MB&F Launches its First Collection for Women
MB&F helped kick start the rise of independent watchmaking fourteen years ago creating retro-futuristic time machines as envisioned by company founder Maximilian Büsser. Among their traits, MB&F’s space age watch designs have always featured dramatic case heights, which are typically worn most comfortably on larger wrists.
The debut of the round-cased 44mm Legacy Machines seven years ago offered a more moderate case size to those with smaller wrists, while the 2014 Legacy Machine 101, at 40mm in diameter, is perhaps MB&F’s most forgiving for those with smaller wrists. But, despite its size, the LM101 wasn’t specifically made with feminine design refinements.
Today MB&F addresses its many female fans as it debuts the Legacy Machine Flying T, the first MB&F watch collection made specifically for women. The new watch is not only MB&F’s smallest-diameter model, at 38.5mm across, but it’s also the first MB&F horological art piece designed with what historically have been considered feminine touches, including a generous helping of diamonds.
The Legacy Machine Flying T is made with a round white gold case, a cambered bezel and long thin lugs set with diamonds. And while the case itself is thinner than those found on past Legacy Machines, the watch’s height and extensive use of clear sapphire recalls the previous LM models.
Here, a high convex sapphire dome protects and focuses the eye on a dramatic, slow beat flying tourbillon – the Flying T in the collection’s name. Three versions will be made. Thus, the namesake flying tourbillon towers above either a galaxy of baguette diamonds, a field of brilliant, round diamonds or a sea of dark black lacquer.
That tourbillon tower is itself unusual and a technical challenge. The shape of the upper tourbillon cage creates more mass on one side of the tourbillon than the other, MB&F reports. To ensure that the tower doesn’t topple (or, more specifically, doesn’t become unbalanced) MB&F places a (hidden) counterweight under the tourbillon carriage opposite the dramatic upper cage.
The tourbillon tower and its gem-set or black lacquer moat is not the only unusual sight under the Legacy Machine Flying T dome. At about the 7 o’clock position you’ll find the dial, tilted at 50 degrees to face the wearer. MB&F says this placement amplifies the more personal nature of time as this dial is most visible only to the presumably female owner of the Legacy Machine Flying T.
On the white or black dial MB&F places serpentine, blued hour and minute hands. MB&F explains that in order to display the time at such an angle it employed unusual conical gears to effectively transmit torque from one plane of components to another. This echoes similar solutions first used in HM6 and more recently inside in the HM9 Flow.
The undulating shapes on the dial are also seen echoed as rays on the sun-shaped automatic winding rotor, a dramatic gold, platinum and titanium construction visible through the clear sapphire caseback. While not technically solar-powered, the automatic engine here is at least metaphorically sun-driven.
According to Busser, more feminine shapes on this MB&F Legacy Machine Flying T symbolize his respect for the women in his life.
“I wanted LM Flying T to possess the epitome of femininity as reflected by the women in my life, particularly my mother,” he recalls in a press release. “It had to combine supreme elegance with tremendous vitality. The column-like structure of the flying tourbillon was very important to me as I felt very strongly that women form the pillar of humanity.”
The movement energizing the tourbillon tower and angled dial has a power reserve of an impressive 100 hours, among the highest in all MB&F collections.
The MB&F Legacy Machine Flying T, soon to be seen in the metal at Baselworld 2019, launches in three editions, all in white gold and set with diamonds. Prices: $115,000 (black lacquer dial plate with case set with brilliant-cut diamonds; $145,000 (dial plate and case both fully set with brilliant-cut diamonds; $315,000 (dial plate and case both fully set with baguette-cut diamonds).
Specifications: MB&F Legacy Machine Flying T
Launch editions in diamond-set, white gold cases
Movement: Three-dimensional vertical architecture, automatic winding, central flying 60-second tourbillon. power reserve of 100 hours, balance frequency of 2.5 Hz (18,000 bph), three-dimensional sun winding rotor in 18k 5N+ red gold, titanium and platinum. 280 components, 30 jewels.
Functions/indications: Hours and minutes displayed on a 50° vertically titled dial with two blued serpentine hands, two crowns: winding on left and time-setting on right.
Case: Launch editions in 38.5mm x 20mm white gold and diamonds, high domed sapphire crystal on top with anti-reflective coating on both sides, sapphire crystal on back, 30 meters of water resistance.
Black Lacquer edition: 168 stones (120 on the case, 21 on the buckle, 1 on top of the tourbillon cage and 26 for the crowns).
Paved diamond-set edition: 558 stones (390 on the dial, 120 on the case, 21 on the buckle, 1 on top of the tourbillon cage and 26 for the crowns). About 3.5 carats of diamond.
Baguette diamonds edition: 294-baguette diamonds and 3 stones (134-baguette diamonds on the dial, 124-baguette diamonds on the case, 12-baguette diamonds on the buckle, 24-baguette diamonds and 2 stones for the crowns, 1 stone on top of the tourbillon cage). About 8.2 carats of diamond.
Strap: Calf or alligator leather straps available with 18-karat white gold pin buckle, set with diamonds.