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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Dome: polished glass screwed via polished and bevelled palladium-plated brass bezel Retrograde seconds display in stainless steel
Movement mainplate in palladium-plated brass
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
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
Left forearm: Gatling gun/detachable stainless steel winding key with palladium-plated brass
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