INTRODUCING: MB&F x Emmanuel Tarpin Legacy Machine Flying T ‘Ice’ & ‘Blizzard’
Christmas came early at MB&F with a pair of beauties dripping with diamonds.
A timely release for the festive season, this iced-out duo of Legacy Machine Flying T ‘Ice’ and ‘Blizzard’ models in 18K white gold sure put us in the mood for some wintertime magic. And MB&F couldn’t have found a better collaborator than Emmanuel Tarpin to bring this vision to fruition, as the up-and-coming French high-jewellery designer is celebrated for his unique creations that combine his love for nature, sculpture, innovative materials, and gemstones.
The first MB&F collection dedicated to ladies, the Legacy Machine Flying T is a tribute to femininity from the onset, with the ‘T’ in its name standing for the initial of its founder Max Büsser’s wife, Tiffany, as well as the flying tourbillon. The latter takes its rightful place centre stage, defying watchmaking conventions by rising above the dial-plate, ensuring that its anti-gravity dance can be admired at all angles. Its small hour and minute counter, however, is reserved for its wearer’s eyes only, discreetly inclined at 50 degrees.
The Legacy Machine Flying T is no stranger to precious adornments, having made its 2019 debut with black lacquered dial and high-jewellery diamond-set variants. Over the years, it has also hosted lapis lazuli, malachite, and tiger eye on its dials, all accompanied by diamond-encrusted white or yellow gold cases. Most recently, a collaboration with Bulgari in 2021 yielded the sensational ‘Allegra’ model brandishing a melange of tsavorite, topaz, amethyst, tanzanite, rubellite, and tourmaline on a snow-set bed of brilliant-cut diamonds.
What sets the ‘Ice’ and ‘Blizzard’ models apart from their predecessors is Tarpin’s modification requests to the movement. To better adhere to the icy theme of his creative vision, all gold-coloured components were altered, and the balance wheel was blued. The eagle-eyed among us would also notice that the diamonds usually found set into the centre of the tourbillon and the two crowns in previous models were replaced with rare turquoise Paraiba stones.
Inspired by his trip to Lake Baïkal in Southern Siberia, where in winter, the lake freezes from the edge inwards until it is completely frozen, Tarpin dresses the ‘Ice’ version with diamond-set stalagmites of different sizes to reflect the randomness of nature. Exercising restrain in his craft, the designer was careful that icy claws do not overwhelm the timepiece, allowing much of the unique mechanism and matte lapis lazuli dial to remain visible.
On the other hand, the ‘Blizzard’ variant is an homage to the Alps, where Tarpin has been skiing since he was two years old. Transforming what must have been harrowing memories of being caught in blizzards of snow into an object of beauty, the jeweller set brilliant-cut diamonds just under the sapphire crystal dome and closed-set diamonds into the matte lapis lazuli dial, evoking snowflakes on the ground.
Limited to eight pieces for each version, the MB&F x Emmanuel Tarpin Legacy Machine Flying T is fitted with an in-house self-winding movement boasting a power reserve of 100 hours. Retailing for S$249,900 each, it is possibly one of the most extravagant ‘snow globes’ one could have on their Christmas wish list.
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