Eddy Jaquet is recognised throughout the rarefied circles of independent watchmaking aficionados as the man whose transformative touch can turn a watch into a rich storytelling tapestry. Those who have followed MB&F for a long time will already be familiar with his work. The flowing script you see on the Legacy Machine engines is made in Eddy Jaquet’s hand; it is the merest hint of his true artistic talent.
Because of its wide expanse of surface available for engraving, the Legacy Machine Split Escapement (LM SE) was a natural choice for this unprecedented collaboration with Eddy Jaquet based on the novels of Jules Verne. In his preliminary research for the series, he devoured all of his books, reading up to 60 novels and short stories by the prolific 19th-century French author. The eight stories that were finally selected to be illustrated in the limited edition include some of his best-loved work such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea but also some of the lesser-known stories such as The Adventures of Captain Hatteras. Highly notable is the fact that none of these illustrations are drawn from an existing piece of art. Each engraving is an intricate tableau of scenes and key moments from the stories, synthesised in the imagination of Jaquet and expressly designed to be interpreted through the medium of the LM SE engine.
To fully bring out each illustrated scene, Jaquet applied a dark rhodium alloy by hand, adjusting the shading of each detail according to the exigencies of the scene. The smoke of the fire on the Michel Strogoff dial, for example, required an attenuated touch, while the underground sea depicted on the Journey to The Centre of The Earth dial incorporated gradient-shading techniques. Between the redesign of a number of components and the actual execution of the engraved dial itself, over 300 hours of additional labour were required for each unique piece of the LM SE Eddy Jaquet Limited Edition.