It is no secret that a lot has happened this year – lockdown insanity, pre and post election anxiety, and oh-so much more. So let’s take a second to find Zen with a visual reminder of time beating forward. If you haven’t already, observing a watch tick away in slow motion is an extraordinarily relaxing thing to do. Often it is referred to as the heartbeat of a watch, but if you think about it, watching the hairspring expand and contract (at least in slow motion) is akin to taking a nice deep breath. With the MB&F Legacy Machine 101 we literally find balance at its centre. Thanks to Mr Macro @horomariobro, we explore this large and exquisitely finished central balance wheel and reflect on the artistry of its composition.
Andrew McUtchen: So the next video is the MB&F. Tell me what is happening here. You’ve got reflection love, don’t you?
@Horomariobro: Sure. So this video is of the balance wheel of the MB&F Legacy Machine 101. The balance wheel is all the way on the top and placed visibly on the dial side. What is really intriguing here is that it’s set up really tall. Usually in the world of watches, everything is very small and tiny. In this case, however, the balance wheel is actually sitting on the dial, adding quite a bit of height.
View this post on Instagram
AM: An elevated balance for quite an elevated watch.
@Horomariobro: Yeah, it’s pretty tall for watches … really tall. Aside from the height, what I was trying to capture is the exterior surface of the balance wheel and how it is quite polished. Due to its finish, I was somehow able to catch the reflection of the dial in the metal. Honestly, I don’t know how the light reflection works, I just happened to kind of catch it – but it seems to be a very high mirror polish. I find it very, very fascinating that the reflection of the dial can be seen on the balance wheel.
AM: Highly, highly polished.
@Horomariobro: Very! What I noticed is you can see the numbers moving up and down a little bit, because with my camera set-up, I know for sure it’s a hundred per cent steady. Nothing is moving – it’s very stable, because you can tell from the picture that there is no shake and all that stuff. As a result, you can see a mirror reflection; you can see the white dial reflected on there and also the number, and the numbers move up and down. That tells me, when the balance wheel is moving from left to right, horizontally, there is also some vertical motion when the balance spring contracts and expands.
AM: Yes. Wow!
@Horomariobro: There is some vertical action going on, so that’s what I found very cool about it, because when you normally see the balance wheel move, it’s usually associated with horizontal movement, and it’s really hard to tell if there’s any vertical motion or not. Here the “hovering” or “teetering” of the balance wheel is captured due to the larger balance size – making it easier to see to the naked eye in macro.
AM: Is there an engraving? It looks like there’s a hairline engraving in the outer edge of the balance, that polished balance wheel. What … is that … is there some sort of a line through that?
@Horomariobro: They’re cutouts in the balance! I think it’s just part of the design – maybe related to aerodynamics. I don’t know what the purpose of that is. Most of the balance wheels I see are usually just flat surfaces and somehow this one has some grooves in there.
AM: Amazing. Awesome.
@Horomariobro: Yeah, so that’s kind of what I want to capture, to show the … mainly to show the reflection, and also the vertical motion of it.