At the end of November, while the United States steadily drifted into a turkey-and-mashed-potatoes-induced moment of thankful reflection, our friends over in Europe were rather busy, with many watch brands unveiling what are likely their final big releases of the year as they look ahead to the holidays. Among them were MB&F and Bulgari, an unlikely pair of luxury makers, which partnered on and jointly introduced their first collaborative timepiece, the MB&F X Bulgari Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra.
The new timepiece represents a significant merging of the minds between two of the most renowned purveyors of their respective luxury niches — that is, independent, experimental haute horologerie for MB&F and high-jewelry, gem-focused watchmaking for Bulgari.
In the LM FlyingT Allegra, the two maisons endeavored to conceptualize a watch that represents their shared spirit of radical creativity and bold design work, and also one that would be a “tribute to femininity.” The result is a timepiece that uses MB&F’s first female-targeted timepiece, the original LM FlyingT from 2019 (below), as a mechanical canvas, with Bulgari adding to it an opulent layer of ornamentation inspired by the Allegra cocktail watch from its own High Jewelry line.
The collaborative high-jewelry watch is being launched as a limited edition, with 20 pieces to be produced in 18K white gold and 20 more in 18K rose gold. Sized on the more petite end of MB&F’s offerings, the model measures 39 mm by 20 mm, but is nonetheless instantly capable of catching and holding the eye with its incredible, gem-set aesthetic. The unusually shaped case, secured by a bright alligator leather strap, notably features two crowns, with winding on the left and time-setting in parallel on the right.
Under the highly domed sapphire crystal, the audacious MB&F X Bulgari creative effort is on full display. At the dial’s center, a namesake flying tourbillon seems to floating in midair as it rotates, its various fixtures visible via partial skeletonization. This sculpturally inspired regulating mechanism provides power for the Legacy Machine’s timekeeping, which is here displayed in a 50° vertically tilted subdial whose blued hour and minute hands are in the serpentine style that recalls Bulgari’s those of Bulgari’s Serpenti models.
Possibly the most striking feature of all is the adornment of the dial, with large, bright gems helping to create further balance and intrigue in the design. On the rose-gold edition, a selection of tsavorite, tourmaline, tanzanite, amethyst, and rubellite decorate the surface, while the white-gold version hosts tsavorite, topaz, amethyst, tanzanite, and tourmaline.
As mechanically interesting as is it lavish, the MB&F FlyingT movement powers the limited edition. The caliber is capable of 100-hour power reserve, amassed by means of a sun-shaped oscillating weight that is visible behind a sapphire exhibition caseback, its gold rays rotating atop a ruthenium disk and positioned above a platinum counterweight. The ornate design of this technical element provides one final luxurious motif to the timepiece as a whole.
The 20 total editions of the MB&F X Bulgari Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra are priced at $185,000 in both the rose-gold and white-gold case options.
To learn more, visit MB&F, here.