Editor’s note: It’s no doubt that 2022 has been a stellar horological year for MB&F. To round up the year, here’s our short preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of new MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice & Blizzard beauties. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is not a sponsored post.
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice & Blizzard – Our Take
I will be honest; unlike MB&F collaborator French jewellery designer Emmanuel Tarpin who loves winter, I can’t stand it. I would rather jump off a cliff with a blindfold and no parachute and take my chances than spend time in European (or any other non South-East Asian or Pacific) winter. This may sound harsh but I despise winter with a passion. And that’s purely based on the fact that my body begins to shut down in cold. Cold being defined as any temperature under 15 degree Celsius. So for me to appreciate a watch or any object for that matter that is designed with the ethos of winter is a Herculean task.
I am stating this here because I want you to understand that it is with great surprise to myself that I find myself looking adoringly at the new MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice & Blizzard watches, particularly the former.
The latter is a bit reminiscent of Chopard’s Happy diamond watches and is also a bit too blingy (and feminine) for my tastes. In reality, it’s design has been inspired by the imagery of snowfalls during blizzards on the Swiss Alps that are masterfully reinterpreted by the young designer via the use of diamonds set into the matt lapis lazuli dial. I reckon it will be more preferred by the ladies (and as such is Jacqui’s pick out of the two as well). This makes sense too considering the FlyingT line of watches is more of a tribute to femininity to begin with.
For my tastes, the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice is superbly executed, with the right dose of horology mixed with jewellery.
The reason why I appreciate it so much perhaps lies in the very architectural design of the jewels, that despite reminding me of winter, seem to become an integrated part of the watch design. When it came to last year’s Bulgari collab, I remember describing the resulting watch as “a paradoxical moment of pure horological truth” where two contrasting brands collide.
In the reverse of that, the result with the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT ‘Ice’ is seamless. The design of the asymmetrical diamond-set stalagmites that begin to overpower the sapphire crystal dome and the movement is very kinetic, almost real-life-esque where the ‘claws’ begin to creep into the existence, yet allow for the horological elements to showcase their prowess.
According to the press release, Tarpin loves nature and the randomness of it, which in the case of the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT ‘Ice’ is reflected through the inspiration drawn from the frozen Lake Baïkal in Southern Siberia. Besides the diamonds part, the inclusion of matt lapis lazuli dial base is a stroke of genius too, allowing the elements of water to subtly influence our appreciation of the design as a whole.
Credit to Emmanuel Tarpin, that one doesn’t immediately connect that the Legacy Machine FlyingT’s have been available in previous iterations before; the design is very organic and free-flowing, yet rigid at times to conform to the design of the watch as a whole.
Suffice to say, this is one winter I am willing to love.
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice & Blizzard – Some Context
In 2019 came the Prix de la Complication pour Dame winning watch, the first MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT for the ladies, a watch we were also lucky enough to see in person at the travelling GPHG exhibition here in Australia. It was followed by the non-diamonds version in 2020, that we reviewed here.
Then one year ago the world was given the MB&F x Bvlgari LM FlyingT Allegra – a horological powerhouse supercharged from a leading jeweller’s perspective. This year, the brand that thankfully never rests on its laurels is back, with a collaboration that follows the theme of using their timepieces as backdrops for bedazzling jewels. As MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser succinctly states: “to put their artistry and jewellery into our FlyingT – much like giving them a blank canvas to paint”.
This time around, filling the big shoes of ‘F’ in MB&F is an independent jewellery designer from France, Emmanuel Tarpin. The collab results in two creations inspired by swirling snow and icy stalagmites, in limited editions of 8-pieces only. The MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice and MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Blizzard that may be differentiated by their design approach but feature the same charm and the following features:
- both editions in 18K white gold with fully diamond-set cases measuring 39 x 20mm
- both feature blue matte lapis lazuli dial plates
- 30m water-resistance
- MB&F FlyingT movement
In regards to the bling decorations, there are some notable differences:
The MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice features ~ 0.611ct brilliant-cut diamonds on the Ice decoration, ~ 0.138ct brilliant-cut diamonds on the crowns, ~ 1.402ct brilliant-cut diamonds on the case, two ~ 0.11ct paraibas on the crowns, and one 0.03ct paraiba on the tourbillon.
The MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Blizzard features ~ 0.0457ct brilliant-cut diamonds on the dial, ~ 0.921ct brilliant-cut diamonds on the Blizzard decoration, ~ 0.138ct brilliant-cut diamonds on the crowns, ~ 1.402ct brilliant-cut diamonds on the case, two ~ 0.11ct paraibas on the crowns, and one ~ 0.03ct paraiba on the tourbillon.
Movement Specifications Of The MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice & Blizzard
Inside both the new MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice & Blizzard ticks the calibre FlyingT which is an automatic winding, three-dimensional vertical architecture movement conceived and developed in-house by MB&F.
It beats at the low frequency of 2.5Hz (18’000 A/h) and showcases a Central flying 60-second tourbillon. It comprises 30 jewels, features 280 components and a blue balance wheel, and boasts of a very impressive 100 hours power reserve. Flip the watch and one gets to marvel at three-dimensional sun-shaped winding rotor in 18K 5N+ red gold, titanium and platinum.
That’s All Folks!
The new MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice & Blizzard watches showcase a world where boundaries are re-imagined, and the norms are challenged. They mark a new era where the diamond-set watches are not simply quartz movement powered bright coloured timepieces set aside for the wife or girlfriend to buy — or to get to be on that elusive ‘waitlist’ for sports watches — while the men purchase ‘actual’ mechanical watches.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not trying to diss jewelry watches. But the new MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice & Blizzard watches act as vehicles of industry changing crossovers, where serious watchmaking goes hand-in-hand with serious jewellery art work, giving credit and due respect to both professions rather than simply taking superfluous elements from both.
And while I for my distaste for winter may not hang out with Emmanuel Tarpin anytime soon, I sure have a new found respect for the charms of the chilly season courtesy his brilliant designs. The new MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice & Blizzard bring a wonderland that will rock on your wrists for scores of winters to come.
To find out more about the new MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Ice & Blizzard and their other watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy ©MB&F SA 2018.