November 5, 2021
by Bilal Khan
Since its debut in 2015, the MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar has been one of the most beautiful and horologically significant pieces from the brand. After being offered in platinum, rose gold, white gold, titanium, and yellow gold, it now arrives in what is, at the moment, the most precious of precious metals: palladium. Coming in a beautiful aquamarine dial, this limited edition of 25 pieces also makes some subtle improvements to wearability that are borrowed from last year’s sportier EVO collection.
The Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO debuted last year with the moniker pointing to a host of improvements made with regard to overall durability and wearability. Then earlier this year came a titanium iteration with a green dial, continuing to grow this sportier line of the collection. While this Palladium Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar isn’t in the EVO collection, it does adopt some of the updates that are universally beneficial. Changes like using double-sprung rectangular pushers and a stronger crystal that is thermally bonded to the case make for a more robust and somehow even more lust-worthy QP.
I believe this is the second Legacy Machine done in palladium, the rare and most valuable precious metal currently trading for about double the price of platinum on a per ounce basis. In addition to rarity, it’s also very useful (especially in the automotive industry), which contributes to the fact that prices have risen almost 400% in the last five years. Palladium is a naturally lustrous white and hypoallergenic. Not just highly valuable and pretty, palladium is harder to work with and more scratch-resistant than platinum.
The 44mm-wide case is a suitable frame for the wonderfully busy dial that’s done in a subtly cool sunray aquamarine. The Perpetual Calendar movement here was developed with Stephen McDonnell and is composed of 581 parts and operates at 18,000 vph with a 72-hour power reserve. This movement was introduced back in 2015, but it is no less impressive when one considers how the brand rebuilt the perpetual calendar from the ground up. Foregoing the traditional “grand lever” system, McDonnell came up with a “mechanical processor” system that assumes a month has 28 days and then adds days as needed, as opposed to the typical method that has 31 days. This way, the movement does not need to skip or fast-forward days, making for a huge improvement in wear and tear.
The centerpiece of the dial is the signature MB&F balance bridge, but the sub-dials are simply beautiful and quite neatly arranged. Unique to this movement, the sub-dials are able to rest on studs which gives them the appearance of almost floating on the dial. All the subdials are done in white lacquer, with the 12 o’clock reading hour and minutes, 3 o’clock reading days of the week, 6 o’clock reading months, and 9 o’clock reading the date. You’ll also notice the power reserve indicator at 4 o’clock and the retrograde leap year indicator at 7 o’clock.
The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar in palladium is limited to 25 pieces and priced at $206,000 USD. You can learn more at mbandf.com.