MB&F - MB&F x EMMANUEL TARPIN LEGACY MACHINE FLYING T « ICE »
MB&F - MB&F x EMMANUEL TARPIN LEGACY MACHINE FLYING T « ICE »

MB&F x EMMANUEL TARPIN LEGACY MACHINE FLYING T « ICE »

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MB&F x EMMANUEL TARPIN LEGACY MACHINE FLYING T « ICE »

Winter is coming! But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it marks the arrival of two limited edition Legacy Machine FlyingT models inspired by swirling snow and icy stalagmites. These new Ice and Blizzard editions – limited to just eight pieces each – are the result of a collaboration between MB&F and French jewellery designer Emmanuel Tarpin, best known for his unique pieces that combine his love for nature, sculpture, innovative materials and gemstones.
 
“We are not jewellers, we are watchmakers,” shares MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser. “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.”
 
This is the second collaboration within the Legacy Machine FlyingT collection. The first was with renowned Italian luxury brand Bulgari, famous around the globe – a very different story contrasting with this independent young artist, who prefers to work alone, meeting his clients and suppliers in person and running literally every aspect of his company solo. For Emmanuel Tarpin, personal contacts are at the heart of everything he does, and he chooses and declines projects based on the quality of these connections.
 
He first met Max Büsser while studying at Geneva’s Haute école d’art et de design (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. Looking him up online, Max noticed that they were already connected on LinkedIn and sent him a message. 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!”
 
The Legacy Machine FlyingT immediately appealed to Tarpin thanks to its volume. Where the majority of timepieces are flat, he was fascinated by this domed space around the vertically built mechanism. With a free ticket to design whatever he wanted, he decided on a wintery theme, as not only is winter his favourite season, but travelling back and forth between his hometown of Annecy to Geneva, in a sometimes wintery wonderland, quickly provided him with the inspiration he needed.
 
The first model, called Ice, features asymmetrical diamond-set stalagmites that encroach on the sapphire crystal dome and the movement. Each icy stalagmite is different, replicating the randomness of nature. Tarpin took his inspiration from a trip to Lake Baïkal in Southern Siberia, where in winter the lake freezes from the edge inwards until it is totally frozen. The claws of the diamond stalagmites have not quite claimed the movement and the matt lapis lazuli dial, leaving the beauty of the mechanism and the time visible to the eye.
 
For the second model, named Blizzard, Tarpin let his imagination run free into the Alps where he has been skiing since he was two years old. He has interpreted memories of being caught in blizzards of snow into the LM FlyingT with brilliant-cut diamonds set under the sapphire crystal dome and closed-set diamonds set into the matt lapis lazuli dial, depicting snowflakes on the ground. The result is like a snow globe in motion.
 
The LM FlyingT was the perfect canvas for this collaboration with its radical architecture and construction that contrasts beautifully with its jewelled winter cloak. From the beginning, this creation was intended as a tribute to femininity, with the T in FlyingT standing for the initial of Max Büsser's wife, Tiffany, as well as for flying Tourbillon. In an ultimate refined touch embodying this intimate approach, the movement is designed in such a way that only its owner can see the time. The case-back reveals the sun-shaped oscillating weight: its sandblasted and polished rays rotating on a ruthenium disc positioned above a platinum counterweight.
 
Emmanuel Tarpin had a few requests in respect of the movement, starting with the elimination of all gold-coloured 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 centre of the tourbillon and two crowns for rare turquoise Paraiba stones, to further reinforce the glacial theme.
 
Between the regulating organ and the rotor, the barrel ensures a generous 100-hour power reserve made possible by the reduction in the number of gears. A sapphire crystal dome tops this three-dimensional assembly, beneath which one can admire the organic life of the movement.
 
The beauty of this partnership is that it goes far beyond the realm of the complicated feminine jewellery watch. It highlights two visions of the world, two interpretations of creativity that are radically different in form, yet which merge in substance within an integrated and harmonious co-creation vividly demonstrating the power of collaboration.
 

ABOUT THE FLYING T ENGINE

 
In a departure from most modern watch movements, which take a radial and co-planar approach to movement construction, the LM FlyingT engine utilises a vertical and co-axial approach, along a central axis orchestrating the overall architecture of the entirely visible mechanism. In this respect, the watch deliberately goes against tradition, since everything that is usually hidden is highlighted here in a three-dimensional construction.
 
The cinematic flying tourbillon, which boldly projects beyond the dial-plate of LM FlyingT, is a visually stunning example of the rotating escapement and stands in stark contrast to other flying tourbillons, which usually do not venture past the confines of their surrounding watch dials.
 
Flying tourbillons, as their name suggests, are anchored only at their base, with no stabilising bridge to restrict lateral motion at the top. This increased need for overall rigidity is what causes the conservative placement of most flying tourbillons within their movements. Legacy Machine FlyingT breaks free of this limiting need for movement security and confidently displays its flying tourbillon in all its glory.
 
In order to display the time as precisely as possible on the 50° inclined dial, conical gears are employed to optimally transmit torque from one plane to another. The 280-component engine of Legacy Machine FlyingT has a power reserve of four days (100 hours), which is among the highest within MB&F.

Technical specifications

MB&F x EMMANUEL TARPIN - LM FLYING T ‘ICE’ 

8 ‘ICE’ EDITION pieces and 8 ‘BLIZZARD’ EDITION pieces; both editions in 18K white gold with fully diamond-set cases and blue matte lapis lazuli dial plates.
 
Engine
MB&F FlyingT movement featuring three-dimensional vertical architecture, automatic winding, conceived and developed in-house with a blue balance wheel
Central flying 60-second tourbillon
Power reserve: 100 hours
Balance frequency: 18,000bph / 2.5Hz
Dial plate in blue matte lapis lazuli
Three-dimensional sun-shaped winding rotor in 18K 5N+ red gold, titanium and platinum
Number of components: 280
Number of jewels: 30
 
Functions/indications
Hours and minutes displayed on a 50° vertically tilted dial with two serpentine hands.
Two crowns: winding on left and time setting on right.
 
Case
Material: 18K white gold, set with diamonds.
High domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, sapphire crystal on back.
Dimensions: 39 x 20mm
Number of components: 17
Water resistance: 3ATM / 30m / 90’
 
Stones
For the ‘ICE’ edition:
• Brilliant-cut diamonds on the Ice decoration: ~ 0.611ct
• Brilliant-cut diamonds on the crowns: ~ 0.138ct
• Brilliant-cut diamonds on the case: ~ 1.402cts
• 2 paraibas on the crowns: ~ 0.11ct and 1 paraiba on the tourbillon: ~ 0.03ct
 
Strap & buckle
Alligator leather strap with white gold paved pin buckle matching the case
 
ABOUT EMMANUEL TARPIN
 
Emmanuel Tarpin is a 30-year-old independent jewellery designer from Annecy, in Haute Savoie, France. Fascinated by art and precious stones from a young age, he studied jewellery 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 jewellery business, he would continue working directly for Van Cleef & Arpels in the Maison’s Haute Joaillerie workshop for a further three years, specializing in all the different jewellery techniques to perfect his craft.
 
In 2017, at the age of 25, he set up his own eponymous business, crafting one-of-a-kind pieces for private clients, by appointment only, who were drawn to his unique style. His creations are appreciated for their volume, lightness, texture, and movement that he achieves by using unusual materials – such as aluminium, bronze, and copper – that he combines with precious and colourful gemstones.
 
His work immediately caught the interest of jewellery connoisseurs and his very first creation was included in Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale that took place in New York in December 2017, further projecting him into the limelight.
 
Growing up between the Annecy Lake and the surrounding French Alps, nature is one of his major sources of inspiration and his jewellery takes the forms of shells, jellyfish, geranium leaves, arum lilies, and wild orchids, to name a few.
 
“Nature is an inexhaustible source of inspiration,” he explains. “I attach myself to every detail, the pistil of a flower, the curve of a leaf, the colours, the gradients, the play on materials and textures. It’s not just the visual sense that comes first, the touch also has its importance, the feeling it has on the skin.”
 
He works from his Parisian studio where he oversees every step of the process. The direct human connection with his clients and suppliers is what he enjoys the most in his creative process.
 
In 2020, he embarked on his first watch project with MB&F where he was given the freedom to interpret two Legacy Machine FlyingT timepieces. Tarpin had already met MB&F’s founder Maximillian Büsser during a presentation about the watch brand during his studies at the HEAD. After an initial meeting in person, the two gentlemen immediately hit it off and Tarpin embarked on the creation of two unique designs inspired by winter that further attest to the talent of this young designer.
 

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