Indie brand MB&F has introduced the Legacy Machine Split Escapement in new livery - a titanium case and an iridescent green dial - and limited to just 33 pieces. First introduced in 2017, the Split Escapement was bagged a GPHG-nomination in the Men’s Watches category. This is the first time it has been introduced in a non-precious metal.
In a traditional movement, the escapement allows the stored energy of the mainspring to escape in a series of regular controlled impulses instead of unwinding all at once. In most cases, it consists of the balance assembly, anchor and escape wheel; these components tend to be placed as close to each other as possible to minimize external influences.
On the LM Split Escapement, the impulse jewel, anchor and escape wheel are visible through the transparent caseback while the 14 mm wide balance wheel is left to solely dominate the dial under a domed sapphire crystal. This is not the first time an escapement has been split. Stephen McDonnell, the Irish watchmaker who collaborated with the brand on this timepiece, used this first on the Legacy Machine Perpetual that was unveiled in 2015.
This unique arrangement uses an unusually long (11.78 mm to be precise) balance arbor, which runs through the center of the movement. Since a longer arbor increases the likelihood of disrupting influences on the oscillator it is fitted at both ends with anti-shock jewel bearings.
The bridge that holds the anchor and escape wheel is separately fixed for optimal fine adjustment. A longer balance arbour has a higher mass, which can be a drain on the power reserve, so the LM SE engine is driven by two barrels in parallel that provides the watch with 72 hours of energy when fully wound.
The 44-mm case hosts three distinctive white-lacquered subdials that display the hour and minutes at 12 o’clock, the date at approximately 8 o’clock, and the power reserve at approximately 5 o’clock. A large balance wheel hover over the dial under a domed sapphire crystal.
The LM SE Titanium Green is limited to 33 pieces and is priced at $68,000.