MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx Edition: Perhaps the Best FlyingT Yet

Onyx has always been a bit of a mysterious semi-precious stone. When polished, it has a glossy black look that is as understated as it is mesmerizing. It is a type of chalcedony and consists of bands that might or might not have the same color. This is the same type of stone gem carvers favored to create cameos and intaglios.

In watchmaking, brands preferred it for dials. While there are some examples out there, this was not common practice, as the Onyx needs to be cut very thin, and only the best quality of Onyx will do. So it is all the more pleasing that MB&F opted for Onyx to take center stage for the latest version of the FlyingT.

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx

Stack it up

As the FlyingT is an MB&F it does things differently. With this timepiece, it starts with its stacked movement. A significant part of the gear train is placed on top of each other and topped off with a flying tourbillon that makes a full rotation every minute.

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx

While you might think that this is the cherry on top, it is not, as MB&F places a brilliant cut diamond on top of the tourbillon.

Sun-shaped rotor of the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx

The automatic winding movement was created by MB&F in-house. It is powered by an oscillating weight visible through the caseback. Shaped like a sun, the rotor both looks beautiful and plays an essential role in winding the FlyingT. And wind it does because the FlyingT has an impressive 100 hour power reserve.

The movement runs at a traditional slow frequency of 2.5Hz/18,000VpH, which is a nice pace to observe the tourbillon doing its magical dance. 



High society

With a stacked movement, you can deuce that the FlyingT is not ultra-slim. The height is an impressive 20mm, of which the majority is the domed sapphire. The yellow gold case itself is rather slender, with lugs nicely following the shape of the wrist. This makes it look like the stacked movement is under an exhibition dome, and it is not alone, as it is joined by the 50° vertically tilted dial with two serpentine hands.

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx

This dial is, just like the movement cover, also made of Onyx. It is very well proportioned, as it is easy to read, but also small enough to make the rest of the watch look larger than it actually is. As always with MB&F, the design is on point, and while we have already seen multiple versions of the FlyingT, this one has no difficulties standing its ground.

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx

While it doesn’t dazzle with colors or diamonds like its predecessors, it has an undeniable appeal. The combination of yellow gold and black Onyx oozes old-school chic. It is understated, yet at the same time looks very rich. The color palette is uniform, except at the center, where the white metal of some of the movement parts underscores the technical nature of the FlyingT.

Battle of the sexes

When the first LM FlyingT was introduced in 2019, MB&F marketed it towards women, even referring to it as the brand’s first ladies’ watch. While the elegant lines, diamond settings, and extensive use of semi-precious stones for both the dials and the cover plate over the movement on most models, it is not that difficult to see where this line of thinking came from.



The FlyingT might be the watch in MB&F’s collections that women are most drawn to, but the question is, does it then automatically make it a lady’s watch?

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx

While the jury is still out on that one, and MB&F has softened its language as to which sex the FlyingT is aimed at, I am still saying what I said when the timepiece was originally introduced: why make a distinction at all? Let people make up their own minds. Does it make a difference for a brand if it’s a man or a woman who buys the watch? I don’t think so, and from a commercial point of view, does it also not make sense to rule out 50% of your potential client base.

I’m not targeting this criticism just towards MB&F as far more, and far larger, brands still make an even more distinct difference in their collections between men’s and women’s watches.

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx

And it’s worth noting that while MB&F initially promoted the FlyingT as a ladies’ watch, as you can see in their press photos, the FlyingT Onyx is mostly shown on a man’s wrist. It looks like MB&F has realized that the FlyingT is an excellent watch for all sexes.

There is, in this case, also a selfish aspect to my conviction, as the FlyingT is simply so good: it’s my favorite MB&F of all time. These are big words, but on the wrist, the FlyingT is wearable and quirky, slightly reminiscent of the Corum Bubble. It’s fun and serious, or serious fun, an eyecatcher, yet so much more than just a gimmick. I would call it a dandy’s watch, but as that is usually a term used for men, I would go against my previously expressed points.

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx

Is it a dress watch?

As this version of the FlyingT has such a classic color palette, another question that arises: can call it a dress watch? It is time-only, has a luxurious nature, comes with a very high-end movement, and its dimensions are modest. For the latter, I am only counting the 38.5mm diameter of the case, as the 20mm of overall height makes it a tad more eccentric. It also needs to be, as MB&F is not in the business of making mainstream watches. While the FlyingT Onyx Edition is far from that, it is the watch from the collection that is the closest to a ‘normal’ watch.

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx

Is this also the reason why I like it so much? I don’t think so, as it is more a case that this FlyingT does so many things so well, but also taps into a piece of history that as a young brand MB&F never had themselves. It has now become an interpretation of an old-school, high-end watch, as it is dreamed up by Jules Verne himself.

For more see https://www.mbandf.com/en/machines/legacy-machines/lmflyingt

Quick Facts MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Onyx Edition
Case: 38.5 x 20 mm, 18K yellow gold, Onyx dial and movement cover.

Movement: automatic caliber with three-dimensional vertical architecture, central flying 60-second tourbillon, four-day power reserve, 2.5 Hz/18,000 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes
Price: CHF 114,000 excluding taxes

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3 replies
  1. Stewart Novinger
    Stewart Novinger says:

    I was wondering why there are 2 crowns? Is one winding and one setting? If not could some explain the functions? Thanks

  2. Glenn C
    Glenn C says:

    I really like this one! The black really makes it classy yet adds to the visibility of the interesting components. Beautiful design. This could also be my favorite MB&F.


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