October 20, 2021
When MB&F first released the Legacy Machine Perpetual Evo in 2020, the brand’s first-ever sporting-capable watch caused an immediate stir. With a design that combined the brand’s penchant for ornately avant-garde movement making with a surprisingly tough assembly, the Perpetual Evo offered an ultra-luxe perpetual calendar presentation in a package suitable for daily wear, selling out its initial limited production run in short order. For 2021 the brand takes this concept even further, replacing the zirconium case of the original production run with high-durability titanium. The new MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Evo in titanium offers a purer, more focused experience than the initial run, augmenting its new case material with a deep and stylish new sea green colorway.
Other than the new titanium material, the 44mm case of this new MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Evo closely mirrors the design of the previous models. The overall form is deceptively simple at first glance, with narrow curving lugs, tightly packaged vertical case sides, and a truly bezel-less construction that stretches the tall sapphire crystal right to the edge of the case. This initial simplicity hides a wealth of details, however, especially through the construction of the lugs. MB&F showcases three distinct finishing techniques on these elements alone, from the polished raised top segment, to the vertically brushed main body, as well as a recessed cutout sporting a matte blasted surface where the lugs flow into the case sides. The immense 17.5mm overall thickness should affect this design’s wearability, however much of this height in images comes form the exaggerated dome of the crystal as it arcs above the highly vertical skeleton dial. Although the water resistance of the Legacy Machine Perpetual Evo is only 80 meters on paper, this figure may prove a bit misleading when discussing the overall durability of this watch. Throughout the announcement of the original Perpetual Evo, MB&F was quick to tout the series’ readiness for light aquatic activity, and the case construction includes a handful of reinforcing elements. Beyond the familiar screwdown crown, the Perpetual Evo also includes the brand’s proprietary FlexRing monobloc shock absorber layer in between the inner case and the movement, providing multi-axis impact protection to the intricate powerplant within.
The skeleton dial of the new titanium MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Evo carries on the ornate and playfully swoopy skeleton perpetual calendar layout of the original, but reinvents the design with a striking green CVD baseplate. Green continues to be one of the most popular and dynamic colors in the current luxury watch market, and MB&F livens this deep teal tone even further with radial arabesque surfacing. The effect is impressively nuanced and balanced in images, with the color serving as an excellent complement to both the matte black of the skeleton subdials and the bright exposed highlights of the gear train. This isn’t strictly a sports watch design despite MB&F’s tougher construction, but rather keeps the brand’s Rocketeer-esque streamlined retro-future aesthetic intact while adding more robust capability. The triple ring subdials of the perpetual calendar remain light and mechanically intricate, while timekeeping functions are relegated to the minimalist subdial at 12 o’clock. MB&F fills out much of the remaining negative space here with sweeping brushed steel retrograde displays for the power reserve and leap year indicator at 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock, respectively. As with most MB&F designs, however, it’s the grand and architectural polished balance bridge that forms the immediate focal point in images, suspending the oversized balance wheel above the center of the dial.
The titanium MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Evo shares its in-house handwound perpetual calendar movement with the zirconium model, including its superbly executed finishing. Compared to the bright and colorful view of the movement’s dial side, the caseback view is darker and rather more traditional, with blacked-out bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève deftly framing both the gear train and the twin oversized mainspring barrels. In total, there are a whopping 581 components here including 41 jewels, allowing this ornate movement to offer a hefty 70 hour power reserve at an 18,000 bph beat rate. Perhaps this movement’s most impressive feat is its perpetual calendar complication, which uses a proprietary “mechanical processor” arrangement to add days to a baseline of 28 days per month to avoid unnecessary date skipping and reduce potential malfunction.
MB&F pairs the titanium Legacy Machine Perpetual Evo with a sleekly semi-integrated black rubber strap. Besides announcing the Perpetual Evo’s more sporty intentions, this strap flows seamlessly into the cutout design of the lugs and gives the watch a more sculpted character in images. The pronounced raised shoulders of the strap edges further this effect as well, framing the engraved MB&F signature handsomely while continuing the elevated character lines established by the polished raised lug segments.
Although it isn’t the brand’s most groundbreaking release of the year, the new titanium-cased MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Evo does deliver a more focused and refined iteration of the brand’s first-ever sports-capable watch. The titanium MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Evo is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $176,000. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.