Hero of the luxury replica watch maker independents, and master of marketing and product, Geneva-based MB&F will now release the brand’s first perpetual calendar timepiece with the Legacy Machine Perpetual. This newest member of the MB&F Legacy Machine replica watch collection family was produced in collaboration with Irish-born replica watchmaker, Stephen McDonnell, who is one among that rare breed of super-talents behind the scenes. McDonnell designed the manually wound perpetual calendar movement inside of the Legacy Machine Perpetual from the ground up as a fully integrated new perpetual calendar mechanism totally distinct from everything else out there. Set in the same 44mm wide Legacy Machine case as the original LM1, the Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar is, perhaps, MB&F’s most direct competition to the storied product collections of Switzerland’s largest and oldest replica watch “maisons” to date.
The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual doesn’t break the mold of previous generation Legacy Machine luxury replica watches, but it does a unique look with a skeletonized dial and fully populated face given the amount of indicators required for the complicated movement. Also, the polished bezel mixed with the light reflections off visible parts of the movement make for a much more “dazzling” look while on the wrist.
Designed and produced exclusively for MB&F, the Legacy Machine Perpetual movement is produced from 581 parts operating at 2.5Hz (18,000 bph) with a power reserve of 72 hours. Intended to resemble legacy 19th century pocket replica watch movements in aesthetic style, there is very little which is actually retro about the movement, aside from how it looks, with its swoopy lines and hand finishing. McDonnell was careful to match the thematic aesthetics applied to the Legacy Machine as set forth by Jean-Francois Mojon and Kari Voutilianen, even though the movement of the Legacy Machine Perpetual does have a more modern feel to it.
One of the most special design elements of the movement will likely be easily overlooked by most because it isn’t obvious. Like all LM replica watches, the Legacy Machine Perpetual’s dial emphasizes the large, floating balance wheel that, so far, helps to visually and mechanically define the collection. Follow the hand-polished bridge to the balance wheel and hairspring and you may see something missing. There is no escapement. Well, there is, but you can’t see it from the dial. MB&F and Stephen McDonnell designed the system with what might be the world’s longest balance wheel pinion rod that goes through the movement and connects to an escapement system which is visible through the rear of the replica watch.
Enthusiasts should understand that considerable engineering effort was require for this and other elements of the Legacy Machine Perpetual. It is common in such artistic and complicated replica watches for a considerable amount of the timepiece’s expense to be attributed to designing the movement to match a particular aesthetic dream versus building the aesthetics around the movement.