MB&F released two new EVO editions, establishing the collection in its own right, making it a key series for the brand. Following the footsteps of LM Perpetual EVO, the LM Sequential EVO, and the LM Split Escapement EVO (originally introduced as a limited edition for the United Arab Emirates 50th anniversary), the line takes a new turn.
THE STORY OF THE LM SPLIT ESCAPEMENT
It’s best to begin at the beginning, the year was 2015 and the LM Perpetual was and was the inspiration for the LM Split Escapement. Stephen McDonnell, a master watchmaker from Northern Ireland, designed and created the perpetual calendar with two goals in mind: First, to make it foolproof, and second, to showcase MB&F’s trademark flying balancing wheel in the center of the dial. McDonnell quickly saw that there was an issue—the escapement had nowhere to go. The idea had been successful in earlier Legacy Machines by placing the balance wheel beside the escapement on the watch’s front face, but with the more complicated perpetual calendar display of the LM Perpetual, there was no way to accommodate both.
McDonnell then came up with the idea of making the world’s longest balance staff that would traverse the entire movement, isolating the large balance wheel at the watch’s face and moving the anchor and escape wheel to the other side of the movement, almost 12 mm below; hence the name ‘Split Escapement’.
There were so many new features to discuss when the LM Perpetual was introduced that the Split Escapement was mostly overlooked. As a result, in 2017, MB&F developed the LM Split Escapement (LM SE) to showcase McDonnell’s ingenious idea. The manual-winding, 298-part movement is powered by two barrels for 72 hours of power reserve and has a quick date-changing technology that is both simple to use and impossible to damage.
Originally released in MB&F’s traditional Legacy Machine housing, the LM Split Escapement is now also available in the brand’s newer and sportier EVO case.
The LM Perpetual EVO debuted in 2020 with this innovative case design, which has a bezel-less display, a screw-down crown, an integrated rubber band, and a water-resistance of 80 meters. But the EVO idea goes even further; the movement is suspended within the casing thanks to a world-first, monobloc shock-absorbing ‘FlexRing’ mechanism, which absorbs the vertical and horizontal shocks that occur during real-world excursions.
Soon after the release of the LM Perpetual EVO, the EVO casing made its way throughout the rest of the Legacy Machine lineup, culminating in the release of MB&F’s first-ever chronograph, the LM Sequential EVO. On the other hand, the UAE’s Golden Jubilee was celebrated in a low-key manner with the presentation of a limited edition of 10 LM Split Escapement EVO watches.
In addition to the EVO casing, the LM Split Escapement was redesigned for the Golden Jubilee edition; the entire mechanism was flipped clockwise by 30 degrees, with the crown at 4:30 instead of 2 o’clock, which significantly altered the watch’s symmetry and gave it a new personality.
THE NEW ICY-COOL EDITION
MB&F has introduced not one but two new iterations of the LM SE EVO. The first is a titanium grade 5 timepiece with a chillingly beautiful icy blue base plate, slate gray dial, and open counters.
The contrast between the dynamic, modern EVO collection and the classical finishing of the movement is also reflected in the dial side’s particular darkened treatment, which brings out the details of the wheels, the rhodium-plated barrels, and the rose gold accents. The view of the movement is just as captivating as the dial because MB&F is one of the few artisanal firms that still finishes components carefully by hand.
THE BEVERLY HILLS EDITION
The second edition is the first in a series of limited editions that will be reserved solely for the MB&F LABs, a new retail format that builds on the success of MB&F’s M.A.D.Galleries by combining MB&F timepieces with a select number of artworks, but are scaled down to fit in locations that would otherwise be unable to accommodate a full-fledged M.A.D.Gallery. The MB&F LABs in Paris, Singapore, and Beverly Hills are scheduled to open this year, and this particular iteration was created for the Rodeo Drive location in Los Angeles.
Westime, a pioneering American watch retailer and longtime partner of MB&F, runs the Beverly Hills location of the MB&F LAB. A striking black base plate supports a metallic blue dial and open counters in this new limited edition of 25 pieces in Westime’s signature blue and black. It’s the one and only MB&F LAB edition coming out this year.
The idea of traversing this line beyond is only the start for what else is in store for this euphoric label.