MB&F have unveiled two limited edition Legacy Machine FlyingT models inspired by swirling snow and icy stalagmites. These new Ice and Blizzard editions – limited to just eight pieces each – are the result of a collaboration between MB&F and French jewellery designer Emmanuel Tarpin, best known for his unique pieces that combine his love for nature, sculpture, innovative materials and gemstones..
This is the second collaboration within the Legacy Machine FlyingT collection. The first was with renowned Italian luxury brand Bulgari, famous around the globe – a very different story contrasting with this indepen - dent young artist, who prefers to work alone, meeting his clients and suppliers in person and running literally every aspect of his company solo. For Emmanuel Tarpin, personal contacts are at the heart of everything he does, and he chooses and declines projects based on the quality of these connections.
He first met Max Büsser while studying at Geneva’s Haute école d’art et de design (HEAD), when Max made a presentation to the students about MB&F. Fast for - ward a few years and Emmanuel Tarpin’s name popped up as an up-and-coming jewellery designer to watch. Looking him up online, Max noticed that they were already connected on LinkedIn and sent him a mes - sage. The rest, as they say, is history
The Legacy Machine FlyingT immediately appealed to Tarpin thanks to its volume. Where the majority of time - pieces are flat, he was fascinated by this domed space around the vertically built mechanism. With a free ticket to design whatever he wanted, he decided on a wintery theme, as not only is winter his favourite sea - son, but travelling back and forth between his home - town of Annecy to Geneva, in a sometimes wintery wonderland, quickly provided him with the inspiration he needed.
The first model, called Ice, features asymmetrical dia - mond-set stalagmites that encroach on the sapphire crystal dome and the movement. Each icy stalagmite is different, replicating the randomness of nature. Tarpin took his inspiration from a trip to Lake Baïkal in Southern Siberia, where in winter the lake freezes from the edge inwards until it is totally frozen. The claws of the diamond stalagmites have not quite claimed the movement and the matt lapis lazuli dial, leaving the beauty of the mechanism and the time visible to the eye.
For the second model, named Blizzard, Tarpin let his imagination run free into the Alps where he has been skiing since he was two years old. He has interpreted memories of being caught in blizzards of snow into the LM FlyingT with brilliant-cut diamonds set under the sapphire crystal dome and closed-set diamonds set into the matt lapis lazuli dial, depicting snowflakes on the ground. The result is like a snow globe in motion. The LM FlyingT was the perfect canvas for this colla - boration with its radical architecture and construction that contrasts beautifully with its jewelled winter cloak.
From the beginning, this creation was intended as a tribute to femininity, with the T in FlyingT standing for the initial of Max Büsser’s wife, Tiffany, as well as for flying Tourbillon. In an ultimate refined touch embody - ing this intimate approach, the movement is designed in such a way that only its owner can see the time. The case-back reveals the sun-shaped oscillating weight: its sandblasted and polished rays rotating on a ruthenium disc positioned above a platinum counterweight.
Emmanuel Tarpin had a few requests in respect of the movement, starting with the elimination of all gold-co - loured elements that would have clashed with the white gold case and icy theme. This seemingly inno - cent request was not quite as simple as it may seem, but all the yellow or red gold elements were changed, while the balance wheel was blued. Another request was to switch out the diamonds set into the centre of the tourbillon and two crowns for rare turquoise Paraiba stones, to further reinforce the glacial theme.
Between the regulating organ and the rotor, the barrel ensures a generous 100-hour power reserve made possible by the reduction in the number of gears. A sapphire crystal dome tops this three-dimensional assembly, beneath which one can admire the organic life of the movement.
The beauty of this partnership is that it goes far beyond the realm of the complicated feminine jewellery watch. It highlights two visions of the world, two interpreta - tions of creativity that are radically different in form, yet which merge in substance within an integrated and harmonious co-creation vividly demonstrating the power of collaboration.