MB&F, the indie brand best known for its wildly creative timepieces, has unveiled its first ladies wristwatch, the Legacy Machine FlyingT. And just like everything they do, there is a lot more to this timepiece than what meets the eye.
This isn’t a men’s watch from the Legacy Machine series that’s been resized, but a new timepiece built from scratch, ground-up. The FlyingT is available in three options - the first features a black lacquer dial plate with case set with brilliant-cut diamonds; the second has dial plate and case both fully set with brilliant-cut diamonds, and the third features a dial plate and case both fully set with baguette-cut diamonds.
The slender white gold case is 38.5 mm wide and features slim, elongated lugs that are fully set with diamonds. The case has two crowns, one for winding and the other for setting the time. An extravagantly domed sapphire crystal rises from the bezel like a bubble. Beneath this dome, a subtly curved dial holds up to eight layers of stretched black lacquer or glitters with white diamonds.
From the center of the dial plate rises a vertical mechanical movement that is topped by a flying tourbillon with a cantilevered double arch upper bridge instead of the brand's typical battle-axe bridge. Max Büsser reckons the flying tourbillon’s motion atop this column-like movement to a miniature ballerina pirouetting in a jewelry box. A single large diamond tops the upper tourbillon cage. At the 7 o’clock position, a dial of black or white lacquer displays the hours and minutes with a pair of elegant serpentine hands in blued gold. The dial is inclined at a 50° tilt so that the time can be read only by the wearer.
On the reverse, the automatic winding rotor is shaped like a three-dimensional red gold sun with sculpted rays, providing LM FlyingT with four days of power reserve. This isn’t the first time MB&F have used a column-like movement in a watch, remember the HM7 Aquapod from 2017? In a departure from most modern watch movements, which take a radial and co-planar approach to movement construction, the LM FlyingT engine employs a vertical and co-axial approach.
The flying tourbillon shoots out of this movement and the surrounding watch dial. To support the flying tourbillon and ensure that the mechanism remains balanced, a counterweight was hidden under the tourbillon carriage, on the opposite side of the upper tourbillon cage. In order to display the time as precisely as possible on the 50° inclined dial, conical gears were employed to optimally transmit torque from one plane to another, a solution first used in HM6 and subsequently in HM9 Flow.
Only a total of 35 pieces of the FlyingT will be produced, across all three variations. The black lacquer dial version will cost $115,000), the one with a pave diamond dial and case is priced at $145,000 and the baguette-diamond-set case and dial with more than eight carats of diamonds on it is $315,000.