Following the LM Perpetual EVO, the LM Sequential EVO, and the LM Split Escapement EVO (first introduced as a limited edition for the United Arab Emirates’ 50th anniversary), MB&F is now introducing two new EVO editions, proving that EVO is becoming a collection in its own right.
The story of the LM Split Escapement
Like all good stories, it is worth starting at the very beginning. The idea behind the LM Split Escapement started life in 2015 with the LM Perpetual. Designed and conceived by Northern Irish master watchmaker Stephen McDonnell, there were two criteria for the perpetual calendar: make it fool-proof; and display MB&F’s signature flying balance wheel in the centre of the dial. McDonnell was soon to realise that there was a problem: there was nowhere to put the escapement. The concept had worked with previous Legacy Machines, where the balance wheel was on the front of the watch along with the escapement, but with the perpetual calendar display of the more complex LM Perpetual, there was simply no room for both.
A man of solutions, McDonnell had the ingenious idea of creating the world’s longest balance staff that would traverse the entire movement, leaving the large balance wheel on its own, on the front of the watch, and moving the remaining parts of the escapement – anchor and escape wheel – to the opposite side of the movement, almost 12 mm below; hence the name ‘Split Escapement’.
When the LM Perpetual was unveiled, there were so many innovations to talk about that the split escapement went largely unnoticed. So, in 2017, MB&F decided to create the LM Split Escapement (LM SE) to highlight McDonnell’s genius idea. The manual-winding, 298-component movement is driven by double barrels providing 72 hours of power reserve, and features a user-friendly, foolproof rapid date-changing system that prevents the user from inadvertently damaging the movement when adjusting the date.
The first editions of the LM Split Escapement were presented in MB&F’s classic Legacy Machine case – but the collection now also features the EVO case, conceived for a more active lifestyle.
This new case design first came to life in 2020 in the form of the LM Perpetual EVO; it features 80 metres of water resistance, a screw-down crown, an integrated rubber strap and a bezel-free design. But the EVO concept goes deeper: inside the case, the movement is suspended thanks to a world-premiere, monobloc shock-absorbing “FlexRing” system, dampening the kind of vertical and horizontal shocks that come with real-life adventures.
After the LM Perpetual EVO, the EVO case worked its way further into the Legacy Machine collection: most recently and with a bang, in the form of MB&F’s first-ever chronograph, the LM Sequential EVO. But previously and more discreetly, with a 10-piece limited edition LM Split Escapement EVO, presented quietly on the occasion of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee.
In addition to the EVO case, that Golden Jubilee edition featured a change that radically modified the design of the LM Split Escapement: the entire mechanism was rotated clockwise by 30 degrees, with the crown at 4:30 instead of 2 o’clock – completely changing the symmetry of the watch, giving it a totally new character.
The new icy-cool edition
MB&F is now unveiling not one, but two new LM SE EVO editions. The first comes in grade 5 titanium with an icy blue base plate and slate grey dial and opened counters that will make you shiver, in a good way.
Another feature is the special darkened treatment on the movement side, creating heightened contrast between the wheels, the rhodium-plated barrels and the rose gold details – symbolically echoing the contrast between the active, contemporary nature of the EVO collection and the traditional finishing of the movement. MB&F is one of only a handful of artisanal brands that continue to finish components painstakingly by hand, making the view of the movement as mesmerizing as the dial.
The Beverly Hills Edition
The second edition is the first of a series of limited editions that will be reserved exclusively for the MB&F LABs – a new retail format building on the success of MB&F’s M.A.D.Galleries, combining MB&F timepieces with a limited number of art pieces, but adapted to spaces not quite large enough to host a full-fledged M.A.D.Gallery. This year should see the opening of MB&F LABs in Paris, Singapore and Beverly Hills – with this edition having been designed exclusively for the one on Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive.
The Beverly Hills MB&F LAB is managed by the renowned American watch retailer Westime, who has not only been a partner of the brand since the very beginning, but is also one of the first to open an MB&F LAB. This new edition of 25 pieces comes in Westime’s corporate colours of blue and black with a striking black base plate and metallic blue dial and open counters. It will be the only MB&F LAB edition released this year.
Legacy Machine Split Escapement Evo Technical Specifications
Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO is available in two versions:
– Ti version: grade 5 titanium case with pastel blue baseplate and dark grey dials.
– Beverly Hills edition: limited edition of 25 pieces in grade 5 titanium case with black baseplate and blue dials.
- 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 engravings.
- FlexRing: an annular dampener fitted between case and movement, providing shock protection along the vertical and lateral axes.
- Super-LumiNova on numerals and hands.
- Screw down crown.
- Power reserve: 72 hours
- Balance frequency: 2.5Hz / 18,000bph
- Number of components: 298
- Number of jewels: 35
Functions & indications
- Hours, minutes, date and power-reserve indicators.
- Push-button next to the date dial for quick adjustment of the date.
- Material: grade 5 titanium
- Dimensions: 44 x 17.5mm
- Number of components: 52
- Water resistance: 80m / 8ATM / 270 feet
- Sapphire crystals on top and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces.
Strap & buckle
- Integrated rubber strap with titanium folding buckle.
‘Friends’ responsible for Legacy Machine Split Escapement Evo
Concept: Maximilian Büsser / MB&F
Product design: Eric Giroud / Through the Looking Glass
Technical and production management: Serge Kriknoff / MB&F
Movement design and finish specifications: Stephen McDonnell and MB&F
Movement development:Stephen McDonnell and MB&F
R&D: Thomas Lorenzato, Joey Miserez, Maël Mendel and Pierre-Alexandre Gamet / MB&F
Wheels, bridges, pinions and axis: Jean-François Mojon / Chronode, Atokalpa, Paul-André Tendon / Bandi, Daniel Gumy / Decobar Swiss, Rodrigue Baume / HorloFab, DMP, and Le Temps Retrouvé.
Balance wheel: Andréas Kurt / Precision Engineering, Benjamin Signoud / AMECAP and Marc Bolis / 2B8
Barrel: Stefan Schwab / Schwab-Feller and Swiss Manufacturing
Perpetual calendar parts:Alain Pellet / Elefil
Hand-engraving of movement: Glypto
FlexRing: Laser Automation
Hand-finishing of movement components: Jacques-Adrien Rochat and Denis Garcia / C-L Rochat
PVD/CVD-treatment: Pierre-Albert Steinmann / Positive Coating
Case and movements components: Alain Lemarchand, Jean-Baptiste Prétot, Stéphanie Carvalho and Fabien Ramazzina / MB&F
Movement assemblage: Didier Dumas, Georges Veisy, Anne Guiter, Emmanuel Maitre, Henri Porteboeuf and Mathieu Lecoultre / MB&F
After-Sales service: Thomas Imberti / MB&F
Quality Control: Cyril Fallet and Jennifer Longuepez / MB&F
Case decoration: Sandra Lambert / Bripoli, Giuseppe Di Stefano / STG Création
Dial: Hassan Chaïba and Virginie Duval / Les Ateliers d’Hermès Horloger
Super-LumiNova on the dials: Frédérique Thierry / Monyco
Buckle: G&F Chatelain
Crown and correctors: Cheval Frères
Hands: Waeber HMS
Sapphire crystals: Stettler
Anti-refection treatment for sapphire crystals: Anthony Schwab / Econorm
Strap: Thierry Rognon / Valiance, BIWI
Presentation box: Olivier Berthon / Soixanteetonze
Logistics and production: David Lamy, Ashley Moussier, Fanny Boutier, Houda Fayroud and Mélanie Ataide / MB&F
Marketing & Communication: Charris Yadigaroglou, Vanessa André, Arnaud Légeret and Paul Gay / MB&F
M.A.D.Gallery: Hervé Estienne / MB&F
Sales: Thibault Verdonckt, Virginie Marchon, Cédric Roussel, Jean-Marc Bories and Augustin Chivot / MB&F
Graphic design: Sidonie Bays / MB&F
Product photography: Maarten van der Ende and Laurent-Xavier Moulin
Portrait photography: Régis Golay / Federal
Webmaster: Stéphane Balet / Idéative
Film: Marc-André Deschoux / MAD LUX, Manouil Karapetsis and Dominik Lang / Brosky Media
Texts: Sophie Furley / WorldTempus
MB&F – Genesis of a concept laboratory
Founded in 2005, MB&F is the world’s first-ever horological concept laboratory. With almost 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 creating 3-D kinetic art by deconstructing traditional watchmaking.
After 15 years managing prestigious watch brands, Maximilian Büsser resigned from his Managing Director position at Harry Winston in 2005 to create MB&F – 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.
In 2007, MB&F unveiled its first Horological Machine, HM1. HM1’s sculptured, three-dimensional case and beautifully finished engine (movement) set the standard for the idiosyncratic Horological Machines that have followed – all Machines that tell the time, rather than Machines to tell the time. The Horological Machines have explored space (HM2, HM3, HM6), the sky (HM4, HM9), the road (HM5, HMX, HM8) and the animal kingdom (HM7, HM10).
In 2011, MB&F launched its round-cased Legacy Machine collection. These more classical pieces – classical for MB&F, that is – pay tribute to nineteenth-century watchmaking excellence by reinterpreting complications from the great horological innovators of yesteryear to create contemporary objets d’art. LM1 and LM2 were followed by LM101, the first MB&F Machine to feature a movement developed entirely in-house. LM Perpetual, LM Split Escapement and LM Thunderdome broadened the collection further. 2019 marked a turning point with the creation of the first MB&F Machine dedicated to women: LM FlyingT; and MB&F celebrated 10 years of Legacy Machines in 2021 with the LMX. MB&F generally alternates between launching contemporary, resolutely unconventional Horological Machines and historically inspired Legacy Machines.
As the F stands for Friends, it was only natural for MB&F to develop collaborations with artists, watchmakers, designers and manufacturers they admire.
This brought about two new categories: Performance Art and Co-creations. While Performance Art pieces are MB&F machines revisited by external creative talent, Co-creations are not wristwatches but other types of machines, engineered and crafted by unique Swiss Manufactures from MB&F ideas and designs. Many of these Co-creations, such as the clocks created with L’Epée 1839, tell the time while collaborations with Reuge and Caran d’Ache generated other forms of mechanical art.
To give all these machines an appropriate platform, Büsser had the idea of placing them in an art gallery alongside various forms of mechanical art created by other artists, rather than in a traditional storefront. This brought about the creation of the first MB&F M.A.D.Gallery (M.A.D. stands for Mechanical Art Devices) in Geneva, which would later be followed by M.A.D.Galleries in Taipei, Dubai and Hong Kong.
There have been distinguished accolades reminding us of the innovative nature of MB&F’s journey so far. ‘To name a few, there have been no less than 7 awards from the famous Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève: in 2021, MB&F received two prizes: one for LMX as the Best Men’s Complication and one for the LM SE Eddy Jaquet ‘Around The World in Eighty Days’ in the ‘Artistic Crafts’ category, in 2019, the prize for Best Ladies Complication went to the LM FlyingT, in 2016, LM Perpetual won the Best Calendar Watch award; in 2012, Legacy Machine No.1 was awarded both the Public Prize (voted for by horology fans) and the Best Men’s Watch Prize (voted for by the professional jury).In 2010, MB&F won Best Concept and Design Watch for the HM4 Thunderbolt. In 2015 MB&F received a Red Dot: Best of the Best award – the top prize at the international Red Dot Awards – for the HM6 Space Pirate.