Creative Lab MB&F has just unveiled its latest Performance Art piece, the LM1 Xia Hang, and it is seriously cool, not to mention highly functional!
For this special version of the Legacy Machine 1, MB&F has collaborated with Chinese sculptor Xia Hang. The concept itself is surprisingly simple but the execution is breathtaking. Essentially the LM1 remains completely unchanged, with one tiny exception; the power reserve is now indicated by a miniature, highly polished aluminum man.
That’s right, there’s a tiny little dude on the dial of this beautiful watch and through observing his actions (his posture, in particular) you can get a pretty good idea of how much power is left in the movement. How so, you ask? Well, clearly our little friend is not pointing at any ‘+’ or ‘-‘ indicators, and there are no other gauges to speak of and so he is forced to rely on the one thing we can all intuitively understand; body language.
So, when the movement is fully wound at the start of the day the man sits up straight, full of energy and ready for the challenges ahead. For obvious reasons MB&F refers to him as Mr. Up. However as the day progresses and energy levels inevitably start to diminish Mr. Up slowly begins to transform to his alter ego, Mr. Down. His head gradually slumps over and it becomes clear that the poor little guy is exhausted. Fear not though, for you can quickly breathe new life into him with a few quick winds of the crown.
Now, as you can imagine miniaturizing – and articulating – one of Xia Hang’s creatures was a major technical and artistic challenge. According to MB&F aluminum was chosen for its light weight but also for aesthetic reasons: after milling the three separate components from a solid block of aluminum, they are polished and the result is very similar to Xia Hang’s chrome-plated stainless steel sculptures. Each one is then hand finished to perfection, no mean feat when you consider they are just 4mm high.
The MB&F LM1 Xia Hang will be offered in two limited editions of 12 pieces each, in your choice of either red or white gold. Each piece will also come with its own larger pair of creatures – “Mr. Up” and “Mr. Down” – crafted out of solid steel and signed by Xia Hang himself.