MB&F is adding a “Tiger Eye” version to the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger’s Eye collection. Love the name. What is tiger eye? It is a golden brown gemstone. According to MB&F, “…in some parts of the world, it is believed to ward off the evil eye. Roman soldiers wore engraved tiger eye to protect them in battle.” Here, the stone takes the form of the dial plate and sub-dial of the latest Legacy Machine FlyingT (T stands for Tourbillon) in an 18K yellow gold case set with diamonds.
Sounds fancy. Well, it is a Legacy Machine, so shouldn’t it be? MB&F says, “We don’t craft yellow gold cases very often…but we think it works particularly well with the silky luster of tiger eye, with its undulating bands of color varying from gold to deep brown.”
Make no mistake, it is still a tourbillon. A flying tourbillon, no less. Interestingly, it is also one of the independent brand’s most wearable timepieces, measuring 38.5mm in diameter and 20mm in height. Granted, it may not go under your cuff, but no one would wear an MB&F and worry about that. I assume you already know the theatrical creations that MB&F is renowned for. If not, click the name hyperlink to our past features for a quick browse. Those time machines are typically quite substantial.
Then came the Legacy Machine FlyingT. It debuted back in 2019 as MB&F’s first-ever Machine “dedicated to women”. It garnered the GPHG prize for Best Ladies’ Complication the same year. The collection continues to expand with diamond-set versions in white gold, guilloché-dial editions in red gold and platinum, and last year’s FlyingT Allegra collaboration with Bvlgari. As for the gemstone editions, there has been Lapis Lazuli in 2020, Malachite in 2021, and Tiger Eye today.
Intriguingly, the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger’s Eye LM FlyingT does appear to be a smaller and diamond-studded version of the Legacy Machine. References abound that this is a watch “for” women. With all due respect, given the all-male crew of Friends responsible for this creation, I think we’ll park the marketing babble for now, and dive straight in to see the watch for what it is.
To be honest, as a horological masterpiece, the LM FlyingT is off-the-chart intelligent and extraordinary. On further inspection, it is clear that a total redesign has taken place. I love that MB&F decided to go all-out to design a watch as a tribute to women. With a technical upgrade to a new flying tourbillon, it deserves all the respect and accolades it has commanded.
That said, I’ve gotten so used to MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger’s Eye theatrical creations that it’s easy to forget the LM FlyingT is a very dramatic machine “for women”. How can a crew with not a single woman involved create a watch for women? Calling it “a timepiece for women” is pure PR garbage. Those who do that either do not know watches very well or do not care what “watches for women” means and just jump on the label. That, as we know, only perpetuates the status quo.
The point is, the LM FlyingT is a watch that’s “dedicated to women”. It says so in MB&F’s own literature, and it makes perfect sense when you hear how Max Büsser talks about it. I actually love his concept to make a watch inspired by the women in his life. And if you go along with that, it means that watch would be talking to men too. Now, who would be buying it for the woman of his life, and who would be buying it for himself?