The world was introduced to the perpetual calendar complication in 1762 thanks to an English horologist named Thomas Mudge who invented the earliest-known watch with a perpetual calendar complication. MB&F is no stranger to the complication, case in point: the Legacy Machine Perpetual. This year, the brand has unveiled a new variant of the LM Perpetual — the LM Perpetual Stainless Steel that comes with a salmon-coloured plate. This marks the brand’s debut of the steel-and-salmon combination.
Previous variants of the Legacy Machine Perpetual were as follows: platinum with blue face (limited to 25 pieces); in 18 ct red gold with grey face (limited to 25 pieces); in 18 ct white gold with purple face (limited to 25 pieces); in 18 ct white gold with dark grey face; in grade 5 titanium with green face (limited to 50 pieces); in 18 ct yellow gold with blue face (limited to 25 pieces) and in palladium with aquamarine face (limited to 25 pieces).
So, what is a perpetual calendar? It’s a complication that displays the date, day, month and year. More importantly, it automatically takes into account the leap years over the course of a century. Once the century has been reached or passed, the watch will have to be manually adjusted/winded.
This 44mm timepiece uses an innovative system developed especially for Legacy Machine Perpetual. Here, 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.
Taking a clockwise tour of the dial, at 12 o’clock one spots the hours and minutes resting between the elegant arches of the balance. At 3 o’clock lies the day of the week display, the power reserve is indicated at 4 o’clock and the month is shown at 6 o’clock. 7 o’clock is where the retrograde leap year indicator is located and the date display sits at 9 o’clock.
Like the earlier variants, this Legacy Machine Perpetual also uses a “mechanical processor” consisting of a series of superimposed disks. This processor takes the default number of days in the month at 28 — because all months have at least 28 days — and then adds the extra days as required by each individual month. This ensures that each month has exactly the right number of days. There is no “skipping over” redundant days, so there is no possibility of the date jumping incorrectly. The watch also gets corrector pushers that were earlier seen on the LM Perpetual EVO editions.
The watch is powered by a fully integrated 581-component calibre with no module, no base movement — and with an innovative system for calculating the number of days in each month. The movement offers a power reserve of 72 hours. Turning the watch reveals the skeleton caseback with the engraving of ‘Perpetual’, and ‘Stainless Steel’.
This new steel-and-salmon Legacy Machine Perpetual is finished on a black, grey, brown or blue hand-stitched alligator strap with a stainless steel folding buckle matching case material.