Independent watchmaking in the 21st century is ripe with innovation, creativity, adventurous spirt and dynamism. I feel so privileged and fortunate to have the opportunity to cover watches of that calibre, and the Legacy Machine Split Escapement is definitely no exception. Created as an extension of the famed Legacy Machine family, the Split Escapement is a remarkable looking timepiece that brings to light just how capable MB&F is as a watchmaking atelier.
The Legacy Machine Split Escapement is a very special looking watch. MB&F’s DNA is very much on show with the Legacy Machine Split Escapement. Dimensionally and architecturally, the Legacy Machine Split Escapement is a demonstration of aesthetics matching mechanics, and vice versa. From the suspended balance wheel to the high domed crystal, the Legacy Machine Split Escapement is a literal work of art. The exposed balance wheel hovering over the centre part of the watch looks as though its powered by something supernatural, and the highly polished elevated bridges are reminiscent of the UFO-likeness from decades ago.
The 18k white gold timepiece sits at 44mm in width on the wrist and 17.5mm in height. High, yes. But don’t forget that this is primarily due to the high domed crystal. The Legacy Machine Split Escapement is available in four editions, all with the same 18k white gold case: blue frosted dial; red gold frosted dial; ruthenium frosted dial; and a yellow gold frosted dial. These frosted dials are marvelous. The rough frosting adds a textural contrast between the high polished finish of the case, balance wheel and bridge, and adds another visceral dimension to an already prolific watch.
The Legacy Machine Split Escapement’s machine is designed and developed by Stephen McDonnell, the man responsible for the Legacy Machine Perpetual. This is a highly developed, complex mechanism that incorporates a split escapement with a suspended balance wheel, with the anchor and escape wheel underneath the movement. It’s a manually wound calibre with two mainspring barrels which gives the piece a solid 3-days’ worth of power. The movement of course has been finished to the standard that we’ve come to expect from MB&F. Beveling, polishing, internal angles, Geneva-waves, hand crafted engravings and an uncompromising attention to detail are some of the reasons why the Legacy Machine Split Escapement is as much a goer as it is a looker.
As far as I’m concerned, Max Busser had no reason to produce this. His stature and position within the horological world is solidified. The Legacy Machine Split Escapement is a brilliant watch that’s distinctive and different, despite its similarity with the other Legacy Machines. The Legacy Machine Split Escapement is available in four different dial variants in the same 18k white gold case, with each variation available in a limited run of 18-pieces. The MB&F Legacy Machine Split Escapement is a beautiful timepiece well worth your consideration, and is available for $79,000.
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