If you're familiar with the MB&F brand, you know using the word "conventional" to describe their timepieces would be because you're making a mistake or being sarcastic. This self-proclaimed rebellion leader of the watchmaking world creates works of art built to stand out in ways that some horology purists may find unappealing. Some have even gone as far as labeling the designs as eccentric.
The relatively young Swiss watch company was founded with the goal of blending art with watchmaking in ways no one else had. Oddly though, the company does have a collection of watches that look more traditional.
The Legacy Machine no. 1 (LM1) was conceived out of founder Maximilian Büsser's desire to explore how he would design a watch if he had been born a hundred years earlier. The result is a blend of classical excellence and traditional watchmaking that takes inspiration from the Eiffel Tower and Jules Verne while retaining the MB&F DNA. Subsequently, the brand has gone on to expand this collection, with the most significant addition being the Legacy Machine Perpetual (LMP).
Introduced in 2015, LMP is a collaboration between MB&F and independent watch designer Stephen McDonnell. The timepieces under this collection redefined the mechanics of the perpetual calendar complication in more ways than one. You could argue that this is the company's most significant contribution to the art of watchmaking.
Earlier this year, the LM Perpetual timepiece received a new color scheme; a Stainless Steel case with a salmon dial (a first for the brand). This new addition to the collection enriches the variety of the LMP with the previous designs in red gold, platinum, white gold, titanium, yellow gold, and palladium.
The new edition also features ergonomic corrector pushers that avid followers of the brand's LM Perpetual EVO lineup will instantly recognize. These pushers not only facilitate easy adjustment of the watch's calendar function but also enhance its overall functionality and user-friendly design.
With a diameter of 44mm and a thickness of 17.5mm, the watch possesses a robust profile, providing a substantial and commanding presence on the wrist.
Dials &ٍ Subdials
The dial of the LM Perpetual showcases a striking balance between complexity and elegance. While it might be a little too much for some, the dial shows how seriously the company takes its designs. The open design allows for an immersive view of the intricate mechanisms at play, while the huge center balance adds drama and exhibits technical prowess.
Thanks to their hidden studs, the subdials cleverly appear to float above the movement, further enhancing the dial's spectacular look. The hours and minutes subdial sits at the 12 o'clock position, while the days of the week subdial takes up the 3 o'clock position. Slightly below, the power reserve indicator occupies 4 o'clock providing the watch's user a precise timing of when the next wind would be required. The month subdial is found at 6 o'clock, the retrograde leap year indicator at 7 o'clock, and the date at 9 o'clock.
At the heart of the LM Perpetual is the 581-component caliber, specially crafted to eliminate traditional perpetual calendar problems. The movement utilizes a mechanical processor system consisting of a series of superimposed disks that ensure precision when compared to the conventional "big lever" system architecture.
The system also utilizes a 28-day calendar system that only adds an extra day as required, eliminating issues like date skipping and gear jamming common with conventional systems. In addition, unlike traditional systems that require users to scroll through up to 47 months to set a leap year, the processor enables quick setting of the year to allow correct display in the leap year cycle.
Since its introduction, the LM Perpetual has won a number of awards, including the Best Calendar Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in 2016.
Even if you're a fan of the more unconventional MB&F designs, the approach the watchmaker uses for its perpetual calendar timepieces should draw your attention. Its bold elements still stand out and arguably don't stray too far away from the artistic theme the brand is known for.