When Maximilian Busser established MB&F 14 years ago, he did so simply because he wanted to create timepieces that he believed in. He wanted to indulge in his curiosity and imagination to build art-like kinetic sculptures for the wrist. And naturally, this meant that most of the watches would be made for men.
This year, however, for the very first time, MB&F unveiled the Legacy Machine FlyingT, the first of their three-dimensional horological art pieces dedicated to women.
The development of this watch started four years ago. However, according to Charris Yadigaroglou, Chief Communications Officer of MB&F, the project didn’t exactly have a flying start.
He explained that with the other projects, the early sketches would often match the end product; but for the FlyingT, Busser had to scrap four or five of his initial ideas. “The problem was, in the beginning, [Max] was trying to second guess what women would like. The turning point came when Max decided to instead create a watch that best represented the women in his life.”
Thus, the FlyingT may not have been designed specifically for women but rather exudes feminine elements based on the inspiration it was drawn from.
In his professional life, Busser is surrounded by mostly male colleagues. But in his personal life, he is surrounded by women: His mother, to whom he is very close with; his wife; and also his two daughters.
“I wanted the 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,” Busser explained. To express this in horological terms, he placed the flying tourbillon atop a vertical structure, because “women form the pillar of humanity.”
Next, the automatic winding rotor and the hands of the watch were designed based on a solar motif, representing the sun, a life-giving source. Lastly, because of the highly personal nature of the FlyingT, the entire dial, in white or black lacquer, is placed at the 7 o’clock position and tilted at a 50-degree angle to face the wearer. This conveys the idea that the time belongs only to whoever puts on the watch, and no one else.
Despite all its whimsical elements, the FlyingT remains a serious feat of mechanical engineering. The asymmetrical upper tourbillon cage creates more mass on one side of the complication and so a counterweight had to be hidden on the underside of the cage for balance. Also, to display the time at a 50-degree angle, the use of conical gears were necessary to transmit torque from one plane to the other. In spite of the build complexity of this movement, MB&F managed to retain a 100-hour (four-day) power reserve.
The FlyingT is currently available in three editions in white gold including one that has brilliant-cut diamonds set into the case and two fully paved versions with brilliant-cut or baguette-cut diamonds.