MB&F & L'Epee 1839 come together for a futuristic piece, yet again, but this time inspired by pre-history
August 29, 2019: Collaborating for their 11th piece together, MB&F and clockmaker L’Épée 1839, this time, took inspiration from prehistory. Unveiling T-Rex, this animated clock has a minimalist clock-face of Murano glass and steel, suspended between two jointed legs that end in taloned feet — much like the (almost) comical appearance of T-Rex.
The name, however, also inspires feelings of the confluence of power and presence conveyed in the taut limbs of this clock. The literal time capsule formed by the spherical, skeletonised body is a subliminal yet insistent allusion to the fossilised bones that contain all we know of a prehistoric era.
Two slim steel hands arch outwards from the centre of the Murano glass dial, indicating the hours and minutes. Behind the dial is a 138-component movement by L’Épée 1839, crowned by a balance beating at the rate of 2.5Hz (18,000vph). The clock is wound with a key at the back of the movement for a maximum power reserve of eight days, while time-setting is accomplished at the centre of the dial with the same key.
The legs of T-Rex are modelled directly on actual Tyrannosaurus Rex bones, using 3D scans of fossilised dinosaur skeletons as references to create verisimilitude in the final design. Alternating polished and sandblasted segments allow light to interact with the legs in such a way that make T-Rex seem agile and coiled to move, although the entire clock itself weighs approximately 2kg and its joints are fixed in place for stability.
Designer Maximilian Maertens was the creative incubator for the eventual rise of T-Rex as the 11th collaboration between MB&F and L’Épée 1839. The 1993 film Jurassic Park was a big influence on Mr. Maertens, being the first movie he remembered watching as a child. In the course of designing T-Rex, he even came up with a little backstory to inform the process of developing the perfect balance of mechanical and organic visual elements. “The story takes off from ideas given to me by past projects of MB&F, that we have a pilot in his starship discovering new planets. Eventually he got so far out in space that the only way back to Earth was via a black hole, but it time-warped him back to the time of dinosaurs and the starship was fused with a hatching dinosaur egg. You see the remnants of the starship in the body of the clock and the movement, the dinosaur appears via the legs, and even the black hole remains part of the design, via the dial that sinks inwards towards the centre where time originates”.
This fascinating T-Rex clock comes in three limited editions of 100 pieces each, with Murano glass dials in green, deep blue or red, for a retail price of CHF 22’500 + VAT