Maximilian Büsser never said that MB&F would never make a chronograph. What he did say, however, is that “MB&F would never make a chronograph like all the other chronographs out there.” And so, after 17 years, MB&F is introducing Legacy Machine Sequential EVO, its first chronograph and simultaneously MB&F’s 20th movement. Developed by one of the very earliest MB&F collaborators and Friends, Stephen McDonnell, one of the handful of watchmakers who assembled the first few movements for what would become Horological Machine N°1.
The dial plate of the LM Sequential EVO, available in atomic orange or coal black, features two chronograph displays: One has its seconds display at 9 o’clock and minutes display at 11 o’clock. The other has its seconds display at 3 o’clock and minutes display at 1 o’clock. Each of these chronograph displays can be started, stopped, and reset completely independently of each other, using the start/stop and reset pushers on their respective sides of the case. These make up the four chronograph pushers you would usually associate with having two chronograph mechanisms in one watch.
However, there is a fifth pusher, located at the 9 o’clock position: the “Twinverter”. This pusher elevates the functionality of the LM Sequential EVO beyond any existing chronograph wristwatch. It controls both chronograph systems, operating as a binary switch that inverts the current start/stop status of each chronograph. This means that if both chronograph displays happen to be stopped (at zero position or otherwise), pressing the Twinverter will cause both of them to start simultaneously. If they are both running, the Twinverter makes them stop. If one is running and the other is stopped, the Twinverter stops the one that is running and starts the one that is stopped.
Each of the two chronograph displays of the LM Sequential EVO can be started, stopped, and reset completely independently of each other, using the start/stop and reset pushers on their respective sides of the case.
LM Sequential EVO can therefore be used just as any other chronograph, but thanks to its twin chronograph mechanisms, it can also perform the same functions as a split-seconds chronograph.
According to MB&F, it even outperforms conventional chronographs and split-seconds chronographs in terms of energy efficiency and precision.
These are the different operating modes:
- Simultaneous mode is used for example in a race involving two competitors, starting simultaneously. The Twinverter allows to start both chronographs at exactly the same time, but the different end points can be easily recorded by pressing each chronograph’s individual start/stop pusher. To note, the durations of the events can exceed 60 seconds, which is the limit for the vast majority of split-second chronographs on the market.
- Cumulative mode occurs frequently in the work environment, where you might want to know how much time you spend on two separate projects as you switch between them throughout the day. By starting one chronograph when you begin working on one task, and then using the Twinverter when you shift focus to the second task (switching again when you go back to the first), you can easily track the amount of time you cumulatively spend on each task. Another example of this usage is the timing of a chess match.
- Sequential mode (or lap mode) has its greatest relevance in competitive sports, where it can be used to measure individual lap times. Starting one chronograph at the beginning of an event and using the Twinverter upon the completion of a lap instantly launches the second chronograph in order to time the next lap, while the first chronograph is stopped, allowing ample time for the timing result to be noted down. The stopped chronograph can then be reset to zero, ready to be relaunched with the Twinverter for the following lap. Thanks to its minutes totalizers, LM Sequential EVO can be used effectively in sporting events with average lap times of over a minute (which includes the vast majority of lap-racing sports).
- Independent mode can be used for instance in the preparation of a meal, where different things need to be cooked for different periods of time, at different points in time. You would operate the two chronograph mechanisms via their respective pushers — for instance, starting one when you put your pasta into boiling water and starting the other when the vegetables go in the oven. In fact, this application of LM Sequential EVO comes in handy in all areas of personal productivity. At the gym, for example, when trying to optimize your physical workout routine, one chronograph can be set to time your entire session whilst the second is used to record your time at each station, or the downtime in between.
When Maximilian Büsser spoke to Stephen McDonnell in 2016, raising the possibility of a follow-up to Legacy Machine Perpetual (2015), the response from Stephen was four words long: “I have an idea.” He saw the combined chronograph lever immediately as a way to ensure that race events could be measured with maximum precision with a manually operated mechanical chronograph. Allowing the chronographs systems to be operated separately meant that different timings could be taken and preserved long enough for the results to be recorded. From then on, the various solutions fell into place. Using two separate chronograph mechanisms linked to the same oscillator — an idea practically made for the Legacy Machine, with its central flying balance wheel — meant that timing errors due to tiny chronometric discrepancies between different timers would be eliminated.
Stephen McDonnell reconfigured the chronograph vertical clutch to sit within the main gear train in order to eliminate the infamous flutter of the chronograph seconds hand without the need for an amplitude-draining friction spring. He incorporated internally jeweled chronograph clutch shafts that would make amplitude fluctuation between the active and inactive modes of the chronograph a thing of history.
The LM Sequential EVO comes with a zirconium case with 80 meters of water resistance. The 44-mm no-bezel case design is allowing the symmetrical layout of Stephen McDonnell’s creation to be fully showcased. In LM Sequential EVO, the iconic sapphire-crystal dome characteristic of the LM collection underwent a complicated shift in geometry in order to accommodate the placement of the 3Hz (21,600vph) suspended balance in relation to the chronograph displays. Despite the final appearance of the dial crystal — forming a perfectly smooth arch — there are actually two subtle (and difficult to achieve) angles incorporated within the camber of the crystal in order to minimize the overall height of LM Sequential EVO when worn on the wrist on the integrated rubber strap. The movement itself consists of 585 parts, power reserve is 72 hours.
The watch also utilizes an annular dampener fitted between case and movement, providing shock protection along both vertical and lateral axes: the FlexRing. Machined from a single block of stainless steel, the dampener ensures that EVO remains “a watch that can and will follow you through all aspects of an active life,” according to MB&F.
The LM Sequential EVO retails for $180,000. More information: Link