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The MB&F LM Sequential Flyback Platinum gets a tad less sporty, but a lot more decadent The MB&F LM Sequential Flyback Platinum gets a tad less sporty, but a lot more decadent

The MB&F LM Sequential Flyback Platinum gets a tad less sporty, but a lot more decadent

Borna Bošnjak
  • Stephen McDonnell equips the platinum-cased update to MB&F’s chronograph with a flyback function.
  • The 33-piece limited edition sports a sky blue sunburst backdrop to the exposed dual chronograph mechanisms on the dial, and the signature flying balance with Breguet overcoil.
  • Outfitted with the innovative Twinverter switch, the chronographs can be operated at the same time, or independent of each other. 

You’d think a brand like MB&F will have made at least a handful of revolutionary chronographs over the years, considering the bonkers stuff its boffins get up to. It’s quite the contrary, however, as the first-ever MB&F chrono only saw light of day in 2022, marking the 20th movement the brand has put out. Naturally, this was no modified Valjoux affair, rather an ultra-complex piece of machinery that included several timing modes for the chronograph, the overall execution winning the GPHG Aiguille d’Or. So, where do you go from here? The first Sequential was already given the EVO treatment for ultimate sportiness, so the only thing left for MB&F to do is make it less sporty, and naturally a lot more complicated. And I’d hazard a guess that’s exactly how the MB&F LM Sequential Flyback happened.

mbf lm sequential flyback platinum wrist

Let’s start with a quick overview of what this thing’s made of, before delving deeper into why the LM Sequential Flyback is as cool as it is, apart from looking absolutely nuts. First of all, the case is no longer made of lightweight, scratch-resistant zirconium, MB&F opting for a luxe bit of platinum that will undoubtedly make the 44mm case a tad heavier on the wrist. The overall look is different from the Sequential EVO, though I’d hesitate to call it “classic”, as this is still an MB&F we’re talking about. Rather than the integrated rubber strap and flowing, hollowed-out lugs though, the LM Sequential Flyback sports a simpler look. The lugs jut out further and curve less, with flat, brushed sides and mirror-polished tops. The square pushers and crown dotted around the caseband are a lot more pronounced, too, with the bottom pusher on each side assuming the flyback role, instead of a simple reset.

mbf lm sequential flyback platinum dial close up

Looking closer at the many levels of the “dial”, we see that MB&F has committed to the “classic” look even further. The brand opted for a serifed font for the chronograph rings and Roman numerals for the time-telling sub-dial, printing them on a white enamel backdrop, with blued hands for optimal legibility. Owing to the complex nature of the dial, however, legibility isn’t the best, especially once you realise that the brand’s signature flying balance obstructs some of the chronograph sub-dials. This would normally be a complaint, but I feel like we’ve become so accustomed to the overwhelming nature of an LM Perpetual or Sequential, that it’s just become a part of the experience.

mbf lm sequential flyback platinum movement caseback

The main event continues to the reverse side, the expansive sapphire caseback giving another angle of Stephen McDonnell’s work. Interestingly, the initial concept of the LM Sequential already included a flyback function, but was ultimately dropped due to the sheer difficulty of implementing it. How difficult, you may ask? Well, it only took reworking the entire way the chronographs were designed from the start, the most difficult being ensuring that the friction between the vertical clutches (both in the original Sequential and the Flyback) was low enough not to cause a block. To reduce what could be an article in itself to just a few sentences, the solution was to place a jewel bearing on the vertical clutch, as the shaft of the fourth wheel rotates around the clutch pivot. It was clearly not too difficult for McDonnell, as he took on the job of prototyping these jewels himself.

Zooming back out and looking at the chronograph as a whole, the Twinverter system is its headlining feature, as well as the reason for all the issues McDonnell encountered on the way to making it work properly. The button to operate it sits at 9 o’clock, and will engage with both chronograph mechanisms simultaneously, flipping their current state. In essence, if both chronographs are off, it’ll start them. If they’re both on, it’ll stop them. If one is running, and the other isn’t, it’ll stop the first, and start the second. This in theory allows the wearer to have rattrapante-like functionality, beginning to time two events at once with the Twinverter, before stopping each chronograph separately to read the time. If you’re timing just one competitor, a racing driver for example, you could use the Twinverter to measure lap times, switching between the two chronographs at the end of each lap. Alternatively, you could time cumulative time, using the LM Sequential as a pseudo-chess clock. These, of course, go along with using the LM Sequential Flyback as you would a normal chronograph, except you now have two sitting side-by-side.

mbf lm sequential flyback platinum

This is a most unusual watch, though we’ll still run through the usual specs. It sports dual mainsprings for a three-day power reserve, topped up by manual winding. The flying balance wheel is equipped with a Breguet overcoil, while the overall finishing is the usual mix of contemporary such as the blackened striping, and classic, like the internal bevels and massive skeletonised intermediate wheels.

In the press material, MB&F notes that the flyback feature gives this watch a connection to pilots, for whom the complication was invented for – though it’s certainly less fighter pilots, and more private jet-setters. Is this watch hugely impractical, and are there many other watches one could purchase for for the undoubtedly princely sum of the LM Sequential Flyback? Absolutely. But none of that really matters, and the proof is in the pudding – a brand like MB&F wouldn’t exist if it did. To anyone who actually can afford one of these, the process of getting one will include lots of thank yous and likely no mention of the retail price. The 2024 edition of the GPHGs are only a few months away, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the LM Sequential Flyback adding a notch or two to MB&F’s belt.

MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential Flyback Platinum pricing and availability

The MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential Flyback Platinum is a limited number of 33 pieces, with pricing available on request.

Brand MB&F
Model Legacy Machine Sequential Flyback Platinum
Case Dimensions 44mm (D) x 18.2mm (T)
Case Material Platinum
Water Resistance 30 metres, screw-down crown
Crystal(s) Domed sapphire front, flat sapphire back
Dial Open, sky blue sunburst backdrop
Strap Alligator leather, 18k white gold folding clasp
Movement Integrated dual chronograph by Stephen McDonnell, manual winding
Power Reserve 72 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, two flyback chronographs, Twinverter switch, power reserve
Availability 33 pieces
Price POA