MB&F welcomes a new model in its Legacy Machine ‘Split Escapement’ collection that was introduced in 2017.
There is one technical constant that defines every single watch in the MB&F Legacy Machine collection. Functions may vary, and different complications come to the fore in each edition, but the suspended balance wheel remains literally and metaphorically above everything else. In Legacy Machine Split Escapement, this feature is not only highlighted, but raised to another level of achievement.
Just below the highest point of the domed dial crystal, the balance of LM SE beats at a sedate, traditional 2.5Hz / 18,000bph. What is rather less traditional is its construction. Unlike most of the other suspended balances in the Legacy Machine collection — indeed, unlike any other balance outside of MB&F — 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; hence the name ‘Split Escapement’.
Under the balance, the triple-dial design of LM SE gives the time at 12 o’clock, 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.
Other design features are natural evolutions of those found in previous Legacy Machines, such as the organically arched balance bridge found in the LM Perpetual. The white gold launch editions of LM SE feature 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.
Antique watches featuring a frosted finish used acid baths to achieve this effect, but modern methods of replicating a frosted finish involves manually burnishing a metal surface with a wire brush. LM Split Escapement is a celebration of this technique, which is executed completely by hand for all 72 pieces of the launch editions.
The LM Split Escapement was first launched in 2017 in four white gold “frosted” editions, each limited to 18 pieces:
– Blue frosted finish paired with rhodium-plated movement;
– Ruthenium frosting with similarly darkened movement;
– Red gold frosting and movement;
– Yellow-gold frosting and movement finish;
In 2019, MB&F introduces a new limited edition of 33 pieces in grade 5 titanium, with a spectacular green CVD-treated dial. The sun-ray dial finish catches the light from alternating angles, constantly changing between blue and green hues – adding a more contemporary edition to the series.
4 white gold launch editions limited to 18 pieces each, with a frosted dial plate in blue, ruthenium, red gold or yellow gold; and a limited edition of 33 pieces in titanium with a sun-ray-finish, green CVD dial.
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; bevelledinternal 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; grade 5 titanium edition
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 or titanium folding buckle matching the case.