Everyone who is familiar with MB&F’s work knows that its timepieces are, in fact, pieces of art for the wrist, combining avant-garde design with some of the most innovative and sophisticated mechanisms in contemporary watchmaking. This is one reason why the models are nicknamed “Legacy Machines.”
A couple of years ago, the Swiss independent brand introduced the EVO concept. Short for “evolution,” this design was created to improve the overall sturdiness and wearability in daily life, including a water resistance of 80 meters, a screw-down crown, an integrated rubber strap, and luminescent indices. Positioned as the brand’s “sports watch,” the concept might be best known by its movement, which is suspended by a specially designed shock-absorbing “FlexRing” system, dampening vertical and horizontal shocks. Most recently, the EVO concept was integrated into the LM Sequential Chorongraph EVO, MB&F’s first chronograph, and its 20th in-house movement.
At this year’s Geneva Watch Days, EVO comes to life in the LM Split Escapement EVO. This haute horologerie timepiece is presented in a grade 5 titanium case with a diameter of 44.5mm. The notably slim bezel frames the dial with an icy-blue background and slate gray subdials that indicate the date, the power reserve, and the time. While this intriguing combination is for sure a feast for the eyes, the Split Escapement takes center stage.
Designed and conceived by Northern Irish master watchmaker Stephen McDonnell in 2015, this special arrangement is the world’s longest balance staff that traverses the entire movement. This configuration leaves the large balance wheel on its own on the front of the watch, and moving the remaining parts of the escapement – anchor and escape wheel – to the opposite side of the movement, almost 12mm below; hence the name “Split Escapement.” The traditional regulating screws are visible on top of the movement.
A testimony to the highest finishing quality is the special darkened treatment on the movement side, creating heightened contrast between the wheels, the rhodium-plated barrels, and the rose gold details. The “engine” driving this LM timepiece is hand-wound and offers a power reserve of 72 hours.
The Beverly Hills Edition
The second edition on display at the Geneva Watch Days trade show is the first of a series of limited editions that will be reserved exclusively for the MB&F LABs. A new retail format building on the success of MB&F’s M.A.D.Galleries, the LABs will combine MB&F timepieces with a limited number of art pieces, adapted to spaces not quite large enough to host a full-fledged M.A.D.Gallery. This year should see the opening of MB&F LABs in Paris, Singapore, and Beverly Hills – with this edition having been designed exclusively for the location on Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive.
The Beverly Hills MB&F LAB is managed by the renowned American watch retailer Westime, who has not only been a partner of the brand since the very beginning but is also one of the first to open an MB&F LAB. This new edition of 25 pieces comes in Westime’s corporate colors of blue and black with a striking black base plate and metallic blue dial and open counters. It will be the only MB&F LAB edition released this year.
The MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO in Sky Blue and the Beverly Hills Limited Edition both retail for $80,000 plus tax.
To learn more, visit MB&F, here.