In 2017, the MB&F LM1, the watch that started the “Legacy Machine” collection, came to an end with a final edition in steel. It was time for Max and his friend to turn a page… but this wasn’t the end of the story, as a new chapter was opening. Sort of replacing the LM1 was the introduction of the LM Split Escapement, a watch based on the (superb) mechanics of the LM Perpetual. After four inaugural editions in white gold with frosted dials, today the brand introduces a new limited edition. Meet the MB&F LM Split Escapement Green, now with a titanium case.
From 2005 and the inception of the brand until 2011, MB&F was all about Sci-Fi themed “Horological Machines”. However, in 2011, Max Busser surprised friends and folks with something completely new, something that none of us could have expected: the Legacy Machine 1. It was traditional, classical… and round! The idea was simple: what would have happened if Max had been born in 1867 instead of 1967? Still playing on three-dimensional machines for the wrist, without the Star Wars, Spaceships or fighter jets for his inspiration, the LM collection instead focused on the world of pocket watches, Eiffel Tower and Jules Verne.
However, this is MB&F we’re talking about and this watch couldn’t be classical… The LM1 introduced the codes: a 3D concept with a large floating balance wheel, held by a skeletonised arch, with antique finishes, traditionally (and superbly) decorated movements, the use of traditional complications and a clear steampunk inspiration. However, the 6-year story had to come to an end and the LM1 was discontinued (see the steel final edition), to make room for another watch, the LM Split Escapement.
The MB&F LM Split Escapement was based on the foundations of the award-winning and superbly executed LM Perpetual. Developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, the main challenge with this watch was to be able to combine the floating balance wheel dial-side with a perpetual calendar module. And that could only be done with a split escapement, with the anchor and the escape wheel placed movement-side, and not next to the balance.
Using the base movement of the Perpetual, MB&F brought a “simplified” version as a replacement for the LM1 with the LM Split Escapement. No more perpetual calendar here, but a display with off-centred hours and minutes, and sub-dials for the power reserve and the date. For the rest, the movement, seen from the back side, was the same.
The MB&F LM Split Escapement was introduced first in 2017 with four white gold editions, with blue, rose gold, yellow gold or grey “frosted” dials – all limited to 18 pieces. Today, MB&F updates this watch with a typical LM-theme, with a titanium case and a sunray brushed green dial.
The case, which still measures 44mm in diameter and 17.5mm in height, is done in lightweight and resistant grade 5 titanium, with polished and brushed surfaces. It is combined with a brown alligator strap. The rest is the same as the inaugural gold edition, with a crown placed at 2 o’clock and a pusher at 8 o’clock to quickly adjust the date indication.
The main evolution concerns the dial, which relies on a theme that is dear to the brand – take a look at the LM Perpetual Green or LM2 Titanium. The dial of the MB&F LM Split Escapement Green doesn’t only feature a new CVD-coated colour, ranging from green to turquoise blue depending on the light, but it is no longer frosted and instead features a brushed finishing. Against this attractive background are the three white-lacquered sub-dials with blued hands and the superb arched bridge holding the balance, finished with an impressive mirror polishing on a round surface.
The back reveals the same base movement as the LM Perpetual, with nicely curved bridges and, as expected from the LM collection, a decoration that is top-notch. The bevels are hand-polished with sharp, internal angles, some of the jewels are inserted in gold chatons, the spokes of the wheels are angled and the flat surfaces are adorned with large Geneva waves. The movement boasts 72 hours of power reserve and runs at a 2.5Hz frequency (deliberately slow, to better see the motion of the large balance on top of the dial).
The MB&F LM Split Escapement Green and titanium will be a limited edition of 33 pieces. It will be priced at CHF 64,000 (excl. taxes), EUR 59,000 (excl. taxes) or USD 68,000 (excl. taxes). More details at mbandf.com.