First launched in 2019, the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT was MB&F’s first-ever machine dedicated to women and it was awarded the prize for Best Ladies’ Complication at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève that year. The MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT was first launched in 18K white gold and then in 18K red gold and platinum. Following the year 2020, MB&F added special editions with stones including Lapis Lazuli, Malachite, and Tiger Eye. Now, with winter right around the corner, two limited edition MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT models inspired by swirling snow and icy stalagmites make their appearance.
These new Ice and Blizzard editions —limited to eight pieces each— are the result of a collaboration between MB&F and French jewelry designer Emmanuel Tarpin. Emmanuel is a 30-year-old independent jewelry designer from Annecy, in Haute Savoie, France. Fascinated by art and precious stones from a young age, he studied jewelry design at Geneva’s Haute Ecole d’Art et Design —HEAD—, before accepting an internship with a studio working for Van Cleef & Arpels. Keen to learn all aspects of the jewelry business, he would continue working directly for Van Cleef & Arpels in the Maison’s Haute Joaillerie workshop for three years.
This is the second collaboration within the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT collection. The first was with the renowned Italian luxury brand Bulgari and now Emmanuel Tarpin decided on a wintery theme, as not only is winter his favorite season but traveling back and forth between his hometown of Annecy to Geneva, in a sometimes wintery wonderland, quickly provided him with the inspiration he needed.
For this collaboration, Emmanuel Tarpin had a few requests in respect of the movement, starting with the elimination of all gold-colored elements that would have clashed with the white gold case and icy theme. This seemingly innocent 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 center of the tourbillon and two crowns for rare turquoise Paraiba stones, to further reinforce the glacial theme.
Breaking a tradition of masterminding complex, visually arresting watches for men, MB&F undertook its maiden voyage into the galaxy of women’s watches in 2019. Faithful to the brand’s spectacular 3D design language, the Legacy Machine Flying T staged a flying tourbillon rising above the dial plate accompanied by an intriguing hours and minutes dial perched at an angle. Eminently feminine without being affected, the Flying T has had many wardrobe changes but none as glacial as this duet of Ice and Blizzard editions made in collaboration with jewellery designer Emmanuel Tarpin.
I think it is fair to say that one of the most talked about ‘women timepiece’ of the last years is MB&F’s first watch dedicated to ladies from 2019 – the Legacy Machine FlyingT. The already praised timepiece (it also won the Ladies’ Complication Watch Prize at the GPHG 2019) received a famous collaborator, Bulgari, last year and the result was launched during the Dubai Watch Week. Bulgari’s Product Creation Executive Director, Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, and MB&F’s Founder & Creative Director, Maximilian Büsser presented the MB&F x Bulgari – Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra, which beautifully combined the signature colourful abundant extravagance of Bulgari with the emblematic MB&F design.
Now MB&F celebrates the upcoming winter with a new collaboration – Max Büsser and his team worked together with French jewellery designer Emmanuel Tarpin, best known for his unique pieces that combine his love for nature, sculpture, innovative materials and gemstones. He studied at HEAD (Haute Ecole d’Art et Design), Geneva’s distinguished school of art and design, before beginning an internship in the high jewelry atelier of Van Cleef & Arpels. He launched his brand in 2017, his own pieces are inspired by nature and the shapes found in the flora and fauna of different countries – shells, jellyfish, geranium leaves, arum lilies or wild orchids.
He first met Max Büsser while studying at HEAD, when Max made a presentation to the students about MB&F. Fast forward a few years and Emmanuel Tarpin’s name popped up as an up-and-coming jewellery designer to watch. Max reached out to him and now we can enjoy the results of their creative cooperation.