MB&F Unveils the Legacy Machine EVO Perpetual EVO Blue

An icy blue edition of this avant-garde perpetual calendar, with a light blue CVD dial plate and titanium case.

MB&F – short for Maximilian Büsser & Friends – has recently unveiled its Legacy Machine (LM) Perpetual EVO Blue, a “new icy blue dial-plate in the same highly-resistant titanium case.”  It joins the Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO family, which includes three zirconium limited editions of 15 pieces each: Black with a PVD dial, and Orange and Dark Blue, each with a CVD dial. The family also includes a titanium edition with a Green CVD dial, now discontinued and replaced by the newly launched Blue CVD dial edition. (PVD is physical vapour deposition, and CVD is chemical vapour deposition.)

MB&F

“Founded in 2005, MB&F is the world’s first-ever horological concept laboratory. With over 20 remarkable calibres forming the base of the critically acclaimed Horological and Legacy Machines, MB&F is continuing to follow Founder and Creative Director Maximilian Büsser’s vision of creation 3-D kinetic art by deconstructing traditional watchmaking.”

MB&F was founded by Maximilian (Max) Büsser in 2005. With a resume that includes a career at Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC) and Managing Director at Harry Winston Timepieces, Max resigned from the latter to found MB&F or Maximilian Büsser & Friends.

“MB&F is an artistic and micro-engineering laboratory dedicated to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches by bringing together talented horological professionals that Büsser both respects and enjoys working with.”

MB&F’s “resolutely unconventional”  Horological Machines (HM) and “historically inspired”  Legacy Machines (LM) took the horological world by storm. Categories such as Performance Art and Co-creations came later. In an industry that was (and still is) shrouded in secrecy, Max brought in transparency, hence the “Friends” in the name. Every individual or company – be it an artist, watchmaker, designer, and manufacturer in the horological ecosystem (for example case, hands, components, straps) – who work on an MB&F creation is given credit for that creation.

“MB&F creations have transported their wearers to destinations that exist only on maps of the imagination: from star-cruisers to deep-sea jellyfish, Maximilian Büsser’s Machines are the mechanical cartographers of the multiverse.”

Design

“The EVO line marked a significant evolution, with the release of the first LM Perpetual EVO pieces in 2020: their wearers became the navigators of their active lifestyle; the map was their life. On this journey, they would never have to leave their watch behind.”

The LM Perpetual EVO is a casual or active-watch interpretation of the LM Perpetual which was introduced in 2015. Given the sheer boldness of MB&F timepieces, conventional labels such as “dress watch,” “sports watch,” “formal timepiece,” “casual timepiece” etc. do not apply to them so easily.

“The LM Perpetual EVO is not a watch for sports. It is a watch for life.”  In other words, the Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO is a GADA or Go Anywhere Do Anything perpetual calendar timepiece. A feat that only MB&F can pull off. It does not have to make sense, but then this is MB&F.

Key features

LM Perpetual Engine: The LM Perpetual EVO’s calibre, or the LM Perpetual Engine, “is an award-winning perpetual calendar that replaces traditional constructions with an innovative mechanical processor.”  The LM Perpetual Engine is designed by Stephen McDonnell, a Northern Irish watchmaker, who studied Theology at Oxford University and watchmaking at WOSTEP in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He is among the “Friends” of MB&F.

He rethought the “entire mechanical basis” of the perpetual calendar complication. Historically perpetual calendars have used 31 days as a default, and then decide whether the months have 30 days, or 28 or 29 days in the case of February and Leap Year. The LM Perpetual Engine uses 28 days as a default.

“The LM Perpetual uses a “mechanical processor” consisting of a series of superimposed disks. This revolutionary processor takes the default number of days in the month at 28 – because, logically, 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, and removes the possibility of the date jumping incorrectly.”

An additional safety feature disengages the actuators during the changeover of date. If the actuators are activated while the date is changing, there is no damage to the calibre.

FlexRing: A new element in the LM Perpetual EVO, the FlexRing is a monobloc shock-absorbing system. It is “an annular dampener fitted between case and movement, providing shock protection along the vertical and lateral axes.”  Furthermore, “machined from a single block of stainless steel, the dampener imparts exceptional robustness to the perpetual calendar.”  The FlexRing reinforces the GADA nature of this timepiece, making the calibre resistant to shocks inevitable with an active lifestyle.

No-Bezel Construction: The LM Perpetual EVO’s domed sapphire crystal is fused directly to its 44 mm case. This design aspect creates “increased openness” and “highlights the equilibrium between the legibility of LM Perpetual EVO’s calendar indications and the cinematic play of the engine components – surmounted by the iconic MB&F hovering balance wheel.”  In other words, the open dial is not just a timepiece with perpetual calendar. It is pure horological theatre.

Perpetual Calendar Functions: While the LM Perpetual had circular pushers for calendar functions, the LM Perpetual EVO has “double-sprung oblong actuators.”  These boost tactile comfort for the wearer and make calendar adjustments easy.

Screw-down crown: The LM Perpetual EVO’s screw-down crown allows it to have a water resistance of 80 metres. A safety feature of the screw-down crown is the débrayage of the winding stem: When the crown is pushed in and tightened, it is disengaged from the winding mechanism, preventing over-winding of the mainspring barrel. Safety features like this are always welcome in a timepiece, even more so in one suited for an active lifestyle.

Strap: The LM Perpetual EVO has a “closely-fitted, integrated rubber strap for the smoothest wearing experience of any MB&F Machine ever.”  This strap reinforces the GADA nature of this timepiece.

Calibre or Engine

The LM Perpetual EVO is powered by a manual winding “fully integrated perpetual calendar developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, featuring dial-side complication and mechanical processor system architecture with inbuilt safety mechanism.

It features a “bespoke 14mm balance wheel with traditional regulating screws visible on top of the movement.”

It is an extremely well-finished calibre, “throughout respecting 19th century style.”  It features “internal bevel angles highlighting hand craft, polished bevels, Geneva waves; hand-made engravings.”

It comprises of 581 components, has 41 jewels, beats at a frequency of 18,000 bph or 2.5 Hz and has a power reserve of 72 hours. Elements of the calibre can be viewed on the open dial, and visible on the caseback side.

Functions

Hours, Minutes, Calendar Functions, Power Reserve and Leap Year are displayed on 4 subdials and 2 retrograde indicators. Each subdial is galvanic black and features Super-LumiNova® numerals and hands, “except for the leap year and power reserve.”

Subdial at 12 o’clock displays the hours and minutes.

Subdial at 3 o’clock displays the days of the week.

Subdial at 9 o’clock displays the date.

Subdial at 6 o’clock displays the months.

Power Reserve is indicated by a retrograde indicator at 5 o’clock – nestled between the day of the week and months subdial.

Leap Year is indicated by a retrograde indicator at 7 o’clock – nestled between the months and date subdial.

Case and Strap

The LM Perpetual EVO’s case is crafted in Titanium. Its dimensions are 44 mm * 17.5 mm. It comprises of 70 components and is water resistant upto 8 ATM / 80 metres / 270 feet.

Both the dial side and caseback side have sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. It comes with a rubber strap with a titanium folding buckle.

Concluding Thoughts

Perpetual Calendars are often uninspiring. Often there is little to differentiate them across brands. Sometimes they do little for a brand, other than signal that they have this foundation grand-complication in their catalogue.

Max has a way with his imagination, even with the “historically inspired” LM series. Beginning with the LM Perpetual in 2015, and now the EVO version, both Max, Stephen McDonnell and the several other “Friends” on this project have reimagined and reinterpreted the Perpetual Calendar. They have made it exciting and sexy. There is nothing quite like the LM Perpetual EVO in the world of horology, except for a handful of haute-horology mainstream and independent timepiece brands. It combines the absolute best of horology and independent watchmaking. We should be grateful it exists. If you can afford it, grab it. You will not regret it.

Availability and Pricing

Name: Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO Blue

Price: United States Dollar (USD): 198,000 + VAT

Not a limited edition, but MB&F is planning to produce a maximum of 35 to 40 pieces a year.

Website: www.mbandf.com/en

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