One of the best examples of what an independent watchmaker with friends can achieve is the MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual (or LM Perpetual). For many years, MB&F was a brand responsible for nurturing love towards Horological Machines with their retro-futuristic looks, inspired by the founder Max Busser’s childhood space-age fantasies and comic book heroes. In 2011, MB&F revealed the first Legacy Machine, which screamed classical (yet innovative) with lacquered dials and Roman numerals and the flying balance wheel centre-staged. To many, this turn came as a surprise, which quickly became a pleasant one. A fine tribute to the watchmakers of the 19th century and their outstanding inventions, with a little over ten years since its introduction, the LM collection positioned itself at the top of the horological Olympus with several unique movements and several GPHG awards. First launched in 2015 in red gold and platinum edition, later LM Perpetual added seven references in white gold, titanium, yellow gold and palladium. Today, it’s a handsome and desirable steel edition with a salmon dial that joins the series.
The new watch is presented in the same 44mm diameter case as the rest of the collection, but for the first time in stainless steel, and it comes with ergonomic corrector pushers from the Evo editions. The case is complex; it is built using 69 components and has a 30m water resistance. The hands are blued steel, a standard feature. The four circled in silver sub-dials – for the time, day of the week, month and date indication – are made from several layers of lacquer, also a traditional feature in the LM collection. The sub-dials sit on hidden studs and appear suspended in the air like the balance wheel. This stainless steel edition has a salmon-coloured main plate as a background for the spectacular display, a new combination for MB&F, not just the LM series – and you know that at MONOCHROME, we love steel watches with salmon dials…
The transparent caseback lets you admire the movement; it is exquisitely hand-finished with respect to the 19th-century style, emphasising the craft with hand-made engravings. The in-house, manually-wound calibre uses 581 components, has a power reserve of 72 hours thanks to a double barrel, and beats at 18,000vph.
The friend that made the revolutionary LM Perpetual possible is Stephen McDonnell, watchmaker and movement prototyper. He designed the perpetual calendar system with an innovative “mechanical processor” to avoid common functional problems of classical QPs. His creation is trouble-free and user-friendly, incorporating the LM’s signature 14mm flying wheel in the dial centre. McDonnell separated the anchor and escape wheel from the balance to achieve the latter, split the escapement into two parts and connected them by a long, 11.78mm balance staff. MB&F implemented this innovative technical solution with the Legacy Machine Split Escapement, but this is another story.
With many other LM Perpetual references being limited editions, the new MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Stainless Steel is not. The new watch is presented on a brown alligator strap with a stainless steel folding buckle and will sell for CHF 164,000 (excl. taxes) or EUR 172,000 (excl. taxes). The steel and salmon combination may work as a magnet for the so-called watch investors, and until this crowd rushes in to inflate the price for available pieces on the secondary market, true watch collectors should consider beating them to purchase. Very lovely indeed!
For more information and online purchase, please visit www.mbandf.com.
Technical specifications – MB&F LM Perpetual Stainless Steel & Salmon Dial
Case: 44mm diameter x 17.5 mm thickness – stainless steel, brushed and polished – sapphire crystals with anti-reflective coating on both sides – 30m water-resistant
Dial: openworked with salmon-coloured base – centrally mounted balance wheel – 4 suspended sub-dials for day, date, month, hours and minutes -power reserve indicator and retrograde leap year at 4 and 7 o’clock
Movement: fully integrated manual-winding perpetual calendar movement developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell – 72h power reserve – 18,000vph- 581 components – hours, minutes, day, date, month, retrograde leap year and power reserve indication
Strap: hand-stitched brown alligator strap with a stainless steel folding buckle
Availability: now available, not limited
Price: CHF 164,000 (excl. taxes)
EUR 172,000 (excl. taxes)