One to Watch: Muyshondt Beagle
Tony Sculimbrene 06.21.17
It used to be that Enrique Muyshondt made some of the finest batch-produced flashlights in the world. Now, it looks like he is in a league of his own. He has taken what is usually thought of as a utilitarian tool and refined it to a point that it is probably more of a master class in product design than anything else.
A Muyshondt is to flashlights what the iPhone is to the putty-colored desk phone. Everything about a Muyshondt is focus-built for absolute unfailing performance. Whereas a Maglite can take a hit or two, a Muyshondt can be shot into near-space, return to Earth, and still work. Has your light joined Felix Baumgartener in the Dark Void?
Muyshondt’s prior offerings have been uniformly great. The Ion gave way to the Aeon, which begat the Aeon II, and most recently the Aeon III. Enrique branched out to other battery formats (the aforementioned were CR2-powered lights) with Maus (N cells) and the Flieger (18650 cells). Each of these is among the finest lights made by man, with crazy-great runtimes, immaculate machining, and the perfect choice of emitters, outputs, and output spacing. They are all pricey of course, but when you are talking the Wilson Audio of flashlights, you expect a hefty price tag.
Enrique is not one to rest on his laurels, so he continues to push the envelope. He recently released a light called the Beagle, which is fundamentally a break from his previous designs as it is a multi-emitter light. Unlike many of today’s multi-emitter lights, which are usually clustered around the center of the reflector, the Beagle goes the Surefire Aviator route and does a center emitter with an outside ring of emitters.
This choice is pretty incredible given the lineage of lights that choose this emitter array. There have been two very beloved lights with this setup: the aforementioned Aviator and the incredibly-hard-to-find McGizmo Lunasol series. Enrique is clearly picking up a gauntlet thrown down by the best of the best. In many ways, the Beagle shows that Enrique has gone from one of the best light makers in the world to the undisputed king.
By having the emitters organized in the center/ring set up, the light has two different throw profiles: a true flood from the outer ring, and a good throw from the center emitter. If past experience is any indication, the light will run with Hi CRI emitters and have a strong bias towards long runtimes over photon wallops.
These preferences in the specs might not be the eye-catchers that other lights have, but over the years I have come to see the wisdom in this setup. I’d rather have good, high-quality light for a long time than a short burst of disco purple or zombie green. This light will run on 18350s and is roughly the size of a McGizmo Sundrop (not that that is the most useful benchmark).
All hail the new King.