the whole point of the perpetual calendar in the first place, which is not requiring adjustment for years. Or decades.

"I call perpetual calendars boomerang watches because they come back for repair so often,” says Maximilian Büsser. “The mechanisms jam, block, break, or jump days when they shouldn't."

Mechanical processor

Legacy Machine Perpetual uses a patent-pending “mechanical processor” consisting of a series of superimposed disks. This revolutionary processor takes the default number of days in the month at 28 – because, logically, all months have at least 28 days – and then adds the extra days as required by each individual month. This ensures that each month has exactly the right number of days. There is no "skipping over" redundant days, so there is no possibility of the date jumping incorrectly.

Using a planetary cam, the mechanical processor also enables quicksetting of the year so that it displays correctly in the four-year leap year cycle, whereas traditional perpetual calendar mechanisms require the user to scroll through up to 47 months to arrive at the right month and year.

The mechanical processor also enables an inbuilt safety feature that disconnects the quickset pushers during the date changeover, eliminating any risk of damage while the date is changing.

While the conception and development of this mechanical processor-controlled perpetual calendar complication is a noteworthy achievement in itself, Stephen McDonnell went even further by managing to place all 581 components of the movement in virtually the same-sized case as LM1.

Opening up a new world of perpetual calendar aesthetics

Doing away with the calendar’s big lever has allowed for completely new aesthetics not possible when conventional systems are in use. MB&F’s mechanical processor enables the centre of the complication to be used, thereby saving space and allowing design freedom as the full dial is no longer necessary.

Legacy Machine Perpetual takes advantage of its fully integrated movement to place the perpetual calendar mechanism on top of the movement main plate so that it can be appreciated from above. Legibility is often an issue with perpetual calendars due to the sheer number of indications, and LM Perpetual addresses this by using skeletonised subdials (except for the time indication) that appear to float above the complication with no apparent support from below.

Balance above, escapement below

In yet another innovation, Legacy Machine Perpetual uses what is likely to be the world's longest balance wheel pinion to connect that elegantly suspended balance, hovering above the top of the movement, to the escapement on the back of the movement. Ensuring the practicality and reliability of this approach was essential before any other development work began.

While the view through the display back is animated by the escapement, it's the spectacular hand-finishing of the bridges and plates that really captivates the eye.


Legacy Machine Perpetual technical details

Limited launch editions of 25 pieces in 18K red gold and 25 pieces in platinum 950.

Engine

Fully integrated perpetual calendar developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, featuring dial-side complication and mechanical processor system architecture with inbuilt safety mechanism. Manual winding with double mainspring barrels. Bespoke 14mm balance wheel with traditional regulating screws visible on top of the movement. Superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19 th century style; internal bevel angles highlighting hand craft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings.

Power reserve: 72 hours

Balance frequency: 18,000bph / 2.5Hz

Number of components: 581

Number of jewels: 41

Functions/indications

Hours, minutes, day, date, month, retrograde leap year and power reserve indicators

Case

Material: launch editions in 18K 5N+ red gold or platinum 950

Dimensions: 44 mm x 17.5 mm

Number of components: 69 components

Water resistance: 30 m / 90' / 3 atm

Sapphire crystals

Sapphire crystals on top and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces

Strap & buckle

Black or dark brown hand-stitched alligator strap with gold / platinum folding buckle matching case material


'Friends' responsible for LM Perpetual

 

Concept: Maximilian Büsser / MB&F

Product design: Eric Giroud / Through the Looking Glass

Technical and production management: Serge Kriknoff / MB&F

Movement design and finish specifications: Stephen McDonnell and MB&F

Movement development: Stephen McDonnell and MB&F

R&D: Guillaume Thévenin and Ruben Martinez / MB&F

 

Wheels, pinions, movement component: Dominique Guye / DMP 

Balance wheel bridge and plates: Benjamin Signoud / AMECAP

Balance wheel: Dominique Lauper / Precision Engineering 

Balance spring: Stefan Schwab / Schwab-Feller 

Bridges: Rodrigue Baume / Damatec, George Auer / Mecawatch 

Perpetual calendar parts: Alain Pellet / Elefil 

Movement component profile-turning: Yves Bandi / Bandi 

Hand-engraving of movement: Sylvain Bettex / Glypto and Eddy Jaquet

Hand-finishing of movement components: Jacques-Adrien Rochat / C-L Rochat

PVD-treatment: Pierre-Albert Steinmann / Positive Coating 

Movement assemblage: Didier Dumas, Georges Veisy, Anne Guiter, Florian Courbat and Emmanuel Maitre / MB&F

In-house machining: Alain Lemarchand / MB&F

After-Sales service: Florian Courbat / MB&F

Quality Control: Cyril Fallet / MB&F

Case : Pascal Queloz / Oréade

Dial: Maurizio Cervellieri / Natéber, Sébastien Paroz / Swissmec 

Buckle: Dominique Mainier / G&F Chatelain 

Crown and correctors: Jean-Pierre Cassard / Cheval Frères 

Hands: Pierre Chillier, Isabelle Chillier and Félix Celetta / Fiedler

Sapphire crystals: Martin Stettler / Stettler

Strap: Olivier Purnot / Camille Fournet

Presentation box: Olivier Berthon / ATS Atelier Luxe

Production logistics: David Lamy and Isabel Ortega / MB&F

 

Marketing & Communication: Charris Yadigaroglou, Virginie Meylan and Juliette Duru / MB&F

M.A.D.Gallery: Hervé Estienne / MB&F

Sales: Luis André, Patricia Duvillard and Philip Ogle / MB&F

Graphic design: Damien Seydoux / MB&F, Adrien Schulz and Gilles Bondallaz / Z+Z

Product photography: Maarten van der Ende

Portrait photography: Régis Golay / Federal

Website: Stéphane Balet and Victor Rodriguez / Sumo Interactive

Film: Marc-André Deschoux / MADinSwitzerland

Texts: Ian Skellern / Underthedial


MusicMachine 3 – REUGE by MB&F

Corey McCarthy

MB&F celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2015 with the tagline “A creative adult is a child who survived.” One film that children (and many adults) of all ages love is Star Wars and who could forget the frantic swarms of the Imperial fleet's TIE fighters as they battle the Alliance. The TIE fighter-inspired MusicMachine 3 (MM3) is proof positive that both the child and the Force are still going strong within MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser – who was 10 years old when he first saw Star Wars in 1977.

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