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 unveiled a new avenue of horological exploration, an evolution of creative horizons for founder and company alike: the Legacy Machine FlyingT, first launched in 2019, is the first of MB&F’s three-dimensional horological art pieces dedicated to women.
A round case in gold or platinum, with a steeply cambered bezel and slender, elongated lugs, often fully set with diamonds. A high, extravagantly convex dome of sapphire crystal rises from the bezel. Beneath the dome, a subtly curved dial plate in various finishes: liquidly black with layers of stretched lacquer, guilloche, vibrant gemstonesor 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 (or gemstone) that displays the hours and minutes with a pair of elegant serpentine hands. 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 design of Legacy Machine FlyingT is replete with associations drawn from the feminine and maternal influences in Maximilian Büsser’s life. Says Büsser, “I wanted LM FlyingT to possess the epitome of femininity as reflected by the women in my life, particularly my mother. It had to combine supreme elegance with tremendous vitality. The column-like structure of the flying tourbillon was very important to me as I felt very strongly that women form the pillar of humanity. At the same time, there is another layer of meaning coming in from the sun-shaped rotor, which incorporates the element of life-giving, a source of sustenance which we gravitate towards and around.”
Legacy Machine FlyingT was first launched in 2019 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; and dial plate and case both fully set with baguette-cut diamonds.
Three new references followed in 2020, first shedding its diamonds with limited editions in red gold and platinum, featuring guilloche dial plates; and in an 18k white gold case adorned with diamonds, with a deep blue lapis lazuli dial plate. In 2021, LM FlyingT adds a new dial plate in vivid green malachite.
LEGACY MACHINE FlyingT IN DETAIL
LM FlyingT INSPIRATIONS
The creative process behind Legacy Machine FlyingT started four years ago, when Maximilian Büsser began thinking about making something inspired by the feminine influences in his life. Says Büsser, “I created MB&F to do what I believe in, making three-dimensional sculptural kinetic art pieces that give the time. I was creating for myself, which is the only way we could have made all these crazy and audacious pieces over the years. But at some point there came a desire to create something for the women in my family. I’ve been surrounded by their influence all my life, so I gave myself the challenge to do something for them.”
Inspiration came from the combination of seemingly incompatible qualities that characterised the greatest feminine figures in Maximilian Büsser’s life. Elegance was key, but so was an infectious energy that could captivate an entire roomful of people. The lines and composition of Legacy Machine FlyingT epitomise these qualities, being as refined and pure as any other Legacy Machine, but with the dynamism and exuberance of a central flying tourbillon.
The intimate and personal nature of LM FlyingT led to the ultimate placement of the time indication at the 7 o’clock position on the dial plate, with the dial tilted 50° to face the wearer. The message is subtle but clear – that whoever the owners and wearers of Legacy Machine FlyingT may be, their time belongs to them and no one else.
UNLOCKING THE FEMININE SIDE OF MB&F
“The last thing I wanted to do,” says Maximilian Büsser, “was to take a masculine timepiece, resize it, put a different colour on it and call it a ladies’ watch.” Each MB&F creation is drawn together in a complex process that is equal parts original Max Büsser concept, design finesse by Eric Giroud, and mechanical ingenuity by the in-house technical team. Aesthetic and philosophical coherence is essential to the final result, from the adventurous Horological Machine N°5 “On The Road Again” to the high-complication, technically ambitious Legacy Machine Perpetual.
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.
LM FlyingT – TECHNICAL DETAILS
Diamond-set editions in 18k white gold cases with dial plates in black lacquer, paved diamond-set, baguette diamond-set, lapis lazuli or malachite.
Red gold and platinum limited editions with guilloche dial plates.
Three-dimensional vertical architecture, automatic winding, conceived and developed in-house by MB&F
Central flying 60-second tourbillon
Power reserve: 100 hours
Balance frequency: 2.5 Hz / 18,000 bph
Three-dimensional sun winding rotor in 18k 5N+ red gold, titanium and platinum.
Number of components: 280
Number of jewels: 30
Hours and minutes displayed on a 50° vertically titled dial with two serpentine hands.
Two crowns: winding on left and time-setting on right.
Material: 18k white gold and diamonds, 18k red gold or platinum.
High domed sapphire crystal on top with anti-reflective coating on both sides, sapphire crystal on back.
Dimensions: 38.5mm x 20mm
Number of components: 17
Water resistance: 30 m / 90’ / 3 ATM
Black Lacquer, Lapis Lazuli or Malachite editions
168 stones (120 on the case, 21 on the buckle, 1 on top of the tourbillon cage and 26 for the crowns). About 1.7ct.
Paved diamond-set edition:
558 stones (390 on the dial, 120 on the case, 21 on the buckle, 1 on top of the tourbillon cage and 26 for the crowns). About 3.5 ct.
Baguette diamonds edition:
294-baguette diamonds and 3 stones (134-baguette diamonds on the dial, 124-baguette diamonds on the case, 12-baguette diamonds on the buckle, 24-baguette diamonds and 2 stones for the crowns, 1 stone on top of the tourbillon cage). About 8.2 ct.
Strap & buckle
Calf or alligator leather straps available with white gold pin buckle matching the case.
‘FRIENDS’ RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LM FlyingT
Concept: Maximilian Büsser / MB&F
Product design: Eric Giroud / Through the Looking Glass
Technical and production management: Serge Kriknoff / MB&F
R&D: Thomas Lorenzato, Robin Anne, Joey Miserez and Julien Peter / MB&F
Case: Giuseppe Di Stefano / STG Creation
Profile-turning wheel/pinion/axis: Paul André Tendon / Bandi, Decobar Swiss, Gimmel Rouages and Le Temps Retrouvé
Springs and jumpers: Alain Pellet / Elefil Swiss
Mainspring and barrel: Stefan Schwab/ Schwab Feller and Atokalpa
Tourbillon: Andreas Kurt / Precision Engineering
Plates and bridges: Benjamin Signoud / Amecap, Rodrigue Baume / Horlofab and DEM3
Black dial plate fine-finishing: Hassan Chaïba and Virginie Duval / Les Ateliers d’Hermès Horlogers
Setting of diamonds and baguettes-cut diamonds (case, dial plate and crowns): Giuseppe Di Stefano /STG Creation
Gemstone dials: Groh + Ripp
Sun-shaped winding rotor: Jean-Philippe Chételat / Cendres et Métaux
Ball bearing: Patrice Parietti / MPS Micro Precision Systems
Hand-finishing of movement components: Jacques-Adrien Rochat and Denis Garcia / C.-L. Rochat
Sapphire glass: Sebal
Anti-refection treatment for sapphire crystals: Anthony Schwab / Econorm
Serpentine hands: Isabelle Chillier / Fiedler
Dial (discs for hours – minutes): Hassan Chaïba and Virginie Duval / Les Ateliers d’Hermès Horlogers
Movement assemblage: Didier Dumas, Georges Veisy, Anne Guiter, Emmanuel Maitre and Henri Porteboeuf / MB&F
In-house machining: Alain Lemarchand, Jean-Baptiste Prétot and Romain Camplo / MB&F
Quality Control: Cyril Fallet / MB&F
After-Sales service: Thomas Imberti / MB&F
Buckle: Giuseppe Di Stefano / STG Creation
Crowns: Cheval Frères
Presentation case: Olivier Berthon / Soixanteetonze
Production logistics: David Lamy, Isabel Ortega and Ashley Moussier / MB&F
Marketing & Communication: Charris Yadigaroglou, Vanessa André, Camille Reix and Arnaud Légeret / MB&F
M.A.D.Gallery: Hervé Estienne / MB&F
Sales: Thibault Verdonckt, Virginie Marchon, Cédric Roussel and Jean-Marc Bories / MB&F
Graphic design: Sidonie Bays / MB&F
Watch photography: Maarten van der Ende and Alex Teuscher
Portrait photography: Régis Golay / Federal
Webmasters: Stéphane Balet / Idéative
Film : Marc-André Deschoux / MAD LUX, Manouil Karapetsis and Dominik Lang / Brosky
Texts: Suzanne Wong / Worldtempus
MB&F – GENESIS OF A CONCEPT LABORATORY
Founded in 2005, MB&F is the world’s first-ever horological concept laboratory. With almost 20 remarkable calibres forming the base of the critically acclaimed Horological and Legacy Machines, MB&F is continuing to follow Founder and Creative Director Maximilian Büsser’s vision of creating 3-D kinetic art by deconstructing traditional watchmaking.
After 15 years managing prestigious watch brands, Maximilian Büsser resigned from his Managing Director position at Harry Winston in 2005 to create MB&F – Maximilian Büsser & Friends. MB&F is an artistic and micro-engineering laboratory dedicated to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches by bringing together talented horological professionals that Büsser both respects and enjoys working with.
In 2007, MB&F unveiled its first Horological Machine, HM1. HM1’s sculptured, three-dimensional case and beautifully finished engine (movement) set the standard for the idiosyncratic Horological Machines that have followed – all Machines that tell the time, rather than Machines to tell the time. The Horological Machines have explored space (HM2, HM3, HM6), the sky (HM4, HM9), the road (HM5, HMX, HM8) and the animal kingdom (HM7, HM10).
In 2011, MB&F launched its round-cased Legacy Machine collection. These more classical pieces – classical for MB&F, that is – pay tribute to nineteenth-century watchmaking excellence by reinterpreting complications from the great horological innovators of yesteryear to create contemporary objets d’art. LM1 and LM2 were followed by LM101, the first MB&F Machine to feature a movement developed entirely in-house. LM Perpetual, LM Split Escapement and LM Thunderdome broadened the collection further. 2019 marked a turning point with the creation of the first MB&F Machine dedicated to women: LM FlyingT; and MB&F celebrated 10 years of Legacy Machines in 2021 with the LMX. MB&F generally alternates between launching contemporary, resolutely unconventional Horological Machines and historically inspired Legacy Machines.
As the F stands for Friends, it was only natural for MB&F to develop collaborations with artists, watchmakers, designers and manufacturers they admire.
This brought about two new categories: Performance Art and Co-creations. While Performance Art pieces are MB&F machines revisited by external creative talent, Co-creations are not wristwatches but other types of machines, engineered and crafted by unique Swiss Manufactures from MB&F ideas and designs. Many of these Co-creations, such as the clocks created with L’Epée 1839, tell the time while collaborations with Reuge and Caran d’Ache generated other forms of mechanical art.
To give all these machines an appropriate platform, Büsser had the idea of placing them in an art gallery alongside various forms of mechanical art created by other artists, rather than in a traditional storefront. This brought about the creation of the first MB&F M.A.D.Gallery (M.A.D. stands for Mechanical Art Devices) in Geneva, which would later be followed by M.A.D.Galleries in Taipei, Dubai and Hong Kong.
There have been distinguished accolades reminding us of the innovative nature of MB&F’s journey so far. To name a few, there have been no less than 5 awards from the famous Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève: in 2019, the prize for Best Ladies Complication went to the LM FlyingT, in 2016, LM Perpetual won the Best Calendar Watch award; in 2012, Legacy Machine No.1 was awarded both the Public Prize (voted for by horology fans) and the Best Men’s Watch Prize (voted for by the professional jury). In 2010, MB&F won Best Concept and Design Watch for the HM4 Thunderbolt. In 2015 MB&F received a Red Dot: Best of the Best award – the top prize at the international Red Dot Awards – for the HM6 Space Pirate.