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MB&F - Legacy Machine Perpetual

MB&F and independent Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell - who also collaborated with the independent Geneva watchmaker for the Horological Machine No.1 - joined forces once again to reinvent one of the most traditional horological complications: the perpetual calendar.

The result is Legacy Machine Perpetual, featuring a stunning in-house manual movement developed from the ground up to eliminate the drawbacks of conventional perpetual calendar.

While conventional perpetual calendars are generally built as modules fitted on top of an existing movement, the LM Perpetual is driven by a fully integrated 581-component calibre created with the aesthetic benefit of placing the full complication on the dial side, underneath the spectacular 14mm suspended balance beating at 18,000 vibrations per hour with an autonomy of 72 hours.

Traditional perpetual calendar mechanisms use a 31-day month as the default and basically "delete" superfluous dates for the months with fewer days – by fast-forwarding through the redundant dates during changeover.

The LM Perpetual changes the approach by using a "mechanical processor" instead of the conventional space-consuming big lever system architecture.

This mechanical processor utilises a default 28-day month and adds extra days as required. This means that each month always has the exact number of days required; there is no fast-forwarding or skipping redundant days. And while the leap year can only be set on traditional perpetual calendars by scrolling through up to 47 months, LM Perpetual has a dedicated quickset pusher to adjust the year.

To avoid possible damages to the mechanism if adjusted while the date is changing, the adjuster pushers automatically deactivate when the calendar changes.

The subdials appear to float above the movement with no visible attachments. They rest on hidden studs, a solution which would be technically impossible with traditional perpetual calendar mechanisms because they would block the movement of the long lever which transmits information to the appropriate components and mechanisms by moving backwards and forwards when the date changes.

The hours and minutes subdial is placed at 12 o’clock, between the elegant arches of the balance. The other indications are: day of the week at 3 o’clock, power reserve indicator at 4 o’clock, month at 6 o’clock, retrograde leap year indicator at 7 o’clock, and date at 9 o’clock.

The case has a diameter of 44 mm with a thickness of 17.5 mm including the domed sapphire crystals. Managing to place all 581 components of the movement in virtually the same-sized case as the simpler Legacy Machine 1 2 is by itself a great achievement. The case offers a water resistance of 30 metres.

Through the display back it is possible to appreciate the meticulous hand finishing performed respecting the 19th century style with internal bevel angles, polished bevels, Geneva waves and hand-made engravings.

The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual launches with a limited edition of 25 pieces in red gold and 25 pieces in platinum with prices (before taxes) of Swiss Francs 138,000 and Swiss Francs 168,000 respectively.

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