Legacy Machine Split Escapement

Overview

There is one constant throughout the Legacy Machine collection: functions and complications vary, but the suspended balance wheel remains literally and metaphorically above everything else. With the LM Split Escapement, this feature is raised to another level.

Just below the domed crystal, the balance of LM SE beats at a sedate, traditional 2.5Hz… What is rather less traditional is its construction: the balance seems to oscillate on its own, without any visible intake of energy. The essential remaining parts of the escapement – anchor and escape wheel – are concealed on the opposite side of the movement, almost 12 mm below.

Under the balance, the triple-dial design gives the time at 12 o’clock, the power reserve at 4 o’clock and the date at 8 o’clock – quickly and easily adjustable thanks to a lateral push-button.

Last but not least, LM Split Escapement celebrates the “frosted” finish that is so closely associated with antique pocket watches – a technique executed completely by hand.

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the machine

Case

  • Material: 4 launch editions in 18k white gold
  • Dimensions: 44mm x 17.5mm

Engine

  • Movement developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell.
  • Split escapement with the balance wheel suspended above the dial and the anchor and escape wheel 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.
  • 314 components / 35 jewels / 72 hours power reserve

Functions / indications

  • Hours, minutes, date and power-reserve indicators.
  • Push-button next to the date dial for quick adjustment of the date.
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Date

The date can be quickly and easily adjusted thanks to a push-button on the side of the case, next to the date dial.

Split Escapement

The balance of LM SE seems to oscillate on its own, without any visible intake of energy. The essential remaining parts of the escapement, which provide the driving impulse – anchor and escape wheel – are concealed on the opposite side of the movement.

Frost

The dial is set against an effervescent backdrop of hand-frosted finishing – a rare and difficult traditional process, mastered by only a handful of artisans today.

inspiration

inspiration

The first Legacy Machine drew on the atmosphere of wonder and optimism that characterised the World’s Fair expositions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The suspended balance was designed to channel this heady mix of emotions achieved by its sharp departure from established watchmaking tradition. By transporting the impulse jewel, anchor and escape wheel to the opposite end of the engine, Legacy Machine Split Escapement magnifies the visual impact of its balance and bends some old rules to write some new ones.

The sensitivity of the balance and the paramount role that it plays in chronometric precision are usually reason enough for watchmakers to avoid straying too far from convention when it comes to escapements. However, Stephen McDonnell, the watchmaker behind the award-winning Legacy Machine Perpetual, was able to circumvent the hindrances to create a new mechanical regulator configuration.

LM Perpetual was the first MB&F to utilise the split escapement, although the attention then was rightfully focused on the groundbreaking new perpetual calendar. Now, with LM Split Escapement, the time for its eponymous feature has arrived.

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