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MB&F revisits its Legacy Machine Perpetual this week with a new model featuring a salmon-colored dial plate. The combination of a steel case and salmon hue is a first for MB&F, which will release the new model in limited production, not as a limited edition.

The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual with its new salmon-colored plate.

MB&F’s latest Legacy Machine Perpetual, which won the Best Calendar Watch prize at the GPHG (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève) in 2016, offers the same groundbreaking, manual-wind LM Perpetual movement conceived by MB&F Friend Stephen McDonnell for the 2015 original.

That groundbreaking design means the Legacy Machine Perpetual will operate with no skipped dates or jammed gears. Owners often inadvertently create problems within their perpetual calendars by attempting to reset them while the gears are mid-function, resulting in some damage to the highly complex date mechanism.

McDonnell’s design is proactive in a sense because when the user attempts to adjust the calendar, the movement’s pushers automatically deactivate so they don’t cause any damage to other components.

At the heart of the difference is how the Legacy Machine Perpetual determines dates. Traditional perpetual calendars use a 31-day month as the default, changing, for example, from February 28 to March 1 quickly to arrive at the 1st. Interrupting the movement during this critical changeover can damage it. 

With this perpetual calendar movement, Busser and friends essentially replaced that traditional system with a mechanical processor that instead utilizes that default 28-day month and adds extra days only as required.

Three years go MB&F added a sporty version of the perpetual calendar when it launched the Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO, a zirconium-cased update to the original model.

This new model, with its premiere 44mm by 17.5mm steel case/salmon dial plate-color combination, is a handsome – and welcome addition to the full collection of a true ground-breaking original.

Price: $180,000. 

 

Since its 2015 debut, the MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual has been offered:

– in platinum 950 with blue face (limited to 25 pieces);

– in 18k red gold with grey face (limited to 25 pieces);

– in 18k white gold with purple face (limited to 25 pieces);

– in 18k white gold with dark grey face;

– in grade 5 titanium with green face (limited to 50 pieces);

– in 18k yellow gold with blue face (limited to 25 pieces);

– in palladium 950 with aquamarine face (limited to 25 pieces);

– in stainless steel with salmon face.

MB&F renews its dual-balance Legacy Machine No.2, now casing it in palladium and highlighting a stunning aquamarine sunray dial. The new limited edition (of eighteen) is just the latest version of the LM2 since its debut in 2013 with a choice of a red gold, white gold and platinum case.

The new MB&F Legacy Machine No. 2 Palladium.

The new MB&F LM2 Palladium highlights a flying double-balance mechanism that has its two oscillating balance wheels seemingly levitating under a large, domed sapphire crystal.

An ode to historical dual-regulator designs from Abraham-Louis Breguet, Ferdinand Berthoud and Antide Janvier, the LM2’s balances each beat at their own rate while the large planetary differential below continuously averages out these two rates to feed power to the hands.

In addition to the new case metal, this latest LM2 also features a new NAC finish that gives the caliber a deep anthracite color. You’ll find the names of the two men responsible for the movement (award-winning watchmakers Jean-François Mojon and Kari Voutilainen) hand engraved on the caseback.

The Legacy Machine No. 2 is one of MB&F’s rarest models. It was launched in 2013 in red gold, white gold and a limited edition of eighteen pieces in platinum 950. MB&F added a limited edition of eighteen pieces in titanium with a green face in 2017, and in 2018 it was marked by a limited edition of twelve pieces in white gold with a purple face. In 2019, a red gold blue limited edition was launched in just twelve pieces.

This new Palladium model joins the collection in a limited edition of eighteen pieces.

Price: $172,000. 

Specifications: MB&F Legacy Machine No. 2 Palladium

Movement: Three-dimensional horological movement developed exclusively for MB&F by Jean-François Mojon at Chronode and Kari Voutilainen, manual winding with single mainspring barrel, frequency of 18,000 bph (2.5Hz),  45-hour power reserve.

Differential: Planetary differential comprising 3 gears and 5 pinions.

Balance wheels: Two bespoke 11mm balance wheels with four traditional regulating screws floating above the movement and dials.

Balance spring: Traditional Breguet curve terminating with stud holder.

Finish: Superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style; polished internal bevel angles highlighting handcraft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; gold chatons with polished countersinks; hand-made engravings; NAC finishing for the Palladium edition.

Functions: Hours and minutes, planetary differential transmits the average rate of the two regulators to the single gear train.

Case: Palladium.44mm by 19mm, water resistance to 30 meters.

Sapphire crystals: High domed sapphire crystal on top and sapphire crystal on back with anti-reflective coating on both sides.

Strap: Black, brown or blue hand-stitched alligator strap with tang buckle matching the case.

Price: $172,000. 

 

At the end of the year, it’s time to note our favorite 2022 debut watches. Through the end of the week, we’ll re-acquaint you with our top timekeepers of the year.

Below is our second installment of our four-day  review of our favorites, in no particular order.

 

Patek Philippe: Chronograph with Perpetual Calendar 

And among this watchmaker’s many 2022 chronograph debuts, look no further than the new Ref. 5373P-001, a split-seconds mono-pusher chronograph with perpetual calendar, for some true novelty. The watch differs from its predecessor (Ref. 5372) with newly inverted displays, pushers and crown.

Made for specifically “for the right-hand wrists of left-handers,” according to the watchmaker, the new 38.3mm platinum-cased watch is a premiere design for the company.

Patek Philippe notes however that a 1927 one-of-a-kind watch inspired the design of the new model. Like the earlier watch, the new watch features its integrated chronograph monopusher at the 9 o’clock position with the split-seconds pusher set, unusually, at 8 o’clock.

The sporty red, black  and grey dial on the Ref. 5373P-001 is cleverly finished with a black gradation at its edge, framing snailed ebony-black subsidiary dials.The watch’s beautifully finished caliber CHR 27-525 PS Q, still the thinnest split-seconds chronograph movement with perpetual calendar ever produced by the manufacture, can be admired through the sapphire-crystal display back, which is interchangeable with the solid-platinum back delivered with the watch. Price upon request. 

 

MB&F: M.A.D.1 Red

Collectors frustrated by very limited nature of the 2021 MB&F M.A.D.1 had a chance to score a new version of the watch, which is a very cool, affordably priced automatic watch with lateral time display and tricked-out upside-down Miyota movement.

Like that first watch, the newer red model also displays time via two highly luminous rotating cylinders around its case. Just as eye-catching is the unidirectional titanium and tungsten triple-blade rotor spinning quickly atop the watch. MB&F makes all this happen by fitting and re-engineering the watch’s Miyota movement upside-down in the M.A.D. 1 Red case.     

MB&F is making these special editions under a new brand name, M.A.D. Editions, and has long-term plans for additional models. Collectors who have previously contacted MB&F about the earlier M.A.D. Edition watch, or who already own an MB&F watch (or are MB&F Friends) are first in line to purchase the new watch. 

Given the price (CHF 2,900) and the pedigree of the new M.A.D.1 Red, the watch sold out quickly.

 

Zenith: Caliber 135 Observatoire Limited Édition 

Zenith teamed with Phillips and independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen to restore and hand-decorate a batch of vintage Zenith Caliber 135-O movements. From the partnership, Zenith launched the Caliber 135 Observatoire Limited Edition, a stunning 38mm platinum chronometer watch rife with vintage design cues that complement the 1950s-era manual-wind movement inside.

The modern Zenith star logo on the dial may be the only contemporary design detail on this retro beauty. Its tapered lugs, sapphire glass box crystal, triangular hour markers, faceted gold hands and seconds subdial recall the mid-20th century era when Zenith routinely took prizes in Swiss chronometry competitions – frequently with its Caliber 135. 

With more than 230 chronometry prizes, the Caliber 135-O holds the most awards of any observatory chronometer caliber in the history of watchmaking.

In addition to hand finishing the movement (above), Voutilainen (through his atelier) also applied an eye-catching guilloché engraving in a fish-scale motif to the dial along the bezel. Inside the seconds subdial, you’ll find the movement’s serial number inscribed, a gesture meant to note that each movement, regulated originally by revered chronométriers Charles Fleck or René Gygax, has been updated by Voutilainen and his team.

Unusually, Zenith and Voutilainen has signed “Neuchâtel” at the bottom of the dial. This denotes the historical Observatory where the Calibre 135-O competed and won so many of it Swiss chronometry competitions. Zenith and Phillips offered the now sold-out watch as a series of ten, each priced at CHF 132,900.  Will we see more from this partnership in 2023? Let’s hope so. 

 

Bulgari: Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition

Especially notable among Bulgari’s late 2022 debuts are two special editions created in collaboration with Japanese designers. 

One watch of the pair, the Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition, is made with Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima, and is one of our favorites for 2022.

Sejima, who holds the 2010 Pritzker Prize among many other architecture awards, focuses the eye with a mirrored dial under a dot-pattern sapphire crystal on her version of the eight-sided Bulgari Octo Finissimo. The effect is mesmerizing, especially with the entire dial framed in a 36.6mm polished stainless steel case.

According to Bulgari, the idea bring together a “contrast between material and transparency, the visible and the invisible,” which Sejima devised in part to reflect the aesthetic codes apparent in her architectural work. 

The architect’’s signature is inscribed on the sapphire crystal caseback, which opens up the  nicely decorated automatic Manufacture movement, BVL Calibre 138 – complete with (surprise!) a platinum micro-rotor. 

Bulgari will make the Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition as a 360-piece limited edition and will delivered it in a special mirrored steel box. Price: $14,100. 

 

Montblanc: 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen LE1786

Montblanc’s bronze-cased world timer is dominated by two rotating three-dimensional globes, marks the return of the watchmaker’s stunning blue glacier pattern dial placed within an oxygen-free case.

First seen during Watches and Wonders 2022 gracing the Montblanc 1958 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen, the dial is the result of using an old artisanal technique called gratté boisé, also found on the firm’s new 1858 Iced Sea Automatic collection.

Like with all Montblanc 1858 Geosphere models, both the Northern and Southern hemispheres are represented with two three-dimensional globes that turn anti-clockwise and include a day & night indication so that the wearer can see what time it is across the Earth with a simple glance.

Price: $8,600. 

 

Alpina: Seastrong Diver 300 Automatic Calanda, 

Alpina’s first timepiece made with a 100% recycled stainless steel case, the watch is named to pay tribute to the Calanda, the first ship to fly the Swiss flag. The timekeeper uses recycled steel sourced from the shipping industry and made by Thyssen Krupp. Alpina pairs the watch’s 42mm case with a recycled plastic wristband.

The Geneva-based watchmaker adds the new dive watch to its expanding lines of eco-friendly models. You might recall that Alpina also launched the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic collection in 2020. That watch features a case made largely (70%) from plastic fishing net debris. In addition, that model’s strap is made using recycled plastic bottles while its box is made from recycled plastic.

Available as a limited edition of 300 units, the Seastrong Diver 300 Automatic Calanda’s case is polished with a satin finish, while its unidirectional rotating notched bezel is brush-finished. Alpina embeds the hour and minute hands with vintage beige luminescence and tips the seconds hand with a red triangle Alpina logo.

As noted above, Alpina has paired the watch’s recycled case with a recycled plastic (PET) strap in grey and black. Each watch comes in a case entirely made from recycled plastic, alongside a single-page warranty and a certificate of authenticity printed on FSC Recycled-certified paper.

Price: $1,895.

MB&F won the grand prize at the 2022 Grand Prix D’Horlogerie De Geneve (GPHG) with its Legacy Machine Sequential Evo. The pioneering independent watchmaker also took home the Challenge Watch prize with its M.A.D.1 Red.

The GPHG Grand Prize went to the MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential Evo.

Hermès also took two awards, winning both the Ladies’ Complication and the Men’s Complication categories for the same model family in different sizes and iterations.

Similarly, Bulgari won in both the Jewellery Watch and the Audacity categories, while Van Cleef & Arpels took the prize in the Mechanical Clock and the Innovation categories.

The remaining GPHG trophies were awarded to Akrivia, Grand Seiko, Ferdinand Berthoud, Grönefeld, H. Moser & Cie, Krayon, M.A.D. Editions, Parmigiani Fleurier, Sylvain Pinaud, TAG Heuer, Trilobe, Tudor and Voutilainen.

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra picked up the GPHG 2022 Audacity prize.

The Special Jury Prize, which rewards a key figure or institution in the watchmaking world, was attributed this year to François Junod, automaton-maker and sculptor.

See the GPHG website for a full list of the 2022 winners.

MB&F is now widening the reach of its LM Split Escapement EVO, which debuted originally last year as a limited edition for the UAE’s 50th anniversary.

MB&F’s new Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO.

Launched during Geneva Watch Days, the new Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO version offers two modifications from existing models. One is the dial color, now a cool, icy light blue with grey subdials. The second change is that MB&F has rotated the entire mechanism clockwise by 30 degrees, creating a new sense of asymmetry to the LM Split Escapement dial.

The watch’s new EVO designation means MB&F has dedicated its sporty, bezel-free 44mm EVO case to house the spectacular movement, which, as it name implies, separates or ‘splits’ its escapement into two halves. Earlier LM Split Escapement models were housed in the MB&F’s dressier 44mm gold or titanium case.

Designed by Northern Irish master watchmaker Stephen McDonnell, the movement features the world’s longest balance staff. Traveling through the entire movement, the 12mm-long staff connects the large balance wheel (hovering over the dial) to the remaining parts of the escapement – anchor and escape wheel – on the opposite side of the movement.

The new model will be joined by a second, limited edition of the watch, available only at a new MB&F LAB store to be opened in Beverly Hills with long-time MB&F retail partner Westime.

The MB&F Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO, Beverly Hills Edition.

That model, limited to twenty-five units, comes with a black base plate, metallic blue dial and open counters. It will be the only MB&F LAB edition released this year.

MB&F is offering the Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO in two versions:

Titanium version: Grade 5 titanium case with pastel blue baseplate and dark grey dials.

Beverly Hills edition: Limited edition of 25 pieces in grade 5 titanium case with black baseplate and blue dials. Price for either model: $80,000.