Over the course of its 15-year history, MB&F has collaborated with some of the most talented watchmakers of our generation: Kari Voutilainen, Eric Coudray, Stephen McDonnell, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht e Stepan Sarpaneva, to name a few. It also appealed to designers and artists, from longtime collaborator Eric Giroud and from the iconoclast Alain Silberstein to the sculptor Xia Hang and to the contemporary painter Sage Vaughn. Now, for the first time, MB&F puts the work of a traditional craftsman in the spotlight, with the LM Split Escapement 'Eddie Jaquet'Limited Edition: a series of eight unique specimens characterized by the extraordinary imagination and skill of the well-known engraver in representing the novels of Jules Verne.
Eddie Jaquet he is known among the elite of watchmaking enthusiasts as the man whose artistic touch is able to transform a watch into a rich narrative tapestry. Who follows MB&F for a long time he will immediately recognize his work. The fluid handwriting seen on the Legacy Machine movement is handcrafted by Eddy Jaquet; it is the purest expression of his authentic artistic talent. MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser says: "We have worked with him for years, but having Eddy Jaquet engrave names on the movements is like hearing Für Elise play on a Stradivarius violin: one cannot imagine a more modest use of such an extraordinary gift."
The most memorable work of the engraver of Neuchâtel it is characterized by the depth of its reach and ambition; it is classic in style and heroic in its depiction of human figures. In a sense, the leitmotif of the LM Split Escapement Eddy Jaquet Limited Edition it was inevitable. Büsser says: "We are gathered around the table to try to collect ideas and immediately the stories of Jules Verne come to mind, both because I am a science fiction enthusiast and because the Legacy Machine collection Eddy is working on is basically the watch he is working on. I would have created if MB&F had been founded 150 years ago. "
Thanks to its large surface on which it is possible to engrave, the Legacy Machine Split Escapement (LM SE) was a natural fit for this unprecedented collaboration. In his preliminary research for this series, Eddy Jaquet devoured the books of Jules Verne, reading up to 60 novels and short stories by the prolific French author of the 19° century. The eight stories that were ultimately selected to be illustrated in the limited edition include some of his most beloved works such as Twenty thousand leagues under the seas, but also others less known such as The adventures of Captain Hatteras.
Absolutely noteworthy is the fact that none of these illustrations are taken from an existing work of art. They were conceived by Jaquet after reading the original books by Jules Verne and reviewing any other secondary film or book-based creative work. Each engraving is an intricate depiction of key scenes and moments from the stories, epitomized in the imagination of Backgammon and expressly designed to be interpreted through movement LM SE.
Backgammon not only did he have to exercise his creativity and his skills as an engraver to the maximum, but he also had to practice his technique according to the needs and limitations imposed by the L movementM SE. The space intended for the engraving was to be the quadrant, which has a flat top surface in the main series LM SE, but it is actually of varying thickness on the opposite side to accommodate the different components of the movement. Engraving the dial as if its thickness were uniform over the entire surface was not possible: it was necessary to carefully consider which areas were the thinnest, so as not to inadvertently pierce the artistic canvas in the event that a particular section required engravings in high relief.
Also on the manufacturing front several changes have been made to the original LM Split Escapement, in order to maximize the available engraving space and allow a Backgammon to best express its savoir-faire. Along with wider dials, new skeletonized counters for the date and power reserve were also created. The bezel has been redesigned to be slimmer, and the case dimensions have been reworked to make room for the larger dial. As the dimensions of the bezel and case had changed, a new crystal had to be made for the dial, with a less pronounced curve of the dome to accommodate the larger diameter.
To make each illustrated scene stand out, Jaquet hand applied a dark rhodium alloy, adapting the shading of each detail to the needs of the scene. The smoke of the fire on the dial Michele Strogoff, for example, it required a subdued touch, while for the subterranean sea depicted on the dial Viaggio al centro della Terra gradient blending techniques were used. Between the redesign of various components and the actual creation of the actual engraved dial, over 300 hours of overtime were required for each unique piece of the LM SE Eddy Jaquet Limited Edition. The price should be around 170.000 EURO.
The eight stories of Jules Verne illustrated in the series are:
Twenty thousand leagues under the seas
From the Earth to the Moon
Around the world in eighty days
Five weeks in the balloon
The adventures of Captain Hatteras
Viaggio al centro della Terra
Robur the conqueror
Each of the eight examples is fitted with an 18k red gold case.