To a watch lover, every new release is an occasion to feast his eyes. Today we present you the new Legacy Machine Split Escapement by MB&F, hoping you’ll enjoy it with us.
It’s no surprise if a watch like this steals the attention of an enthusiast. It’s not every day you get to see a balance wheel oscillating over a dial, and if someone will tell about it to you, you’ll probably think he’s crazy.
Even though it’s not the first time we see this complication, the LM SE embodies it to its best, presenting it as the main characteristic and getting the name “Split Escapement”.
The escapement, briefly
If you don’t know it, the escapement is the set of gears that allows the energy stored in the barrel to be released rhythmically.
In other words, it’s the “beating heart” of a timekeeper and it’s usually fitted under the dial in a restricted space, to avoid external factors to affect its operation and precision.
It surely is one of the most pleasing components of a watch to look at, because of its rhythmic and unstoppable movement, so pleasing that pushed MB&F’s creative genius to bring it in the foreground.
The Split Escapement
If you never wondered what’s so special about a mechanism like this one, we’ll tell you.
There are three critical elements that makes the Split Escapement a real complication.
The first is the inertia.
The balance mass is bigger than usual, so its inertia. This changes drastically its movement and thus require new calculations and solutions.
The second is the balance axis.
This last one is way longer than usual and needs to cross the dial and the movement, while being exposed to continuous torsion. It had to be then designed to be a lot more resistant and capable to handle the stress.
The last are external factors that, as we already saw, can considerably interact if components are distant, like in this example.
Moreover, these phenomena tend to run off the power reserve. This is why the LM SE is equipped with two parallel barrels, that allows for a 72-hours autonomy.
The Legacy Machine
For who’s not familiar with the brand, the “machines” are mainly produced in three variants: artists collaborations, Horological Machines and Legacy Machines.
The last ones were born in 2011 from a Maximillian Busser’s idea of projecting himself in the late 1800s. The challenge was to create avant-garde watches, winking to the past.
Here’s the choice to use round cases, traditional finishes and enamel dials, all in with a contrasting element, the balance wheel suspended over the dial.
These guide-lines represent the aesthetics code recurring in the whole LM collection, setting them apart from the Horological Machines (HM), that comes in futuristic new shapes, colors and finishes.
For this new edition, available in 33-pieces for a price point of 59.000€, grade 5 titanium is the choice. Not a new material for the independent watch industry, but always pleasing to look at.
The green dial features a sun-rays finish that, according to the light angle, gives it a blueish hue.
The chromatic play raises the enigma already provided by the suspended balance wheel, that we can admire without ever understanding its secret.
Before reading and investigating on the “split escapement”, I’ve always wondered how was it possible for it to work.
Looking closely, it’s not easy to understand that movement and balance wheel are really connected by an axis and it’s probably easier to stare at its neat and unstoppable motion, without questioning too much.
As an art piece, the soul is dual: craftmanship and complication on one side, pure amaze-driven emotion on the other.
On the wrist
To be honest, the 44 mm LM SE looks a little big.
By the way, the symmetry and the unusual dial composition, paired with the characteristic extreme complication, makes this Legacy Machine a really enjoyable watch, not trivial, that carries all Busser’s taste, even before his flair.
Despite being too massive to our taste, what really matters in this watch is the ability to amaze, leaving in awe who’s looking at its aesthetics for the first time and who’s admiring it again, astonished by its technics.
Pictures by Vincenzo Finizola (@Vfphotograf) for ItalianWatchSpotter
Translated by Lorenzo Spolaor (@itsdoc_oclock)