If, as Maximilian Büsser suggested last month, independent watchmakers are an “endangered species,” MB&F is one animal that is not waiting for anyone to save it. It is very much taking matters in its own hands. The release, earlier today, of the Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar, is its latest statement of intent. Intent to stay alive, stay relevant in collector’s mind, and ruffle a few feathers along the way with disruptive design and innovative answers to the challenges of micro engineering.
The fourth chapter of the Legacy Machine collection, one that celebrates classicism and tradition, is by far the most complicated watch developed by MB&F. Not by design – the Horological Machine collection retains that crown – but in terms of its mechanics. It’s been a great year for the perpetual calendar complication. The day, date, moon, month and leap year display has been interpreted beautifully by several brands, from Audemars Piguet to Hermès.
But none have done so quite as transparently as MB&F. The avant-garde brand may have gone with a surprisingly familiar display, composed of four sub dials, but has uncharacteristically made them float above the dial, something no brand had been able to achieve because of the size of the grand levier.
Instead, the skeletonized subdials rest on hidden studs, designed by MB&F and Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell to expose all of the 581-components that make up this groundbreaking caliber.
There’s no mistaking it; this new perpetual calendar bears the DNA of MB&F. From the signature suspended balance wheel to the 19th century style hand finishing and hand-made engravings, it has MB&F written all over it, literally.
And it’s one of the reasons we love it, and hastily put it on the wrist. Measuring 44 mm x 17.5 mm, the new Legacy Machine mirrors the look and feel of previous models. It’s a miniature piece-of art, providing the perfect piece de resistance for 21st independent watchmaking.
Besides the perpetual calendar display, the new Legacy Machine features a power reserve indicator at 4 o’clock, as well as a retrograde leap year indicator at 7 o’clock.
The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual launches with a limited edition of 25 pieces in 18K 5N+ red gold and 25 pieces in platinum 950.