|Starfleet Machine in Dark Face|
MB&F—in what is becoming a legacy for this young, innovative company—has again teamed up with a traditional mechanical movement manufacturer to create a bold concept in design and function. The “Starfleet Machine,” is a traditionally functional table clock with a futuristic appearance.
The clock combines the innovative design skills of the multi-award-winning MB&F (known for its cutting-edge “horological machines”) with the traditional fine craftsmanship and engineering skills of table clock manufacturer, L’Epée 1839. It was unveiled by both companies at Baselworld 2014. The inspiration of the clock is based on the MB&F’s founder, Maximilian Büsser’s passion for high-end mechanical watchmaking and Science Fiction, in this case the Star Trek television and film franchise. The idea Büsser said was “to boldly go where no clock designer had gone before.”
This introduction follows last year’s Baselworld release of the “Music Machine,” which was the first piece by the Geneva-based firm that wasn’t a timepiece but a music box, created with luxury music box maker, Reuge. It was shaped like a futuristic spaceship and the songs it played included the Star Wars and Star Trek themes.
Charris Yadigaroglou, MB&F chief communications officer, said during a meeting at Baselworld that the Starfleet Machine will be available in May and will be limited to 175 pieces in light and dark versions. Its cost is 28,000 Swiss francs ($31,763).
The C-shaped totally exposed and minimalistic Starfleet Machine looks different from any table clock ever made. The highly visible in-house movement has a power reserve of 40 days. (“You need a large fuel tank for long space voyages,” the company said.) Hours and minutes are indicated on the central black dome by hand-polished hands that follow the dome’s curved contours. Behind that, a smaller rotating dome, accompanied by a revolving “radar dish,” provides a view of remaining energy: five bars indicates the movement is fully wound; one bar means it has eight days of remaining power, which is the maximum power reserve on most table clocks.
Below 12 o’clock on the central hour-minute dome are double retrograde seconds in the form of what the company describes as “turret-mounted laser cannons.” The red-tipped cannons start in parallel and cross over one another before rapidly flying out again, an action marking off 20-second intervals.
L’Epée’s caliber has five main spring barrels that usually equips vertically standing clocks, but here it is laid flat. The escapement platform also had to be set horizontally.
Every component (except the 48 jewels) of the palladium-treated brass movement is designed and manufactured at L’Epée’s Swiss atelier. The gears and mainspring barrels are on full display due to the skeletonised mainplate and concentric C-shaped external structure in stainless steel. the clock can rest on both ends of its “vertical landing gear;” useful for turning it over to wind the mainspring and set the time.
It is covered with a glass dome, which isn’t shown in the photograph nor was it on display at Baselworld, Yadigaroglou said.