Escape the ordinary time

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MB&F, the world’s first conceptual art and Images courtesy of © MB&Fmicro-engineering watchmaking laboratory, designed the new Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO. Inside the case, the movement is suspended thanks to a world-premiere, monobloc shock-absorbing “FlexRing” system.

Images courtesy of © MB&F

Designed with fresh, modern, and creative colours, the new Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO is the latest creation by MB&F, the world’s first conceptual art and micro-engineering watchmaking laboratory, which becomes part of the EVO collection, thus continuing the fantastic journey filled with successes and new technologies.

Kindled by the same enthusiastic spirit that has marked the EVO collection since its inception, we admire the incredible evolution of an extraordinary watch with two new editions, a predetermined success indeed.

Conceived in 2015 as a modern fairy tale, the idea behind LM Split Escapement was designed and devised by Northern Irish master watchmaker Stephen McDonnell for a technological and stylistic challenge that started with the iconic Legacy Machine Perpetual.

It all stems from the perpetual calendar, which was required to meet two basic criteria: make it fool-proof; and display MB&F’s signature flying balance wheel in the center 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.

At the recent Geneva Watch Days, we saw this latest splendid example of EVO first-hand and heard the unmissable account of founder Maximilian Büsser, who back in 2005 launched his rebellious “MB&F” by devoting himself to designing and producing small series of radical concepts in which talented watchmaking professionals came together and with whom he still enjoys working today.

A journey made up of challenges won, coupled with a whole range of new enthusiasm-filled dreams and projects in the pipeline, without however foregoing the genuine spirit that has defined his endeavours so far. In the beginning, it was a dream driven by commitment and dedication and a passion that started far back in time, leading to an extremely high level of creative perfection. Now that all of this has become a reality, Maximilian is more than ready to pick up new challenges.

A success celebrated and shared with his team whom he truly considers a big family, so much so that the letter “F” is meant as a thank-you to his dear ‘Friends’ that joined him in this adventure.

With his far-sighted vision of creating 3D kinetic art by revolutionising traditional watchmaking, he manages to amaze, raise emotions and strike a chord with brand enthusiasts and experts alike, engaging more and more young people in learning, observing and collecting.

We feel fortunate to have witnessed over the years a streak of success that we believe will continue to amaze all watch enthusiasts.

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Escape the ordinary time