Is it time for winter yet? Well, looks like it is! But that’s not all bad, because it means two new Legacy Machine FlyingT models with designs based on whirling snow and freezing stalagmites are hitting shelves. These limited-edition Ice and Blizzard collections are the result of a partnership between MB&F and renowned French jeweler Emmanuel Tarpin, who is recognized for creating one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect his passion for nature, sculpting, cutting-edge materials, and gemstones.
“We are not jewellers, we are watchmakers. We would put diamonds on our timepieces, but it was really the bare minimum. So, I started to see jewellers, great jewellers, to ask them if they would like to put their artistry and jewellery into our FlyingT – much like giving them a blank canvas to paint,” shares MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser.
They’re excited to announce our second collaboration with Legacy Machine for their FlyingT collection. The first was with the internationally renowned Italian luxury goods manufacturer Bulgari, a stark contrast to the solitary working habits of this young artist, who deals directly with all of his clients and suppliers and handles every part of business operations by himself.
Because of the importance, he places on his personal network, Emmanuel Tarpin is selective about the projects he accepts and rejects. While attending Geneva’s Haute école d’art et de design (HEAD), where he first encountered Max Büsser, Max gave a presentation about MB&F to the students. After a short while, Emmanuel Tarpin’s name began to be mentioned as an up-and-coming name in the jewelry design industry. After researching him online, Max found that they were already connected on LinkedIn and messaged him about it. The rest, as they say, is history.
“I do very few collaborations; I much prefer to focus on my own creations,” explains Emmanuel Tarpin. “But we had a chat and then met in person and we got on really well. I found the project to be extremely interesting and working with Max was just spontaneous and easy, even if this was my first time working on a watch!”
Tarpin was instantly drawn to Legacy Machine FlyingT because of its volume. He found the timepieces’ domed space around the vertically built mechanism fascinating, as most timepieces are flat. Since winter is his favorite season, and since he often travels from his hometown of Annecy to Geneva—in what can only be described as a winter wonderland—he opted to base his design around the season.
For the first time, the sapphire crystal dome and the mechanism are threatened by asymmetrically arranged diamond stalagmites in the Ice model. Icy stalagmites reflect the inherent diversity and uniqueness of their natural environments by each having its own distinct shape.
Tarpin was inspired by a journey to Southern Siberia’s Lake Bakal, which, during the winter, freezes completely from the edges inwards. The movement and the matt lapis lazuli dial are still clearly visible, despite the best efforts of the diamond stalagmites.
Tarpin’s second model is called Blizzard, and it was inspired by his many years of skiing in the Alps, a hobby he took up when he was just two. Memories of being caught in snowstorms inspired him to design the LM FlyingT, which features a sapphire crystal dome and a matt lapis lazuli dial with closed-set diamonds depicting snowflakes. The effect is similar to seeing a snow globe shake.
The LM FlyingT, with its unconventional framework and design, served as the ideal backdrop for our collaboration. It looks especially stunning in its bejeweled winter garb. The initial of Max Büsser’s wife, Tiffany, and the term “flying Tourbillon” combine to get the “T” in FlyingT, the name of this masterpiece. To further emphasize the personal nature of this approach, the mechanism is made such that only the owner may read the time. The rear of the watch displays an oscillating weight in the shape of the sun, with sandblasted and polished rays that rotate on a ruthenium disc above a platinum counterweight.
Emmanuel Tarpin had a few requirements for the mechanism, the first of which was to have all gold components removed so as not to conflict with the white gold case and the chilly aesthetic. A blue hue was applied to the balancing wheel, and all the yellow or red gold components were swapped out. To add to the icy aesthetic, the client also requested that the diamonds that were originally set within the tourbillon and the two crowns be replaced with rare turquoise Paraiba stones.
The barrel, located between the regulator and the rotor, allows the watch to have a 100-hour power reserve while using fewer gears. The organic life of the mechanism is showcased beneath a sapphire crystal dome at the top of this three-dimensional assemblage.
The great thing about this collaboration is that it is not limited to just fancy women’s jewelry watches. It vividly illustrates the potential of collaboration by showcasing two perspectives, two interpretations of creativity that are drastically different in form but which unite in the content inside an integrated and harmonious co-creation.