When it was introduced back in March 2019, the MB&F LM FlyingT was positioned by the brand as a women’s watch – in fact, the first watch entirely dedicated to women by MB&F. Since the inaugural editions were all paved with diamonds, it somehow made sense… But, as Rebecca said in her review of this watch, “the baguette-set model could work on a man’s wrist“, something that I only partially second. The overall concept talked to me, so did the restrained dimensions and the vertical movement with flying tourbillon. But not the diamonds. Well, problem solved, as today MB&F is introducing the LM FlyingT Red Gold and Platinum editions, without diamonds, making it the perfect unisex option for the brand.
The way this MB&F LM FlyingT was received was truly enthusiastic, by both feminine and masculine audiences. Women pointed out the non-comprising look, truly faithful to the spirit of Max Büsser and his friends, and the fact that it wasn’t just a reduced masculine model paved with diamonds, but a watch designed from scratch, its movement included. The masculine audience somehow enjoyed the look, the proportions and the fascinating three-dimensional vertical architecture of the flying tourbillon movement (a first for MB&F), but not so much the stones on the dial and/or the bezel. I was part of that group, somehow imagining what this watch could look like without the diamonds. (See below the inaugural edition with diamonds.)
I love MB&F watches, whether the LM or HM collections. They are bold, different, totally crazy in terms of design but also much more mature than their spaceship or steampunk look would suggest. However, most of them are large – or very large in the case of some HM watches. I know it’s part of the concept, but a 44mm piece is maybe too much for my 16.5cm wrist – which is why I’ve always loved the LM101 and its 40mm case. And looking at the MB&F LM FlyingT made me – and probably multiple watch enthusiasts – think about having a “de-diamonded” version. The design of this watch, an evolution first used in this context and later utilized by the LM Thunderdome, was also very pleasant. It seems that we were not the only ones to wish for a less feminine version, as MB&F presents today the LM FlyingT Red Gold and Platinum, now without diamonds (almost).
These new versions in the LM FlyingT collection keep up with the novel design introduced on the women’s models. The case marked an evolution compared to the LM1 or LM Perpetual watches, with fewer angles, more curves, lugs flowing into the caseband and a much thinner bezel. This new design language felt rather feminine at first but proved quite apropos in the context of a larger watch, with the Thunderdome. Compared to the inaugural paved model, no evolution here, with still the same lines and proportions, meaning a reasonable but not small 38.5mm diameter – suitable for most wrists, whatever the gender. The case is available in 18k red gold (Night edition) or 950 platinum (Day edition).
Faithful to all the watches in the LM collection, the FlyingT features a highly domed sapphire crystal over the dial – even more remarkable here because of the smaller diameter. With its 20mm height, don’t expect the case to hide under a cuff – but that’s not the point of this watch anyway. This crystal is a protective dome over the sculptural kinetic ballet, thanks to a three-dimensional vertical movement and a sub-dial that displays the time on a 50° vertically tilted axis. As you can see, only one glittering connection to their diamond-armoured predecessors remains: at the top of the flying tourbillon sits a single 0.035-carat stone that rotates in time with the underlying mechanism. The dial – in fact, the movement’s main-plate – is guilloché and available in black (combined with red gold) or in blue (combined with platinum).
The unique movement, which was conceived and developed in-house by MB&F, displays the usual 3D effect of the brand. The flat section of the movement is dedicated to the supply and storage of energy. The LM FlyingT is indeed an automatic watch, wound by a rotor in the shape of a three-dimensional red-gold sun with sculpted rays. This watch is also powerful, with 100h of power reserve. Then comes the vertical part of the movement, which includes the gear train and the regulating organ – all stacked on a vertical axis, with the flying tourbillon on top of the movement, rotating once every minute. As a tribute to other members of the LM collection, the cage of the tourbillon mimics the arches that usually hold the balance wheel.
Now comes the question of the positioning of this watch? Is it still a women’s watch? Can it become an alternative for men? The answer is yes, in both cases. First, not all women love diamonds on their watches – in fact, I know many younger women who prefer masculine watches over old-school, floral/diamond timepieces. Here, MB&F proposes a toned-down version that is more discreet and less “girly”.
Then, and especially true for the platinum version with its cold colour scheme, I think this watch will please a masculine audience who prefer smaller watches, without compromising on the usual MB&F design and technical madness. It is a watch that still creates an impact and, even if it feels a bit more elegant than an LM1 for instance, still retains all the desired Büsser codes.
Price and availability
These new editions of the MB&F LM FlyingT are each limited to 18 pieces, now available at retailers. They will be priced at CHF 98,000 – USD 105,000 – EUR 91,000 (all excl. taxes) for the red gold edition and CHF 108,000 – USD 116,000 – EUR 100,000 (all excl. taxes) for the platinum edition. More details at www.mbandf.com.