MB&F Legacy Machine perpetual calendar watch hands-on operation
Geneva-based swiss MB&F is an independent hero of luxury watch manufacturers, as well as marketing and product masters, and will now release the brand’s first perpetual calendar timepiece with Legacy Machine Perpetual. The newest member of the Legacy Machine watch series was produced in collaboration with Irish-born watchmaker Stephen McDonnell. Stephen McDonnell is one of the rare super talents behind the scenes.
McDonnell designed the manual winding perpetual calendar movement inside Legacy Machine Perpetual from scratch, which is completely separate from other functions as a completely integrated new perpetual calendar mechanism. Like the old LM1, the Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar uses the same 44mm-wide traditional case as the original LM1, which is the most direct competition between MB&F and the legendary product series of the largest and oldest Swiss watch “brand” so far.
MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual will not spoil the appearance of the previous generation Legacy Machine watch, but through the number of indicators required by the complex movement, its hollow dial and dial full of filled holes have a unique appearance. In addition, the polished bezel is mixed with the reflected light from the visible part of the movement to make the appearance on the wrist more “dazzling”.
The Legacy Machine Perpetual movement is specially designed and produced for MB&F. It is made of 581 parts and has an operating frequency of 2.5 Hz (18,000 bph) and a power reserve of 72 hours. Designed to imitate the aesthetic style of the traditional 19th-century pocket watch movement, apart from the movement’s appearance, curved lines and hand-made decoration, almost nothing is retro. McDonnell carefully matched the theme aesthetics applied to Legacy Machine proposed by Jean-Francois Mojon and Kari Voutilianen, even though Legacy Machine Perpetual’s movement does have a more modern feel.
One of the most special design elements of the movement is easily overlooked by most people because it is not obvious. Like all LM watches, the dial of the Legacy Machine Perpetual also emphasizes the large floating balance wheel, which has helped define the series both visually and mechanically so far. Follow the hand-polished bridge to the balance wheel and hairspring, and you may find something missing. There is no escapement. Yes, there is, but you can’t see it on the dial. The system designed by MB&F and Stephen McDonnell may be the longest balance pinion lever in the world. The pinion lever runs through the movement and is connected to the escapement system, which can be accessed from the back of the watch.
Enthusiasts should understand that this and other elements of Legacy Machine Perpetual require a lot of engineering work. In such artistic and complex watches, the considerable expense of the clock is usually attributed to designing the movement to match a specific aesthetic dream, rather than building an aesthetic around the movement.
Like other MBF&F Legacy Machine watches, the time is displayed on an off-center white lacquered dial with blue steel hands – here, at 12 o’clock. Note that the lack of centralized hour and minute hands avoids the presence of dials on top of other dials-I happen to find this look particularly pleasing. Since Loiseau 1f4, I have not recalled seeing a dial design like this (well, kind of).
Of course, in a certain degree of visual overlap, the balance wheel assembly looks like a hovering alien spacecraft floating on a small watch city. Even if Legacy Machine is MB&F’s more traditional watch series, it will appear. It can still evoke interesting science fiction ideas, such as the more modern Horological Machine watch series produced by the brand at the same time as LM watches.