MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

Hero of the luxury watch maker independents, and master of marketing and product, Geneva-based MB&F will now release the brand’s first perpetual calendar timepiece with the Legacy Machine Perpetual. This newest member of the Legacy Machine watch collection family was produced in collaboration with Irish-born watchmaker, Stephen McDonnell, who is one among that rare breed of super-talents behind the scenes. McDonnell designed the manually wound perpetual calendar movement inside of the Legacy Machine Perpetual from the ground up as a fully integrated new perpetual calendar mechanism totally distinct from everything else out there. Set in the same 44mm wide Legacy Machine case as the original LM1, the Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar is, perhaps, MB&F’s most direct competition to the storied product collections of Switzerland's largest and oldest watch "maisons" to date.

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual doesn’t break the mold of previous generation Legacy Machine watches, but it does a unique look with a skeletonized dial and fully populated face given the amount of indicators required for the complicated movement. Also, the polished bezel mixed with the light reflections off visible parts of the movement make for a much more "dazzling" look while on the wrist.

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

Designed and produced exclusively for MB&F, the Legacy Machine Perpetual movement is produced from 581 parts operating at 2.5Hz (18,000 bph) with a power reserve of 72 hours. Intended to resemble legacy 19th century pocket watch movements in aesthetic style, there is very little which is actually retro about the movement, aside from how it looks, with its swoopy lines and hand finishing. McDonnell was careful to match the thematic aesthetics applied to the Legacy Machine as set forth by Jean-Francois Mojon and Kari Voutilianen, even though the movement of the Legacy Machine Perpetual does have a more modern feel to it.

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

One of the most special design elements of the movement will likely be easily overlooked by most because it isn’t obvious. Like all LM watches, the Legacy Machine Perpetual's dial emphasizes the large, floating balance wheel that, so far, helps to visually and mechanically define the collection. Follow the hand-polished bridge to the balance wheel and hairspring and you may see something missing. There is no escapement. Well, there is, but you can't see it from the dial. MB&F and Stephen McDonnell designed the system with what might be the world’s longest balance wheel pinion rod that goes through the movement and connects to an escapement system which is visible through the rear of the watch.

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

Enthusiasts should understand that considerable engineering effort was require for this and other elements of the Legacy Machine Perpetual. It is common in such artistic and complicated watches for a considerable amount of the timepiece’s expense to be attributed to designing the movement to match a particular aesthetic dream versus building the aesthetics around the movement.

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

Like other MBF&F Legacy Machine watches, time is displayed on an off-centered dial in white lacquer with blued steel hands – here, placed at the 12 o’clock position. Note that the lack of centrally mounted hour and minutes hands avoids the situation where dials exist on top of other dials – a look I happen to find particularly pleasing. Not since the Loiseau 1f4 do I recall seeing a dial design quite like this (well, sort of). Of course, there is a degree of visual overlap where the balance wheel assembly looks like a hovering alien ship floating over a small horological city. It appears even though the Legacy Machine is MB&F’s more traditional watch collection. It can still evoke fun science fiction ideas, like the more modern Horological Machine watch collection produced in tandem with the LM watches by the brand.

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

As perpetual calendar mechanisms go, the Legacy Machine is unconventional in that it does not follow the "grand lever" system used by most other perpetual calendar dials. This eliminates much of what typically happens right under the dial and allows for a lot more creative freedom in how a perpetual dial is designed. The system makes full account of the day of the week, date, month, and leap year. The system also has a useful power reserve indicator scale which helps balance out the retrograde style leap year indicator represented with a hand that follows along three dots.

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Watch Releases

The choice to skeletonize the dial on the Legacy Machine allows for a fantastic view of how the perpetual calendar system works. In lieu of the traditional system for offering a perpetual calendar, Stephen McDonnell designed a "mechanical processor" system which starts with the assumption that each month has a length of 28 days. Days are then added as needed each month allowing for 28, 29, 30, and 31-day-long months. The system further uses a planetary gear system which allows the wearer to scroll through up to 47 months to find the correct year, month, and date in order to easily set the perpetual calendar system. With that said, there are also some helpful corrector pushers on the case which reassuringly work on each press (ironically - that isn't always the case). It's really a brilliant design and I very much enjoy when watch makers focus on improving utility of perpetual calendar movements as they are among the most useful of the “major complications” around.

What do you think?
  • I want it! (21)
  • Interesting (2)
  • Thumbs up (0)
  • Classy (0)
  • I love it! (0)
  • iamcalledryan

    Wow wow wow. Although I may still prefer the clean dial on the 01, this thing is a wonder. Love how the linear leap indicator creates symmetry.

  • AKDISQUS

    MBwho? Terrible design, they gave the least space for hours which is the only reason you will look at your watch during the day.

    • iamcalledryan

      If people only looked at their watches for the time, there would be no apple watch and no mechanical watches.

      Ever post anything positive? 700 posts and every one is so grumpy, are you actually into watches or just skeletor 2.0?

      • SuperStrapper

        So people just aren’t happy unless they’re grumpy and doing what they can to spread it around. Because it’s everyone’s fault but his that he doesn’t get what he wants out of life.

        • WINKS

          Probably needs to increase his fiber intake in his diet…

      • AKDISQUS

        A watch with failed purpose is just jewellery to me.

        • iamcalledryan

          I think it is less of a case of failed purpose, and more of a case that you misunderstand the purpose – which was not to make a highly legible hours/minutes watch. But ultimately you are right, if it doesn’t connect with you it is meaningless.

          • AKDISQUS

            I just skipped to the last sentence and saved time.

          • iamcalledryan

            Yeah, good luck with that, looks like you’ve been applying that logic more broadly.

        • SuperStrapper

          Which purpose failed?

          • iamcalledryan

            The guy is a troll – not worth devoting time to. I am cutting off the oxygen supply from my end. I saw a post from him a few months back deriding the Apple watch, then he praises it in a post deriding a mechanical. He is only interested in posting antagonistic nonsense – showing pics of $20 garbage as a retort to a totally different watch. Ain’t nothing here to reason with!

      • Berndt Norten

        He is Skeletor. Read his oeuvre. Same syntax. Same tone. Aaaaah! Skeletor lives….

    • Berndt Norten

      Hello Skeletor. Good bye Skeletor.

  • cheerss

    Seriously beautiful. Don’t really like MB&F designs, but this is classic looking with just a tasteful and subtle splash of MB&F’s signature futurism. The dial is like a little city to get happily lost in.

  • radikaz

    absolutely stunning piece from MB&F. it’s has fine craftsmanship and great design

  • MEddie90

    Technically amazing, the escapement at the rear is unusual and its nice to see a new, innovative and integrated approach to a complication which can become stale and in many cases is simply modular.

    I’d much rather go for the Moser perpetual personally for sheer elegance of display but an integrated perpetual that can be seem working in all its glory is certainly a sight to behold. I think if I ever owned this I’d look at my wrist to check the time only to loose myself marveling at the gears.

    • iamcalledryan

      The Moser is a very good example of the other end of the spectrum for a QP display – I would collapse in a heap if you forced me to choose between those two…

      • MEddie90

        I’ve always been a guy who goes for legibility and I generally don’t like watches with the mechanics on show, prefer to keep it all under the dial. This is somewhat challenging my views however, I’d love to get my hands on it and press all the buttons to see the levers move what is a truly fascinating device.

        It would be great to have a more in-depth technical demonstration/explanation of how the calendar works, possibly a video of it in operation when its fully released.

        • iamcalledryan

          There are additional details on another reputable watch blog…

      • IanE

        Collapse, one might, but, still, to have such a choice!

      • egznyc

        Now just remember: two wrists means two wristwatches … Not that I’d do this, but I wouldn’t judge …

  • SuperStrapper

    Now that is some delicious, delicious pornography for first thing in the morning. I’m seriously going to have to come back later and take in all the awesomeness again.

    • I_G

      Don’t forget the hand lotion.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Being Scottish, i dont have that problem ; )

        • egznyc

          Hmm. I usually get such humor but I’m at a loss. I just don’t know the connection between Scottish nationality and the relative unimportance of hand lotion for certain solitary activities. Unless you’re saying that you don’t need to take matters into your own hands. All the lucky lassies!

          • Raymond Wilkie

            How do i put this,……………..we dont “cut” over here

          • egznyc

            Okay, on the one hand … I see your point. But on the other hand, plenty of guys who are “cut” aren’t circumscribed (is this a pun?) in terms of technique. So now you’ve got both hands …

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Wow, talk about off topic. When i said cut , i meant circumcised so , on the one hand hand lotion is not required.

    • Sevenmack

      I prefer real women myself. But I can appreciate the desire for this gorgeous watch.

  • I_G

    Everything but the kitchen sink on the dial, too busy for me.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Love everything about it , no surprise there. The face is certainly akin to a spaghetti junction but a lovely clear reading face. check oot the thickness of mine !……………the crystal of course.

  • DanW94

    A beautiful watch. A nicely designed and symmetrical dial, although it’s bordering on looking cluttered. Just like on the LM1, the prominent, sweeping balance bridge really draws your attention. The retrograde complications are a nice touch. There’s a heap of good stuff to take in with this one….

  • TrevorXM

    Remarkable how I can very quickly and pleasantly gather any information I need from such a complex dial, but struggle to even read the basic time on a Hublot or most of Richard Mille’s efforts.

  • BrJean

    MB&F managed to do the impossible: they created a leap year indicator which doesn’t make me mad.

  • Lurch

    Spectacular watch. Does look like there is a wishbone in there though.

    • iamcalledryan

      “In case of Christmas, break glass and snap balance bridge to make wish.”

  • I’m pretty conservative, and more of a fan of “coloring within the lines” when it comes to watches. When a designer has to accommodate their movement by altering the case or crystal to house their idea, then that actually seems less creative to me. The stadium sized crystal dome here, the Zenith Christophe Colomb bubble, and Greubel & Forsey’s bulging cases all affect me the same way. It’s the horological equivalent of a “muffin top” spilling over low cut jeans.

  • IanE

    Not as elegant as the simpler Legacy Machines (which I would choose were any of them in my range – sob), but an absolutely stunning new watch and movement. Surely one of the top watches of the year or, indeed, decade – making one happy just because it exists!

    p.s. When can we expect a Grande Sonnerie?!

  • Marius

    For me, the main attraction of the LM watches was always the clearly visible floating balance wheel. In this case, due to the crowded dial, it is not so visible. Moreover, the case seems too thick (especially du to domed cristal), and lastly, those side-pushers are really weird.
    I like open dials, but this one is a bit too crowded, you don`t really know where to look: at the sub-dials, at the movement, or at the floating balance.

  • Joel Schumann

    Crazy cool! And just in time for Decembers Christmas giveaway.

    As dazzling as it definitely is, as a wearable tool and piece of jewellery, I also prefer the simpler machines, which are firmly established near the top of my grail list.

  • cg

    The blued background really makes the initial jumble of parts come forward into a coherent form… Took me a few minutes but there it was… Neat trick!

  • spiceballs

    Not a great fan of the big “dome” but – – wow!

  • Nelson

    really impressive perpetual calendar watch! However, I like LM2 better as this one is too cluttered.

  • I dunno. My first take is that it’s too complex looking. Fine for some other brands but an MB&F Legacy Machine makes me think of a super clean dial side presentation. But it does have a lovely blue geneva stripe face and a whishbone holding a central balance, so I get the LM connection (besides the case and crystal of course). This could just be on of those pieces that only really grabs you when you see it in person. The more I look at it, the more I appreciate lots of the details and effort that when into creating so much symmetry. Cool watch, just now what I would have expected as the next Legacy Machine. But maybe that’s MB&F’s point – present the unexpected.

  • egznyc

    These guys sure know how to hit one out of the park. The combination of traditional elements with unorthodox juxtapositions of these elements makes these watches real show stoppers. I’ll never spend this kind of money on a watch but I’m sure glad someone is making these wonders. Yes it’s a little busy but whoever is fortunate enough to own one doesn’t need to know the time in an instant.

  • Nelson

    Perhaps its a super magical wishbone. If u want to break the LM wishbone , you should wish to win 10 billion dollar lottery.

  • I think they took the “too much empty space on the dial” criticism for their first machine, a little too much to heart…

  • Ulysses31

    It’s a beast for sure, but in piling on the complications it has lost the beautiful simplicity of previous models.

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