By Kien Lee
MB&F launched the Legacy Machine FlyingT in 2019, its first ever timepiece for women. The watch went on to win the GPHG prize for Best Ladies' Complication - an affirmation for founder Max Büsser's bold attempt to venture into producing a watch for the fairer sex.
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT - MB&F's First Watch for Women
"... At some point there came a desire to create something for the women in my family. I've been surrounded by their influence all my life, so I gave myself the challenge to do something for them." - Max Büsser: Read Story
In 2021, the brand would collaborate with Bulgari to present the FlyingT Allegra, working with the Italian jeweller's to give the FlyingT's futuristic and opulent profile, an enhancement with the addition of coloured stones. These gems counterbalance the cold precision and micromechanical complexity of the watch with a warm and exuberant signature touch.
Bulgari & MB&F Launch the Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra
Bulgari the Italian jeweller famed for its cabochon-cut coloured gems in its watch creations, expressing Mediterranean warmth and exuberance, has come together with MB&F celebrated for its radical approach to horlogerie with its radical timepieces, in a new LM FlyingT Allegra.: Read Story
Today, MB&F presents the Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice and Flying T Blizzard, limited to 8 pieces each. It is a collaboration with French jewellery designer Emmanuel Tarpin, best known for his unique pieces that combine his love for nature, sculpture, innovative materials and gemstones. It is a partnership that is on the opposite end from that of the Italian jewellery house.
Tarpinin, an independent young artist, prefers to work alone, meeting his clients and suppliers in person and running literally every aspect of his company solo. For him, personal contacts are at the heart of everything he does, and he chooses and declines projects based on the quality of these connections.
He first met Max Büsser while studying at Geneva’s Haute école d’art et de design (HEAD), when Max made a presentation to the students about MB&F. Fast forward a few years and Emmanuel Tarpin’s name popped up as an up-and-coming jewellery designer to watch. Looking him up online, Max noticed that they were already connected on LinkedIn and sent him a message. The rest, as they say, is history.
“I do very few collaborations; I much prefer to focus on my own creations,” opines Tarpin. “But we had a chat and then met in person and we got on really well. I found the project to be extremely interesting and working with Max was just spontaneous and easy, even if this was my first time working on a watch!”
“We are not jewellers, we are watchmakers,” explains Büsser. “We would put diamonds on our timepieces, but it was really the bare minimum. So, I started to see jewellers, great jewellers, to ask them if they would like to put their artistry and jewellery into our FlyingT – much like giving them a blank canvas to paint.”
Two captivating Legacy Machine FlyingT emerge from this coming together.
Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice
The first model, called Ice, features asymmetrical diamond-set stalagmites that encroach on the sapphire crystal dome and the movement. Each icy stalagmite is different, replicating the randomness of nature. Tarpin took his inspiration from a trip to Lake Baïkal in Southern Siberia, where in winter the lake freezes from the edge inwards until it is totally frozen.
The claws of the diamond stalagmites have not quite claimed the movement and the matt lapis lazuli dial, leaving the beauty of the mechanism and the time visible to the eye.
Legacy Machine FlyingT Blizzard
For the second model, named Blizzard, Tarpin let his imagination run free into the Alps where he has been skiing since he was two years old. He has interpreted memories of being caught in blizzards of snow into the LM FlyingT with brilliant-cut diamonds set under the sapphire crystal dome and closed-set diamonds set into the matt lapis lazuli dial, depicting snowflakes on the ground.
The result is like a snow globe in motion.
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice and MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice are in editions of 8 pieces each. Both editions in 18K white gold with fully diamond-set cases and blue matte lapis lazuli dial plates.