Baselworld 2019: How The MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Came To Be
For years, MB&F’s Founder Maximilien Büsser has been creating Horological Machines that double as watchmaking art. Max along with his friends (the F in MB&F) have mastered the production of Legacy Machines – but always for men. Had he forgotten women? Not anymore.
There comes a time when one needs to acknowledge the most important person in one’s life. To thank, to pay homage, and to please. A quick look around Max Busser’s world showed him that women need recognition. His late mother, his wife, and his two daughters were a huge part of Busser’s inspiration. Max has always been a man of challenges, he also liked the idea of putting himself in danger, of getting out of his comfort zone. The first idea of an MB&F feminine model emerged.
Unique creative process
How do you start? Creating this new horological machine was a labor of love. Sketches were made, prototypes created, more sketches created. All were torn or thrown away. Five projects never reached the cut. At a certain point, the reset button had to be activated. Instead of what we think women want, what we like about women, what makes them so special needed to be embodied. Back to brainstorming with friends. Back to pen and paper. Back to a philosophical approach of what characterizes women we love. A certain elegance, finesse, and subtlety emerged. Let’s not forget the strength, resilience, and multi-dimensional required for this type of work.
The Legacy Machine FlyingT is once more a unique creation. It is neither an HM, nor an LM. It is more complex. A little bit of both, like a woman. It is strikingly tri-dimensional, almost spatial. Yet it is delicate, almost fragile. Small in its 38.5mm case, open under its sapphire glass dome. It is a pure jewel of a timekeeper. Incredible finesse oozes from each detail. The curve of the glass, above and below, is like a sweet caress. The delicacy of the dome seems fragile, yet it is a strong protective cover over an even stronger mechanical backbone. The contrast between power and delicacy incarnates the femininity dear to MB&F. The small white lacquered dial is in the purest LM style.
Angled at 50 degrees and located at seven o’clock, it brings a very intimate touch. The time is displayed for the wearer only, while the outside observer focuses on the sheer beauty of the object. The serpentine hands gently swipe the dial like a mother’s touch. MB&F succeeds in making every detail a meaningful representation of the greatest feminine qualities. Not ostentatious, not bragging, simply existing, and only visible to the keen eye.
A world in itself
The case itself creates a unique frame to recount all the stories the horological gem holds. The lines, designed by Eric Giroud – a friend among friends - are tight as a laser, yet fluid as water. Feminine ambivalence embodied. It is reminiscent of those Belle Epoque glass boxes unveiling entire micro-universes. It is awe-inspiring to watch the life of the movement, the clicking, and turning of delicate wheels.
One can observe it for hours and take it in as a poem, an art piece, an awoken dream. It stands out magnificently against the black lacquer backdrop, enhanced by the paved bezel. It twinkles brightly against the snow-set diamonds. It is mesmerizing against the fully paved diamond baguette dial. And then there is the backside…
The oscillating mass at takes center stage as a radiant sun, powerful like the burning fire that drives women all around the world. It is a poetic sculpture showcasing the finest watchmaking skills in its smallest details. The alternated satin brushed and mirror polished facets of each ray give life to this solar sculpture. Its actual role is secondary. Its beauty is paramount.
A man’s timepiece?
Internally there have been long arguments about releasing a masculine version. Max had to hold everyone off to say “No! This one is for ladies!” But honestly, the timekeeper is so beautiful that there will, no doubt, be men buying it for their better halves… and wearing it themselves. Still, there might be a male version down the line.
Under every angle, the timepiece sparkles, shines, and strikes emotional chords. Rare are watchmaking creations that generate such strong emotions. The LM FlyingT is a masterpiece of feminine haute horology. But in the end, MB&F not only honors ladies but also the exquisite beauty of watchmaking altogether.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)