June 21, 2022
Back in 2019, MB&F released its very first women’s watch, the Legacy Machine FlyingT, which would go on to win Best Ladies’ Complication that year at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. While the model was explicitly categorized as being dedicated to women, there were many men (myself included) who would have gladly worn the FlyingT — especially the follow-up edition from 2020, which did away with the diamond-set case of the inaugural model and added a beautiful guilloché dial produced by Kari Voutilainen’s Comblémine SA dial manufacture. The latest release from MB&F expands upon the LM FlyingT series and is another stone dial variant, except this time it takes things one step further with a dial made from tiger’s eye and a yellow-gold case set with diamonds.
The case of the new MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger Eye measures the same 38.5mm in diameter as the previous LM FlyingT models. However, it now appears in 18k yellow gold to match its tiger’s eye dial, rather than in white gold, platinum, or red gold like all previous MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT watches. Generally speaking, MB&F tends to favor white metals for its cases, and while the use of yellow gold isn’t entirely without precedent, it does help set the FlyingT Tiger Eye apart from most of the other models that MB&F has ever put forward.
Beyond being crafted from yellow gold, the case of the new MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger Eye follows the same core design as previous models from the series and includes two crowns (one located on either side of the case), with the crown at 9 o’clock dedicated to winding, while the crown at 3 o’clock is used to set the time. Additionally, just like previous LM FlyingT watches, the case of the new FlyingT Tiger Eye is fitted with a heavily domed, bubble-like sapphire crystal that allows its inclined dial and flying tourbillon to take center-stage and sit on full display. The caseback also features a domed sapphire crystal that offers a view of the movement’s rotor, which is adorned with a red-gold sculpture of the sun.
The “dial” of the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT isn’t so much a traditional dial as it is a two-part structure consisting of a dial plate that sits parallel to the wrist, along with the actual dial itself, which sits off-center at the 7 o’clock location and is placed at a 50° angle so that only the wearer can view the time. On the new MB&F FlyingT Tiger Eye, both the dial plate and the inclined dial are crafted from tiger’s eye, while the time is indicated by a pair of gold “serpentine” hands against the natural stone surface of its inclined dial.
It should also be noted that this isn’t the first stone dial version of the Legacy Machine FlyingT; MB&F has previously released white gold versions with lapis lazuli and malachite dials in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Although the tiger’s eye dial is the new model’s single most defining feature, the true focal point of all Legacy Machine FlyingT watches is the flying tourbillon, which sticks up through the surface of their dial plate, occupying the center of the watch and showcasing the mechanical ingenuity that unites all MB&F timepieces.
Powering the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger Eye is the same in-house movement that can be found throughout the rest of the FlyingT range. Featuring a central 60-second flying tourbillon, an operating speed of 2.5Hz, automatic winding, and a generous 100-hour power reserve (4 days), the 280-component movement uses conical gears to optimally transmit torque across different planes in order to display the time as accurately as possible on the model’s signature 50° inclined dial. Completing the watch is a brown alligator leather strap fitted with a yellow gold pin buckle that matches the gold case and warm golden-brown tones of its tiger’s eye dial.
For a number of years, one of the most common enthusiast critiques of the luxury watch industry was that it didn’t offer many compelling options for serious women collectors. I think most of us can agree that anyone can wear whatever watch they want; however, if a manufacturer is going to choose to categorize its watches by gender, then it’s only fair for them to do it right and offer some serious horological heat on the women’s side of the catalog just like they do for the men. As MB&F produces nothing but high-end horology, you’d expect nothing less, and despite significant interest from male customers like myself, MB&F has stayed true to its original intentions for the model and continues to categorize the FlyingT as a watch dedicated to women. At the time of launch, the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger Eye will be accompanied by an official retail price of $150,000 USD and will be available at M.A.D. Gallery locations and MB&F retailers worldwide. For more information, please visit MB&F’s website.