Switzerland based creative-horlogerie lab MB&F updates its flagship Legacy Machine collection by introducing a new machine equipped with a state of the art mechanical split escapement movement developed by Stephen McDonnell.
Before going in details, let us have a look into the Legacy Machine collection that take inspiration from the designs of early wristwatches appeared in 19th century. Introduced in 2011, first member of this collection – the Legacy Machine N°1 marked a sharp deviation from the Horological Machines for which MB&F was already known. The LM1 made way to Round cases, white lacquer dials, movements classically finished with Geneva stripes and polished chamfers, and the one disruptive element — the suspended balance — all the more arresting because of its wholly traditional setting.
The six years since the double time-display LM1 was released have seen another four distinct series of Legacy Machine emerge, making five in total. Legacy Machine N°2, with its two regulators, premiered in 2013. Legacy Machine 101, the distillation of the aesthetics of the Legacy Machine collection and MB&F’s first in-house movement, came a year later, and the high-complication Legacy Machine Perpetual arrived in 2015.
The emphasis on technical creativity that characterised LM Perpetual also defines LM Split Escapement, whose engine is derived from LM Perpetual but has shed its complication to reveal the innovation at its heart.
Just below the highest point of the domed dial crystal, the balance of LM SE beats at 2.5Hz / 18,000bph. Unlike most of the other suspended balances in the Legacy Machine collection, the balance of LM Split Escapement seems to oscillate on its own, without any visible intake of energy. The essential remaining parts of the escapement, which provide the driving impulse – anchor and escape wheel – are concealed on the opposite side of the movement, almost 12mm below.
Under the balance, the triple layered dial houses a sub-dial 12 o’clock for time display. Other functions on the dial are the power reserve indication at 4 o’clock and the date at 8 o’clock. The date can be quickly and easily adjusted thanks to a push-button on the side of the case, next to the date dial.
When comes to the finishing of dial, like the LM Perpetual model, LM SE features the micro-textured “frosted” finish that is so closely associated with antique pocket watches of the 18th and 19th century. This traditional technique was presented by MB&F for the first time in the LM 101 ‘Frost’ editions.
The Legacy Machine Split Escapement is available in four launch editions in white gold (Total 72 pieces). Each edition, limited to 18 pieces, is distinguished by frosting and movement finish of different shades – Blue frosted finish paired with rhodium-plated movement, Ruthenium frosting with similarly darkened movement, Red gold frosting and movement or Yellow-gold frosting and movement finish.
4 white gold launch editions limited to 18 pieces each, with a frosted dial plate in blue, ruthenium, red gold or yellow gold.
Movement developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell
Split escapement with the balance wheel suspended above the dial and the anchor under the movement.
Manual winding with double mainspring barrels
Bespoke 14mm balance wheel with traditional regulating screws visible on top of the movement
Superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th-century style; bevelled internal angles highlighting hand craft; polished bevels; Geneva waves; hand-made frost and engravings
Power reserve: 72 hours
Balance frequency: 2.5Hz / 18,000bph
Number of components: 314
Number of jewels: 35
Hours, minutes, date and power-reserve indicators
Push-button next to the date dial for quick adjustment of the date
Material: launch editions in 18K white gold
Dimensions: 44mm x 17.5mm
Number of components: 49
Water resistance: 30m / 90′ / 3ATM
Sapphire crystals on top and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces.
Strap & buckle
Black or brown hand-stitched alligator strap with white-gold folding buckle