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Legacy Machine Perpetual: A new take on the reinvented perpetual calendar

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March 2018


Legacy Machine Perpetual: A new take on the reinvented perpetual calendar

A new look for the same revolutionary design. First released in 2015, the LM Perpetual by MB&F has been made available in a new limited edition in titanium with a green face.

The Legacy Machine (LM) project by MB&F began with brand founder Maximilian Büsser asking himself what his watchmaking proclivities would be had he been born 100 years earlier, in the mid 1800s.

That answer has become evident in an excellent collection that pays tribute to 19th century watchmaking, by reinterpreting the horological past and recreating them as contemporary masterpieces.

The Legacy Machine Perpetual is part of that project, which was first released in 2015. It was realized with the help of independent watchmaker Stephen McDonnell, who had been instrumental in the realization of MB&F’s very first timepiece, the Horological Machine No.1.

The new look LM Perpetual by MB&F in titanium with a green face
The new look LM Perpetual by MB&F in titanium with a green face

The thing with perpetual calendar watches is that they haven’t evolved all too much since they were invented about 150 years ago. For example, they usually start with a 31-day month as the default, and basically fast-forward through the extra days of shorter months.

So a traditional perpetual calendar changing from February 28 to March 1 scrolls quickly through the 29th, 30th and 31st to arrive at the 1st of the next month. And as a result, I would put money on February – being the shortest month - as the time when perpetual calendar watches are most likely to be taken in for repairs.

Legacy Machine Perpetual: A new take on the reinvented perpetual calendar

With the LM Perpetual, Stephen McDonnell has turned the perpetual calendar logic backwards. The watch features a fully integrated 581-component calibre – that means no additional modules on top of a base movement. And real advantage of the movement is that it has a new system for calculating the number of days in each month.

By using a so-called “mechanical processor” instead of the conventional grand levier (big lever) system the watch uses a default 28-day month. It then adds extra days as required, meaning there is no fast-forwarding redundant days. The LM Perpetual also has a dedicated quickset pusher to adjust for leap years.

Fully integrated movement of the LM Perpetual
Fully integrated movement of the LM Perpetual

It wouldn’t make much sense to develop a revolutionary mechanism and then hide it beneath the dial. Not having a grand levier frees up the centre of the complication, meaning that we essentially get a dial-free display of the impressive movement.

The subdials also appear to float with no visible attachments, as they rest on hidden studs. Again, this is only made possible by avoiding a grand levier system.

In an interesting technical twist, the eye-catching balance hovers atop the mechanism, connected to the escapement on the back of the movement by what is probably the world’s longest balance staff.

Legacy Machine Perpetual: A new take on the reinvented perpetual calendar

Since its release in 2015, the impressive Legacy Machine Perpetual has been made available in several limited editions. They include platinum with a blue face, 18k red gold with grey face, 18k white gold with purple face, and 18k white gold with dark grey face.

Legacy Machine Perpetual: A new take on the reinvented perpetual calendar

Now the Legacy Machine Perpetual is available in a new limited edition of only 50 pieces in a 44m titanium case with a green face – probably a nod to the Irish heritage of the master that developed this timepiece: Stephen McDonnell.