Even the most unpredictable and audaciously led lives, when observed from a distance, form patterns and fall into cycles. This is a fundamental truth that underlies all human existence, whether individual or collective. For Maximilian Büsser and MB&F, creative energy comes in seven-year cycles. It was in MB&F’s seventh year that the Legacy Machine collection was born, that the first M.A.D.Gallery opened in Geneva and opened the door to the MB&F co-creations. The 14th year of MB&F unveils a new avenue of horological exploration, an evolution of creative horizons for founder and company alike.
Presenting the Legacy Machine FlyingT, the first of MB&F’s three-dimensional horological art pieces dedicated to women.
A round case in white gold, with a steeply cambered bezel and slender, elongated lugs, is fully set with diamonds. A high, extravagantly convex dome of sapphire crystal rises from the bezel. Beneath the dome, a subtly curved dial plate, liquidly black with layers of stretched lacquer or glittering with blazing white diamonds.
An asymmetric ventricular opening in the dial plate frames the heart of the LM FlyingT engine – a cinematic flying tourbillon that beats at a serene rate of 2.5Hz (18,000vph). The tourbillon projects high above the rest of the engine, a kinetic, dynamic column that stops just short of the apex of the sapphire crystal dome. Affixed to the top of the upper tourbillon cage is a single large diamond that rotates simultaneously with the flying tourbillon, emitting the fiery brilliance of the very best quality stones.
At the 7 o’clock position – another reference to the numeric theme that runs throughout LM FlyingT – is a dial of black or white lacquer that 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, an intimate communication that highlights the personal nature of LM FlyingT.
On the reverse, the automatic winding rotor takes the shape of a three-dimensional red gold sun with sculpted rays, providing LM FlyingT with four days of power reserve.
The Legacy Machine FlyingT launches in three editions, all in white gold and set with diamonds:
- black lacquer dial plate with case set with brilliant-cut diamonds;
- dial plate and case both fully set with brilliant-cut diamonds;
- dial plate and case both fully set with baguette-cut diamonds.
Unlocking the Feminine Side of MB&F
To bring out a different level of refinement for the feminine LM FlyingT, the Legacy Machine case was completely redesigned. Case height and diameter were reduced in order to shift the focus to the highly convex sapphire crystal dome. The lugs were slimmed down, their curves were emphasised, and deep bevels were introduced to create a more elegant profile.
Harsh or particularly defined lines have been tempered throughout LM FlyingT, such as in the example of the hour and minute hands, which take on an undulating shape – echoed in the rays of the sun-shaped automatic winding rotor.
Asymmetry is highlighted in the design of LM FlyingT, from the positioning of the time display at 7 o’clock to the ventricular dial-plate aperture that frames the emerging tourbillon. Even the tourbillon cage itself embraces asymmetry, opting for a cantilevered double-arch upper bridge instead of the symmetrical battleaxe which has topped all other MB&F tourbillons.
Woven throughout Legacy Machine FlyingT are subtle references to the aspects of femininity that resonate strongest with Max Büsser, such as the solar motif of the automatic winding rotor and the column construction of the tourbillon, which introduce concepts of life-giving and support.
About the Engine
The mechanical antecedents of Legacy Machine FlyingT lie mostly in the Horological Machine collection, namely with the HM6 series and HM7 Aquapod.
In a departure from most modern watch movements, which take a radial and co-planar approach to movement construction, the LM FlyingT engine utilises a vertical and co-axial approach. The cinematic flying tourbillon, which boldly projects beyond the dial-plate of LM FlyingT, is a visually stunning example of the rotating escapement and stands in stark contrast to other flying tourbillons, which usually do not venture past the confines of their surrounding watch dials.
Flying tourbillons, as their name suggests, are anchored only at their base, with no stabilising bridge to restrict lateral motion at the top. This increased need for overall rigidity is what causes the conservative placement of most flying tourbillons within their movements. Legacy Machine FlyingT breaks free of this limiting need for movement security and confidently displays its flying tourbillon in all its glory.
An additional distinct challenge which arose in the construction of LM FlyingT was the shape of the upper tourbillon cage, which creates more mass on one side of the tourbillon than the other. In order to compensate 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.
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, a testament to the growth of in-house expertise and experience.