What can we say about MB&F that we haven’t already said? Different, edgy, unique, incredible and — well — an all-around great team of people, as well. Now, MB&F brings us the newest round Legacy Machine — the Perpetual Calendar. The watch strikes a chord with us for a number of different reasons. To begin with, Legacy is a round watch — the only round watch in the MB&F line — and this is the brand’s first true complication — so what better, more traditional way to unveil a complication than in a round watch? The thing is, the complication itself — the perpetual calendar — is incredibly unique in it s function — making the watch a blend of avant grade, high-tech and traditional in a way that only MB&F can do.
So let’s take a good look at the watch that wows us. First, the fact that this is the brand’s first truly “complicated” watch can blow your mind a little bit. After all, the brand offers spaceship-like watches, alien power reserves, spider clocks and so much more that it is hard to believe that heretofore, the timepieces indicated only the time –with no added complications (save, power reserve). Then, the fact that the watch not only offers a perpetual calendar, but also offers it front and center on the dial with strongly visual 3D drama (not unlike other MB&F Legacy watches).
The perpetual calendar function, like all perpetual calendars, offers day, date, month and other calendar information. However, this one does it differently — and is the first truly different technology utilized in perpetual calendar tracking in the history of this complication. In most perpetual calendars, no matter whether a month has 28, 29, 30, or 31 days in it, the date is determined by first starting with a 31-day date wheel and then the mechanics of the watch — via deeper or shallower wheel notches on the date disc — skip (or subtract) the correct number of days accordingly with each month to show the date. Essentially, to delete the extra, unwanted days in some months, the perpetual calendar must quickly scrolls through the teeth to arrive at the first — often resulting in jammed gears or skipped dates.
The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar does the opposite of the traditional date counting and offers a revolutionary way of counting the number of days in a month. Instead of starting with 31 days and subtracting days each month, the default month for this watch is 28 days, and extra teeth in the wheel are added for the months with more than 28 days. This means that there is no need for the mechanics to skip through or fast-forward dates. Instead, extra days are added when needed via a patent-pending mechanical processor. This eliminates the typical “grand Levier” system for driving the dates in perpetual calendars, and the mechanical processor does the work. This replacement makes it possible for the wearer to change time or date at will without worrying about breakage (traditional grand lever calendars cannot be changed or reset between certain hours without resulting in damage).
The idea of adding a complication wasn’t first and foremost on Max Busser’s mind (founder of MB&F) — until he talked at great length with Northern Ireland watchmaker Stephen McDonnell, who had the idea for this calendar complication. It should be noted that MB&F had worked already with McDonnell almost 10 years ago when he stepped in to develop a solution and then help build the HM1 movement. A few years later, McDonnell shared with Busser his idea for the calendar and the deal was sealed to move forward.
The architecture of the new perpetual calendar watch features the full complication and suspended balance on the dial side in three-dimensional glory. The skeletonized subdials rest on hidden studs and appear to “float” above the movement with no visible attachments. This would not have been possible in grand-levier calendars. In all, the movement consists of 581 parts. Just 25 pieces will be made in 950 platinum and 25 in 18-karat 5N rose gold.
Enjoy the Video (created by TheWATCHES.tv) below about this watch, and don’t miss the list at the bottom outlining all the MB&F Friends responsible for the Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar.
Fully integrated perpetual calendar developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, featuring dial-side complication and mechanical processor system architecture with inbuilt safety mechanism. Manual winding with double mainspring barrels. Bespoke 14mm balance wheel with traditional regulating screws visible on top of the movement. Superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style; internal bevel angles highlighting hand craft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings
Power reserve: 72 hours
Balance frequency: 18,000bph / 2.5Hz Number of components: 581
Number of jewels: 41
Hours, minutes, day, date, month, retrograde leap year and power reserve indicators
Material: launch editions in 18K 5N+ red gold or platinum 950 Dimensions: 44 mm x 17.5 mm
Number of components: 69 components
Water resistance: 30 m / 90’ / 3 atm
Sapphire crystals on top and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces
Black or dark brown hand-stitched alligator strap with gold / platinum folding buckle matching case material
Concept: Maximilian Büsser / MB&F
Product design: Eric Giroud / Through the Looking Glass
Technical and production management: Serge Kriknoff / MB&F
Movement design and finish specifications: Stephen McDonnell and MB&F Movement development: Stephen McDonnell and MB&F
R&D: Guillaume Thévenin and Ruben Martinez / MB&F
Wheels, pinions, movement component: Dominique Guye / DMP Balance wheel bridge and plates: Benjamin Signoud / AMECAP Balance wheel: Dominique Lauper / Precision Engineering Balance spring: Stefan Schwab / Schwab-Feller
Bridges: Rodrigue Baume / Damatec, George Auer / Mecawatch
Perpetual calendar parts: Alain Pellet / Elefil
Movement component profile-turning: Yves Bandi / Bandi
Hand-engraving of movement: Sylvain Bettex / Glypto, Eddy Jaquet Hand-finishing of movement components: Jacques-Adrien Rochat / C-L Rochat PVD-treatment: Pierre-Albert Steinmann / Positive Coating
Movement assemblage: Didier Dumas, Georges Veisy, Anne Guiter, Florian Courbat and Emmanuel Maitre / MB&F In-house machining: Alain Lemarchand / MB&F
After-Sales service: Florian Courbat / MB&F
Quality Control: Cyril Fallet / MB&F
Case: Pascal Queloz / Oréade
Dial: Maurizio Cervellieri / Natéber, Sébastien Paroz / Swissmec Buckle: Dominique Mainier / G&F Chatelain
Crown and corrector: Jean-Pierre Cassard / Cheval Frères Hands: Pierre Chillier, Isabelle Chillier and Félix Celetta / Fiedler Sapphire crystals: Martin Stettler / Stettler
Strap: Olivier Purnot / Camille Fournet
Presentation box: Olivier Berthon / ATS Atelier Luxe Production logistics: David Lamy and Isabel Ortega / MB&F
Marketing & Communication: Charris Yadigaroglou, Virginie Meylan and Juliette Duru / MB&F M.A.D.Gallery: Hervé Estienne / MB&F
Sales: Luis André, Patricia Duvillard and Philip Ogle / MB&F
Graphic design: Damien Seydoux / MB&F, Adrien Schulz and Gilles Bondallaz / Z+Z
Product photography: Maarten van der Ende
Portrait photography: Régis Golay / Federal
Website: Stéphane Balet and Victor Rodriguez / Sumo Interactive Texts: Ian Skellern / Underthedial
Film: Marc-André Deschoux / MADinSwitzerland