Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the Geneva Watch Days 2022 novelties. Before we get to dive deep into them, here’s our preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of two new MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
The Ability or MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO In A Nutshell
“Evolution is all about looking forward,” once said Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué. MB&F is steadily — and thankfully might I add considering they innovate — turning into a horological universe of its own, one where creativity and watchmaking intertwine to lend wrists with artworks worthy of unlimited praise. This universe is not just about high-end kinetic art timepieces from an independent watchmaker; with their products at the M.A.D Gallery, the recent M.A.D Edition 1 Red, and the introduction of the daily-wearable sports watch family with the Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO, they are expanding.
Now, at Geneva Watch Days 2022, they are announcing two new MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO watches and the launch of new concept MB&F LABs in cities of Paris, Singapore and Beverly Hills. Besides the color differences, both the new MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO boast of the same charm and the following features:
- 80m water resistance and screw-down crown for practicality
- an integrated rubber strap for wearability
- Super-LumiNova on the display for visibility
- a bezel-free design for clarity
- a shock-absorbing “FlexRing” system for usability
- and 30 degrees clockwise rotation of the entire mechanism for the personality
For MB&F, and its lovers, it is time to look forward to a universe where evolution of wrist-wear reaches new heights.
Couple of year ago, MB&F announced their own take on a sports watch, the zirconium cased colourful Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO. Rather limited in numbers, this only 45-piece release saw MB&F tailor its offering to a more outdoorsy environment, thanks to the inclusion of a mono-block shock protection system called “FlexRing”. This FlexRing concept sees the presence of a one-piece stainless steel annular dampener fitted between the case and movement, that provides shock protection along the vertical and lateral axes.
Then last year they new announced the MB&F LM Perpetual EVO Titanium, another feather in their cap. It featured an impressive manual winding perpetual calendar movement with double mainspring barrels lending a generous 72-hour per reserve and a bespoke 14mm balance wheel with traditional regulating screws visible on top of the movement. But the dial was a bit busy.
The new MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO brings that same enigmatic horological pleasure to your wrist, but with a more simplistic dial featuring 3 sub-dials depicting time, date and power-reserve. Those who follow the brand closely would remember this execution in the UAE’s 50th anniversary edition, the salmon coloured LMSE EVO UAE GOLDEN JUBILEE.
Basic Specs Of The New MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO
Inside the new MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO ticks the Manual winding with double mainspring barrels movement developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell. It features 298 components, 35 jewels, a rapid date-changing system, and beats at the low frequency of 2.5Hz.
This impressive 19th-century style hand-finished movement — featuring bevelled internal angles, polished bevels, Geneva waves, and engravings — also boasts of a special darkened treatment that creates heightened contrast between the wheels, the rhodium-plated barrels and the rose gold detail, and is encased inside an impressive 80m water-resistant titanium body measuring 44mm x 17.5mm.
Retailing for CHF 75’000 + VAT (EUR 75’000 / USD 80’000 + tax), the non-limited edition new MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO is announced today on 29 August 2022 as part of the Geneva Watch Days 2022. It will soon be available at their retailers and at https://shop.madgallery.ch/products/lm-split-escapement-evo-titanium.
The LM Split Escapement EVO Beverly Hills will be sold exclusively at the Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive location and will retail for the same USD 80’000 + tax. This first of MB&F LABs will be managed by the renowned American watch retailer Westime, who has been a partner of MB&F since the brand’s baby steps days.
The ‘Live’ Experience
I have had the privilege of looking at these live, albeit over a video call, and something that the press photos don’t do justice to is how the dial of the regular production MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO comes above when caressed by light; the spiral sun-ray effect dial changes hues and colours from light blue to grey, lending a mesmerising effect to your wrist. The subtle grey of the dial base acts as a complementing backdrop to the darker grey of the sub-dials, which in turn complements the grey of the integrated rubber strap (with a titanium folding buckle). The colour way reminds me of the recent Breitling Top Time Triumph Series.
The other 25-piece LE Beverly Hills version features a black dial plate and metallic blue sub-dials, almost converse of the new regular production MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO. The choice of colours reflects Westime’s corporate colours of blue and black (and I for one am curious to find out the colour of the Singapore edition).
In person, these look quite stellar too, with the black dial offering a bit more of reflection. I like its pairing with a crisp white strap, and the combination of black and white acts a perfect base for the shiny blue sub-dials to really shine through.
The use of black here also made me wonder if MB&F and H. Moser & Cie might do another collaboration, with MB&F using the latter’s Vantablack® dial just like Moser did last year with the Streamliner Cylindrical Tourbillon Only Watch 2021.
Overall, I like the play of depths and heights, and the symmetry of the timepiece as a whole. Whether be it the raised sub-dials, the three-dimensional balance wheel, or the rotated sub-dial layout with complementary crown at 4.30, the new MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO is both a visual and design work of art.
One small step for the expanding EVO family, one giant leap for the independent watchmaking industry.
To find out more about the new MB&F LM Split Escapement EVO and their other watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy ©MB&F SA 2018.