Editor’s note: Now that the novelties from the Geneva Watch Days 2021 have come, impressed us and gone, here’s looking at something more radically different from a ‘house’ that knows how to delight. Given this watch has been released previously in many different avatars and has been covered extensively over the years, this is not a generic review explaining how it works and stats laid out. It is simply our Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new MB&F LM Perpetual Palladium. For our standard detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
“‘Movement is life;’ and it is well to be able to forget the past, and kill the present by continual change,” said Jules Verne
MB&F’s Legacy Machine series are an artistic interpretation of the past of watchmaking, built to fit the wrists of today, while at the same time imbibing the spirit of the future.
The new MB&F LM Perpetual Palladium is first and foremost defined by its novel calibre, a movement that since 2015 has redefined how perpetual calendar complications can be mechanically improved. Given these account for all of the necessary calendar changes, so 28 days, 29 days, 30 days and 31 days for a period of over 100-years (if kept wound), they are an embodiment of the sentiment ‘movement is life’.
The new MB&F LM Perpetual Palladium being rooted in some watchmaking codes from the past century allows the wearer to accept the past, and at the same time, offering a futurist looking wrist-device, allows the wearer to also forget that past and be on a perpetual motion of continual change through time.
What is it: New MB&F LM Perpetual Palladium is the latest milestone in the journey that started in 2015 and is a successor to the red gold, platinum, white gold, titanium, and yellow gold variations. It features the fully integrated perpetual calendar developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell.
The movement is manual winding with double mainspring barrels leading a generous 72-hour per reserve. A bespoke 14 mm balance wheel with traditional regulating screws is visible on top of the movement. The movement features 581 components, 41 jewels, and beats at the low frequency of 2.5Hz, and is encased inside a 30m water-resistant palladium 950 case measuring 44mm x 17.5mm.
When released: 14 September 2021
Where: Available globally but limited edition of 25-pieces only
Who is it for: Those select connoisseurs who appreciate the idea of watchmaking rules being challenged, and those who would find pride in flaunting a timepiece that is distinctive and par excellence
City Within A City
Following the MB&F Orb and the ‘Only Watch’ MB&F Panda — both of which we were lucky enough to (digitally) see at the recently concluded Geneva Watch Days 2021 — Max Büsser & Friends are back with another edition of their GPHG award winning perpetual calendar on ‘roids, the new MB&F LM Perpetual Palladium.
Just like the Stephen Nachmanovitch quote, “we can depend on the world being a perpetual surprise in perpetual motion,” the watch industry can depend on MB&F to offer a stunning perpetual calendar timepiece as an after-effect of their habit of perpetually forcing the cogs of motion of watchmaking to evolve.
It takes the well-known MB&F massive flying balance wheel over the dial concept cooked up in cahoots with the brilliant independent watchmaker Stephen McDonnell and retro-charges it by presenting it inside a sober, muted but very stylish mood reflective of the LM 101 Palladium from 2019.
As an architect, the concept of ‘city within a city’ has always fascinated me. To simply understand, there is a paper by Léon Krier that explains this concept succinctly: “ … a federation of autonomous quarters. Each quarter must have its own centre, periphery and limit”
Essentially, the way I see this timepiece, it is the LM 101 Palladium supercharged and made self-sufficient, like the quarters inside a city. Very architectural, the dial is symmetrically organised, with one circular counter at every cardinal direction, each providing a unique function: of telling the time of the day at 12, the day of the week at 3, the month of the year at 6, and the date at 9. But these counters of ‘cities’ all also work in conjunction, aided by the symmetrically centred balance wheel that like architectural roadways, is suspended by a bridge.
Further complimenting this symmetry is the inclusion of the power-reserve and the retrograde leap-year indicator; these two at 5 and 7 mirror the bridge ‘foundations’ at 11 and 1.
All of this architectural beauty is complemented by the fully integrated 581-component calibre that features a new system that ‘bypasses’ the easy to damage concept of skipping dates or jamming gears that traditional perpetual calendar timepieces makes use of. Even the adjuster pushers automatically deactivate when the calendar changes.
The new MB&F LM Perpetual Palladium marvellously reinterprets the aesthetics of the perpetual calendar complication.
And like a cloudy day with the waters reflecting the dark-ish, sombre clouds, this ‘city’ of sorts soars majestically on top of an aquamarine sun-ray coloured base that varies between shade of pale blue-green and grey, allowing the wearer to submerge his thoughts in this wizard of time-telling device of pure kinetic, horological and architectural ecstasy.
Here’s Looking At You, Kid
Think for second about walking on the shores, the bare feet leaving impressions on the sand, and after a long day at work, the sheer presence of the cool ocean breeze on the face is calming, and the colours of dusk painting the clouds a vivid beauty providing an intrinsic wonderment, helping forget the hustle-bustle of a grid-locked city.
The new MB&F LM Perpetual Palladium has the same indescribable feeling; it’s a place where one can witness the ‘hustle-bustle’ of the mechanical bearings of this city on the wrist, but at the same time the balance wheel on the bridge, the elevated-appearing sub-dials, and the aquamarine sun-ray all lend an artistic moment of calm and wonderment.
I will wrap this up with another Jules Verne quote: “Civilisation never recedes; the law of necessity ever forces it onwards”.
With the Legacy Machine Perpetual, yet again at MB&F, the civilisation of horological efficiency never recedes; the law of the brand’s necessity to break horological rules to create pièce de résistance every time forces it onwards. Here’s looking at you, kid.
This is one piece we anticipate going hands-on with to provide justice with a detailed review. Until then, to find out more about the new MB&F LM Perpetual Palladium and other MB&F watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise specified are Courtesy ©MB&F SA 2018. Make sure to check out our reviews of other 2021 novelties here.