MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual
MB&F and independent Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell have completely reinvented that most traditional of horological complications: the perpetual calendar. Every thing began with a blank sheet of paper…
The result is Legacy Machine Perpetual, featuring a visually stunning in-house movement – developed from the ground up to eliminate the drawbacks of conventional perpetual calendars.
I now have the pleasure to present yo Stephen McDonnell.
He will explain you the secrets behind the new Legacy Machine Perpetual …
Stephen McDonnell signed the movement …
Legacy Machine Perpetual features a fully integrated 581-component calibre − no module, no base movement − with a revolutionary new system for calculating the number of days in each month. 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.
A traditional perpetual calendar changing from February 28 to March 1 scrolls quickly through the 29th, 30th and 31st to arrive at the 1st. Legacy Machine Perpetual turns the traditional perpetual calendar system on its head by using a “mechanical processor” instead of the conventional space-consuming grand levier (big lever) system architecture. The 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, Legacy Machine Perpetual has a dedicated quickset pusher to adjust the year.
Taking a clockwise tour of the dial, at 12 o’clock we see the hours and minutes nestled between the arches of the balance; 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.
Legacy Machine Perpetual takes advantage of its fully integrated movement to place the perpetual calendar mechanism on top of the movement main plate so that it can be appreciated from above.
Using an innovative system developed especially for Legacy Machine Perpetual, the subdials appear to “float” above the movement with no visible attachments. The skeletonised subdials rest on hidden studs, which is technically impossible with traditional perpetual calendar mechanisms because they would block the movement of the grand levier.
Using a planetary cam, the mechanical processor also enables quicksetting of the year so that it displays correctly in the four-year leap year cycle
Legacy Machine Perpetual uses what is likely to be the world’s longest balance wheel pinion to connect that elegantly suspended balance, hovering above the top of the movement, to the escapement on the back of the movement. Ensuring the practicality and reliability of this approach was essential before any other development work began.
MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual technical details
Limited launch editions of 25 pieces in 18K red gold and 25 pieces in platinum 950.
Fully integrated perpetual calendar developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, featuring dial-side complication and mechanical processor system architecture with inbuilt safety mechanism. Manual winding with double mainspring barrels. Bespoke 14mm balance wheel with traditional regulating screws visible on top of the movement. Superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19 th century style; internal bevel angles highlighting hand craft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made engravings.
Power reserve: 72 hours
Balance frequency: 18,000 A/h / 2.5Hz
Number of components: 581
Number of jewels: 41
Hours, minutes, day, date, month, retrograde leap year and power reserve indicators
Material: launch editions in 18K 5N+ red gold or platinum 950
Dimensions: 44 mm x 17.5 mm
Number of components: 69 components
Water resistance: 30 m / 90′ / 3 atm
Sapphire crystals on top and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces
Strap & buckle
Black or dark brown hand-stitched alligator strap with gold / platinum folding buckle matching case material
The mechanical processor also enables an inbuilt safety feature that disconnects the quickset pushers during the date changeover, eliminating any risk of damage while the date is changing.
And again all the “Friends” that worked together to accomplish this novelty …
Concept: Maximilian Büsser / MB&F
Product design: Eric Giroud / Through the Looking Glass
Technical and production management: Serge Kriknoff / MB&F
Movement design and finish specifications: Stephen McDonnell and MB&F
Movement development: Stephen McDonnell and MB&F
R&D: Guillaume Thévenin and Ruben Martinez / MB&F
Wheels, pinions, movement component: Dominique Guye / DMP
Balance wheel bridge and plates: Benjamin Signoud / AMECAP
Balance wheel: Dominique Lauper / Precision Engineering
Balance spring: Stefan Schwab / Schwab-Feller
Bridges: Rodrigue Baume / Damatec, George Auer / Mecawatch
Perpetual calendar parts: Alain Pellet / Elefil
Movement component profile-turning: Yves Bandi / Bandi
Hand-engraving of movement: Sylvain Bettex / Glypto and Eddy Jaquet
Hand-finishing of movement components: Jacques-Adrien Rochat / C-L Rochat
PVD-treatment: Pierre-Albert Steinmann / Positive Coating
Movement assemblage: Didier Dumas, Georges Veisy, Anne Guiter, Florian Courbat and Emmanuel Maitre / MB&F
In-house machining: Alain Lemarchand / MB&F
After-Sales service: Florian Courbat / MB&F
Quality Control: Cyril Fallet / MB&F
Case : Pascal Queloz / Oréade
Dial: Maurizio Cervellieri / Natéber, Sébastien Paroz / Swissmec
Buckle: Dominique Mainier / G&F Chatelain
Crown and correctors: Jean-Pierre Cassard / Cheval Frères
Hands: Pierre Chillier, Isabelle Chillier and Félix Celetta / Fiedler
Sapphire crystals: Martin Stettler / Stettler
Strap: Olivier Purnot / Camille Fournet
Presentation box: Olivier Berthon / ATS Atelier Luxe
Production logistics: David Lamy and Isabel Ortega / MB&F
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The robot is cute but the watch leaves me cold. Even if I could afford it, I would have to pass.
MB&F takes whimsy to the next level. Their designs never disappoint and always fun.
Thank you for all the beautiful photos, Alexander.
Why don’t you list the price?
Simpel answer: I do not have them …
Inside of this master watch maker is living a little boy, very smart and made a robot like a clock of his dreams.
Comments are closed.