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The Beginning of a Journey - MB&F LM101

by Helbert Tsang 12 Jun 2022
There comes a point in each collector's journey that they would contemplate getting an avant-garde piece. Something that isn't quite practical enough to be worn everyday but will make people double take because it doesn't quite resemble what they would expect a watch to look like.
For me, I have always admired MB&F's daring avant-garde designs from afar. Having tried on a few Horological Machines, I do find their sizes on the large side relative to my small-to-average sized wrist. This all changed recently when I had an opportunity to check out the LM101. I put it on my wrist and I was immediately hooked. Here is an MB&F that I could actually wear, and I needed to get one.

The LM101 is a piece that still has a resemblance to a conventional wristwatch, with its reasonably sized (40mm) circular case. It also has its showstopper, which is a large balance wheel floating on top of the dial housed under a sapphire dome. At times, it does get somewhat distracting, and you will find yourself staring at the oscillating balance endlessly.
image credit A Collected Man

Another reason I find the LM101 to be such a compelling acquisition is the signature of Kari Voutilainen hand-engraved on the movement. While the finishing was not performed by Voutilainen himself, he was involved in the design of the specifications of the finishing. At this price point, it would be unrealistic to expect the standard of the finishing to be on par with what one would normally find on a Voutilainen watch, but the presence of at least two interior angles that I have managed to spot and the quality of the anglage tells me that the finishing of this watch is designed with quality in mind.

Since getting the LM101, I have even flirted with the idea of getting another MB&F piece with an unconventional design that I have previously thought to be too large for my wrist. In a way, the LM101 is a gateway drug to watches with avant-garde designs. It makes you question why your other watches don't have a captivating balance wheel spinning above the centre of the dial. It changes your perception of what a wristwatch could look like. Soon you will be asking yourself - do I want to tell the time by looking at the eyes of a Frog? Or a Bulldog?
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