In the course of its 15-year history, MB&F has partnered with some of the most talented watchmakers of our generation – Kari Voutilainen, Eric Coudray and Stephen McDonnell, among others. Designers and artists as wll, from long-time collaborator Eric Giroud and the iconoclasti Alain Silberstein to contemporary painter Sage Vaughn. Now, MB&F is introducing a new and exciting cooperation.With the LM Split Escapement “Eddy Jaquet” Limited Edition, the manufacture is putting the work of a traditional artisan in the spotlight. The series of eight unique pieces features the extraordinary imagination and skills of the well-known engraver in depicting the novels of Jules Verne.
Eddy Jaquet is recognised as the man whose transformative touch can turn a watch into a rich storytelling tapestry. Because of its wide expanse of surface available for engraving, the Legacy Machine Split Escapement was a natural choice for this unprecedented collaboration.
None of the illustrations are drawn from an existing piece of art. They are conceived by Jaquet after reading the source books by Jules Verne and viewing any other secondary films or creative work based on the books. Each engraving is an intricate tableau of scenes and key moments from the stories, expressively designed to be interpreted through the medium of the Legacy Machine. The stories illustrated are: “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, “From the Earth to the Moon”, “Around the World in Eighty Days”, “Five Weeks in a Balloon”, “The Adventures of Captain Hatteras”, “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”, “Michael Strogoff” and “Robur the Conqueror”.
All engraving skills had to be practiced withing the exigencies and limitations set by the LM Split Escapement engine. The designated engraving space was the dial plate, which presents a flat upper surface in the main series, but is actually of variable thickness on its reverse side. Careful consideration had to be made as to where the thinner areas were, so as not to inadvertently puncture the artistic canvas.
From the side of production as well, several adjustments were made to the original LM Split Escapement so as to maximise the available engraving space. New, openworked date and power-reserve subdials were created, along with wider dial plates. The bezel was redesigned to be slimmer, and the case dimensions reworked, in order to make space for the wider dial plate. Because the bezel and case dimensions were changed, a new dial crystal had to be produced, with a less pronounced curve to the dome, since its diameter was now increased.
Every one of the eight watches comes in a red gold case. It measures 44.5 mm in diameter and is water-resistant up to 5 atm.
Last but not least, let us take a quick look at the Split Escapement calibre. The mechanical movement offers hours, minutes, a date and a power reserve indicator. It works at a frequency of 2.5 Hz and offers a power reserve of 72 hours.
MB&F equips the LM Split Escapement “Eddy Jaquet” Limited Edition with a dark brown hand-stitched alligator strap.