MB&F is an independent watch brand that I have a lot of respect for. They are totally original, innovative and like to push the limits within horology.
Their latest release in their Legacy collection is the 101 Frost. This watch combines tradition and visual stimulation to the next level. The case is 40 mm in diameter and is available in 18k red gold limited to 33 pieces and 18k white gold limited to 18 pieces. The dial is white enamel with heated blued gold hands.
Abraham-Louis Breguet is credited with inventing the “frosted” finish “finition grenée” in French, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. At the time, frosting protected dials and movements from oxidation more common in Breguet’s day and added subdued vivacity to movement plates. Traditional frosting methods involved dangerous acids which have been largely replaced by the environmentally (and medically) safer method of carefully compressing the surface with a wire brush. However, this is a much more difficult process to master and obtain a uniform, non-polished surface. Very few Artisans today create true frosted finishes: the majority of surfaces that look frosted have in fact been bead blasted, which does not quite have the same visual impact.
The sapphire crystal is a super dome and gives the appearance that it’s not there. This makes the wearer/observer think they can literally touch the dial and the prodigious balance wheel astoundingly hanging from elegant twin arches. The arches are milled from a solid block of metal requiring hours of hand polishing to achieve its mirror finish.
The movement is a Swiss manual-wind MB&F caliber with 23 jewels, 18,000 vph and a power reserve of 45 hours. This three-dimensional movement was developed in-house by MB&F with aesthetical design and finish by Kari Voutilainen.
I love the displacement of the subdials at the three 2 o’clock position for the time and the power reserve indicator subdial located slightly of the six o’clock position. The 18k red gold version is fitted on a hand stiched brown alligator strap with matching gold buckle and the 18k white gold version is fitted on a hand stitched black alligator strap with matching gold buckle.
This watch is MB&F’s answer to the iconic Breguet Tradition but way more limited and innovative and better finished in my opinion.