The new MB&F LM Perpetual has a salmon dial in a steel case – super rare for the brand yet not a limited edition!Zach Blass
- The MB&F LM Perpetual Steel is their second ever creation to have a salmon dial
- Stainless steel is very rarely used by MB&F for cases, upping the rarity factor even more
- Not a limited edition, but it will be limited in production each year
When you look at higher end brands like Patek Philippe, typically these manufactures elect to produce higher quantities of timepieces in precious metal rather than the more price-approachable stainless steel. Ironically, due to the limited nature of their quantity, this often means that these scarce stainless-steel creations are worth more on the secondary market than their precious-metal counterparts. The MB&F LM Perpetual was immediately recognized as a stellar design upon its debut in 2015, a certified seller for the brand and taking home the GPHG prize for best calendar watch shortly after in 2016. But, since its inception, of the previous seven iterations of the watch six were cased in precious metal with the one exception a limited edition reference in titanium. And, of these previous seven iterations, six were limited editions totalling to a run of 150 pieces – the one exception a configuration in white gold with a dark grey dial plate that is limited in production yearly. So, today we have a massive development for the LM Perpetual lineup. Not only do we have a new reference that is not a limited edition, we have a new MB&F LM Perpetual Steel that utilises the metal for the first time within the collection and a rare steel entry into the MB&F catalogue overall. The icing on the cake: it is the second-ever watch from MB&F to use a salmon dial plate (and the previous salmon-dialed model was a limited edition).
High-end watchmaking cased in stainless steel, and paired with a salmon dial, is a dangerous combo that immediately stirs interest within the watch-collecting community. So, considering both the steel case and salmon dial are firsts for the collection – and collectors love a first – you’d expect a lot of demand for the LM Perpetual Steel down. The steel case shares the same dimensions as its predecessors, 44mm in diameter and 17.5mm in thickness. These dimensions are certainly large on paper, but my previous experience with MB&F watches “in the metal” has revealed that their pieces are far more wearable than the specs would suggest. With a domed crystal, large balance and bridge centre stage, and a dial with such depth that fully showcases the intricacies of the calibre, the thickness of the piece is immediately forgiven in my book. Above the salmon-coloured dial plate, you have white-enamelled sub-dials and ring counters displaying the hours and minutes at 12′, calendar date at 9′, calendar day at 3′, and calendar month at 6′. To the left of the calendar month display you have a retrograde leap year indication, and to the right a power reserve indicator. It is a lot to unpack, yet there is such a harmonious balance to the dial as each indication frames the large centre balance wheel.
The complexity of the LM Perpetual Engine movement can not be understated, its 581-component makeup understandably limiting the capacity of production each year. This beautifully decorated and highly functional engine is the brainchild of venerated watchmaker, and friend of the brand, Stephen McDonell. The calibre displays top-notch decoration, with stunning striping across the bridges and exquisite hand-bevelling to their edges (including interior angles). Technically speaking, the calibre is also very thoughtfully engineered. For example, the LM Perpetual Engine uses a “mechanical processor” that ensures the date will never jump incorrectly, a planetary cam that enables a quick setting of the year so that it displays correctly in the four-year leap year cycle (whereas traditional perpetual calendar mechanisms require the user to scroll through up to 47 months to arrive at the right month and year), and an inbuilt safety feature that disconnects the quickset pushers during the date changeover, eliminating any risk of damage while the date is changing.
Of course, such distinguished watchmaking and design understandably comes at quite a high cost. But this stainless-steel LM Perpetual costs only US$8,000 less than the other limited production model in white gold. So, unfortunately its debut in stainless steel has not particularly made the watch more cost-approachable. That being said, it is great news that from a production standpoint it is not a limited edition. The restriction in its production is strictly tied to the number they are able to produce each year.
MB&F LM Perpetual Steel pricing and availability:
The MB&F LM Perpetual Steel is limited in production yearly, and is available for inquires now through their retailer network and eShop. Price: US$180,000
|LM Perpetual Steel
|44mm (D) x 17.5mm (T)
|Salmon dial plate
|Sapphire crystal and caseback
|Black, grey, brown or blue hand-stitched alligator strap with stainless steel folding buckle
|LM Perpetual Engine developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell
|Hours, minutes, day, date, month, retrograde leap year and power reserve indicators
|Now, limited yearly production