MB&F Melchior @ Baselworld 2015

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

Max Büsser & Friends celebrate their first decade in 2015. Congratulations! Have a look at the newest creation a robo-clock called Melchior…

 

MB&F (= Max Büsser & Friends) will present a number of Anniversary Pieces during the year, under the theme: ”A creative adult is a child who survived”.

The first piece is Melchior, created with L’Epée 1839: an impressive kinetic robot which may remind you of your childhood dreams, but also happens to be an impeccably finished, 480-component mechanical table clock. In fact Melchior is a majestic high-end table clock featuring jumping hours, sweeping minutes, double retrograde seconds and a 40- day power reserve; a tribute to refined, classic clock- and watchmaking.

 

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

Melchior was conceived and developed by concept lab MB&F, and engineered and crafted by L’Epée 1839 – Switzerland’s only specialised high-end clock manufacture.

Christening this robo-clock ‘Melchior’ – after a traditional forename in his family – Max Büsser developed the concept with designer Xin Wang, selecting a high-end L’Epée clock movement and reimagining it as the mechanical head and torso of a robot.

Jumping hours and sweeping minutes on Melchior’s chest are displayed via discs bearing MB&F’s signature numerals – with pointers incorporated into the breastplate – while a dial on Melchior’s abdomen is the power reserve indicator.

 

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

And this robot’s self-sufficiency is to be admired, for the finely-finished, highly-visible movement boasts a power reserve of 40 days – for most table clocks, it is eight days – thanks to five main spring barrels which help make up Melchior’s rippling torso. The barrels are in series for optimal performance.

 

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

The retrograde action of Melchior’s expressive eyes marks off intervals of 20 seconds. A combination of fixed vents and revolving discs, both bearing radial propeller motifs, gives the impression that Melchior is closing and opening his eyes – the resulting blinking effect endows the robot with a hint of endearing human-like personality.

 

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

Further animation is provided by the regulator, its gentle beating and intricate composition made visible thanks to its polished glass dome cover. If the protective dome acts like a skull, then the regulator symbolises Melchior’s brain at work; just as the brain governs the body, the regulator governs the clock’s remarkable precision.

 

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

A true robot companion is one you can play with and Melchior doesn’t disappoint. His steel upper arms rotate and his lower arms pivot up or down – excellent manoeuvrability for aiming his rocket launcher or Gatling gun to blast away the bad guys. And in a neat design touch, his gun detaches and doubles as the winding/setting key for the movement.

 

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

The winding/time-setting key clips into Melchior’s left elbow joint socket. It is held by a small magnet strong enough to hold the key, but not so powerful as to affect the function of the movement. The key boasts a double-depth square socket that neatly fits over both of the square pegs on the back of Melchior. One of the pegs is for winding the movement, the other for time-setting.

 

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

Melchior is limited to 99 pieces and is available in a monochromatic ‘light’ edition or a two-tone ‘dark and light’ edition featuring black PVD-treated components. The price: 35.000 CHF excluding taxes.

 

DISPLAY

Jumping hours and sweeping minutes: Twin discs forming part of Melchior’s breast plate, one disc displaying hours, the other disc minutes, both featuring MB&F’s signature numerals

Retrograde seconds: Flyback discs mark 20-second intervals behind a steel mask Power reserve indicator: Dial on abdomen providing intuitive view of remaining energy

 

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

MOVEMENT

L’Epée in-house designed and manufactured movement

Balance frequency: 18,000 bph / 2.5Hz

Barrels: 5 in series

Power reserve: 40 days

Movement components: 334

Jewels: 50

Incabloc shock protection system

Mechanism in palladium-plated brass

Manual-winding: double-depth square socket key sets time and winds movement

Movement finishing: includes Côtes de Genève, anglage, polishing, sand-blasting, circular and vertical satin finishing

 

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

MELCHIOR’S BODY AND ARMOUR

Dimensions: 30.3 cm x 21.7 cm (depending on position of the arms) x 1.2 cm Weight: 6.3 kg

Body/armour components: 146

 

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

HEAD

Dome: polished glass screwed via polished and bevelled palladium-plated brass bezel Retrograde seconds display in stainless steel

Movement mainplate in palladium-plated brass

 

TORSO

Breastplate (forming hour and minute hands) in palladium-plated brass Abdomen (power reserve indicator frame) in stainless steel

Ribcage/spine (formed by skeletonised mainplate) in palladium-plated brass

 

LEGS

Pelvis, thighs, shins and feet in stainless steel

Hips (long central bars joining pelvis) in stainless steel

 

SHOULDERS AND ARMS

Shoulders, upper arms and lower arm sockets in stainless steel; magnet in left arm socket

 

Right forearm: screwed-in rocket with chrome-plated brass body and stainless steel warhead

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

Left forearm: Gatling gun/detachable stainless steel winding key with palladium-plated brass

MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock
MB&F Melchior, a robo-clock

 

Body and armour finishing includes anglage, mirror polishing, satin finishing, circular satin finishing, sand-blasting, polishing. ‘Shoulders’, ‘pelvis’ and skeletonised mainplate treated with black PVD for the two-tone ‘dark and light’ edition of Melchior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • George James

    Dear Alex—Such a cute robot. I didn’t notice the price for each of the 96 edition?

    Another question—-I really appreciated your Basel 2015 coverage. You did such a great job—-Hopefully you can get some rest now. It was wonderful to hear the actual voices from some of the prominent CEOs.

    However, in one dispatch you mentioned that you were having dinner with Rolex that evening. Being a Rolex Submariner enthusiast since the Submariner was first introduced, naturally, I was looking forward to any comments from the dinner. Did I miss the resulting dispatch?

    George James
    george.james@jamesearch.org

  • Guy

    What fun! Great piece of whimsy. I know a couple of boys who would love it. How much will this cost Uncle Guy?

    BTW: With all the mainspring power and machining why not make it a simple tourbillon? The cherry on top of this metallic sundae.

    Great coverage! You have my permission to take the weekend off.

  • Steve

    Now that is FUN!

    Wish I could justify affording one. If I could, I would.

    I like it that much. Two passions in one, watches/clocks and sci-fi.

    The perfect gift for Dr. Who. 🙂

  • Debashish

    This looks like something from Star Wars, who will buy this?