MB&F’s maiden voyage into the galaxy of women’s watches was a resounding success. After years of masterminding complex, visually arresting watches for men, Max Büsser presented the Legacy Machine FlyingT in 2019. Still very much a child of MB&F, with its 3D staging, flying tourbillon and protuberant domed showcase, the LM FlyingT was a winning combination of micro-mechanical delights and elegant, feminine touches. Not only was it warmly welcomed by women who enjoy mechanical watches, the watch took home the Ladies’ Complication Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève that same year. Closing the year in style, MB&F proposes its sixth edition of the LM FlyingT, this time with a vivid blue lapis lazuli dial and a generous sprinkling of diamonds.
The Sixth Sense
The 2019 launch versions of the LM FlyingT were released in 18k white gold with brilliant-cut or baguette-cut diamonds and black dials. Earlier this year, we covered the editions in red gold and platinum with stunning guilloché dials and no diamonds. This latest LM FlyingT combines the intense blue of lapis lazuli with the brilliance of white diamonds. Prized by ancient civilisations for its vivid blue colour, one of the most famous mines for lapis lazuli since 700 BC is in Bactria (Afghanistan today). Composed of three major minerals – lazurite, calcite and pyrite – the golden flecks you can see inside the stone are created by pyrite. Sparkling like distant stars in the cosmos, the pyrite adds a mysterious astronomical dimension to the watch.
As a member of the Legacy Machine fleet, the FlyingT shares certain family traits like the round case, the exaggerated convex domed sapphire crystal and the classic hours and minutes counter with Roman numerals. The 18k white gold case measures 38.5mm and because of the convex crystal, has a pronounced height of 20mm. This Lapis Lazuli edition is set with 168 diamonds (120 on the case, 21 on the buckle, 26 on the two crowns and 1 large diamond on top of the tourbillon cage).
The dial is dominated by the large asymmetric ‘ventricular’ aperture in the centre bearing the spectacular flying tourbillon crowned with a diamond. Unlike most flying tourbillons that need to be anchored firmly at their base and are placed deep inside the movement, the FlyingT sits on top of a column construction and rises vertically to perform its one-minute rotations. The lapis lazuli hours and minutes counter (no numerals) is placed at 7 o’clock and features serpentine hands. However, what is most striking about this feature is the inclination of the counter at a 50° angle so that only the wearer can consult the time.
A beautiful golden sculpted sun on the caseback doubles up as the rotor and conceals most of the automatic movement. The development of the cinematic flying tourbillon, which projects beyond the dial plate, required radical technical solutions. While most modern watch movements rely on a radial and co-planar approach, the FlyingT uses a vertical and co-axial approach. Another challenge in the construction of the FlyingT involved the shape of the upper tourbillon cage. Because it has more mass on one side, it had to be compensated. The solution was to place a counterweight hidden under the tourbillon case. Displaying time on an inclined dial was also challenging, and conical gears were used to transmit torque from one plane to another. The 280-component engine of Legacy Machine FlyingT has a power reserve of four days (100 hours), which is among the highest within MB&F.
The Legacy Machine FlyingT Lapis Lazuli is the first in a series of gemstone editions which will be released once a year. There is no indication of its production run, but expect it to be limited. The retail price is EUR 118,000 (excl. tax).
More information at MB&F.