In this day of hip hop ascendency, there’s nothing wrong with men loving a little bling or in the case of the MB&F x Bvlgari Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra, copious amounts of it. Granted Max Busser (the MB of the brand) did envision it to be a feminine timepiece, we figured that with men wholeheartedly embracing Dior’s Book Tote, it was time to take a gender-neutral concept to horology. Both Bvlgari and MB&F display individually recognisable brand characteristics, the former a renowned Italian jeweller; the latter, a reputable watchmaker know for feats of timekeeping fantasy and whimsy merging various skills and aesthetics to birth an unexpectedly epic timepiece.
Jewellery-making and mechanical audacity join in a radical demonstration of watchmaking métiers in terms of architecture and construction. Bvlgari has always favoured the use of coloured stones rather than diamonds alone while MB&F has always preferred unconventionality in haute horlogerie, opting to break the status quo in fine watchmaking and adopting time indication at the 7 o’clock position with the sub-dial tilted 50° on the dial plate to face the wearer.
Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra: Time in the Eyes of its Beholder
Coloured gems enable the Italian high jeweller to create an artistic yet radical composition through a gradual process aimed at achieving harmony and chromatic power adapted to the design of the model. The cabochon cut, an allegory while mirroring perfectly the FlyingT Allegra’s round and voluminous case. Métiers d’art and Métiers de l’ingénieur join to create a subtle yet clear message: whoever the owners of the LM FlyingT may be, their time belongs to the eyes of its beholder.
It’s signature Mad Max but less dystopian and more Great Gatsby, the Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra showcases a movement vertically built along a central axis, highlighting its three-dimensional construction with a show stopping flying tourbillon right at its apex: the 60-second flying tourbillon is a kinetic ballet sitting atop a dynamic column that stops just short of the sapphire crystal dome; The development of the dramatic flying tourbillon required ingenious technical solutions: While most modern watch movements rely on a radial and co-planar approach, the FlyingT uses a vertical and co-axial approach. Affixed to the zenith of its upper tourbillon cage is a single diamond that rotates simultaneously with the tourbillon, a visually stunning exemplar in stark contrast to other flying tourbillons which usually do not venture past the confines of their surrounding watch dials.
Métiers d’art and Métiers de l’ingénieur join to create a subtle yet clear message: whoever the owners of the LM FlyingT may be, their time belongs to the eyes of its beholder.
Founded 17 years ago in 2005, MB&F has always been about creating horological “machines” unlike anything else on the market. This time, less machine and more like a mechanical dancer, it joins another unconventional brand: the 138 year old Maison founded by talented Greek silversmith Sotirio Bulgari with a penchant for Italian flair, exquisite craftsmanship and magnificent bejewelled creations.
When both maverick artisans opted to work together, the two visionary brands revisited the beloved FlyingT, a watch created and named for Busser’s wife, Tiffany. The ‘Allegra’ part of the watch’s name is taken from Bvlgari’s Allegra watch, a jewellery model with a mix of different sized and different coloured gemstones suspended on an outer bezel. Though it was MB&F’s first-ever women’s watch, its cutting edge construction and ingenious design has no lack of male suitors. The spherically shaped FlyingT with highly domed sapphire crystal boasts a movement that is built so that the majority of its engineering and its 280 elaborate parts are entirely visible: how’s this for catnip for watch connoisseurs regardless of gender?
Each limited-edition MB&F x Bvlgari Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra is meticulously set with diamonds on the main plate, the tiny dial and the case; Jewellers carefully selected tourmaline, tsavorite, diamonds, rubellite, amethyst, tanzanite and topaz, in an exceptional composition forming a full circle around the movement, paving the dial entirely with snow-set diamonds in dazzling display; though an argument can be made for the combination of fancy cabochon cut gems making the timepiece unduly feminine, no one would suggest that you try making that argument to Thanos himself.
Presented in 20 pieces 18-karat white gold and 20 pieces in 18-karat 5N rose gold, the white gold models are set with more than three carats of diamonds, and boast three tsavorites (one each in square, pear and round shapes) weighing 1.33 carats, one oval topaz (0.71 carats), one oval amethyst (0.4 carats), one round tanzanite (0.43 carats) and one round tourmaline (0.06 carats). The caseback reveals a sun-shaped oscillating weight as its gold sandblasted rays rotate on the ruthenium disc positioned above a platinum counterweight. With a power reserve of 4 days, its mechanical boldness is matched by Bvlgari’s sophisticated gem setting prowess.
The MB&F x Bvlgari Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra is limited to 20 pieces in white gold and 20 pieces in red gold. The retail price is CHF 160,000 or US$ 185,000