Winter is coming! The MB&F x Emmanuel Tarpin collaborations bring a winter touch to watches

‘Ice’ and ‘Blizzard’ are 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 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.

MB&F X Emmanuel Tarpin Blizzard

December 6, 2022: “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.”

After the success of the first Legacy Machine FlyingT collaboration with Italian luxury brand Bulgari, MB&F is back with another exciting collaboration with upcoming jewellery designer Emmanuel Tarpin. 

MB&F X Emmanuel Tarpin Ice

“I do very few collaborations; I much prefer to focus on my own creations,” explains Mr. 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 first model, 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 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.

MB&F X Emmanuel Tarpin Blizzard

For the second model, Blizzard, Tarpin lets 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 has a 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, and the flying Tourbillon. In an ultimate refined touch embodying this intimate approach, the movement is designed so 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.

MB&F X Emmanuel Tarpin Ice

Mr. Tarpin had a few requests regarding the movement, starting with eliminating all gold-coloured elements that would have clashed with the white gold case and icy theme. All the yellow or red gold elements were changed while the balance wheel was blued. Another proposal was to switch out the diamonds set into the centre of the tourbillon and two crowns for rare turquoise Paraiba stones to reinforce the glacial theme further.

Between the regulating organ and the rotor, the barrel ensures a generous 100-hour power reserve made possible by reducing the number of gears. A sapphire crystal dome tops this three-dimensional assembly, beneath which one can admire the organic life of the movement.

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