This MB&F Watch Dial Is A Six-Figure Gemstone Sculpture

The wild watch’s serpentine hands are tilted so the time can only be read by the wearer.


A lot can be—and has been—said about the whimsical timepieces engineered and crafted by Maximilian Büsser and his titular MB&F brand, but his mission can be summed up simply by the following quote: “I created MB&F to do what I believe in, making three-dimensional sculptural kinetic art pieces that give the time.”

From the WWII jet-inspired “Kittyhawk” HM4 to Porsche 918 Spyder-celebrating HM8 Mark 2, eye-catching 3D elements have always been hallmark of MB&F designs, and the same can be said of the new Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx.

Beneath the convex sapphire crystal is an onyx dial. But while virtually every other watchmaker would merely cut the mineral into a flat face, MB&F has crafted the gemstone three-dimensionally into a dome—a feat easier said than done.

The onyx piece needed an asymmetrical cutout for the 60-second flying tourbillon, which is driven by a rear-facing, sun-shaped automatic winding rotor. Variable thicknesses throughout the onyx dial were also required to accommodate the technical requirements of the movement plate.


Most of the onyx dial’s real estate is taken up by the stacked pieces of the movement itself, in line with Büsser’s love of three-dimensional figures. The time is actually displayed by serpentine hands on a secondary dial, which is somewhat curiously located at the 7 o’clock position and inclined at a 50-degree tilt so that it can be read only by the wearer.

This horological experimentalism is all contained in an elegant round gold case featuring elongated, Art Decco-harking lugs and a pair of crowns—the left is for winding, and the right is time-setting. The case’s form is traditional by-design, as MB&F’s Legacy Machines (LMs) are meant to be modern tributes to 19th-century watchmaking.


Onyx is just the latest evolution of the Legacy Machine FlyingT, first launched in 2019. And while the influence of sculpture is apparent, the true inspiration is more abstract.

“I wanted LM FlyingT to reflect the personality and qualities of the women of my family, particularly my mother,” Büsser’s said. “It had to combine supreme elegance with tremendous vitality.”


“The column-like structure of the flying tourbillon was very important to me as I felt very strongly that women form the pillar of humanity. At the same time, there is another layer of meaning coming in from the sun-shaped rotor, which incorporates the element of life-giving, a source of sustenance which we gravitate towards and around.”

Priced at $133,000, the LM FlyingT Onyx is available to purchase now.