Melchior is one of MB&F’s 10th Anniversary Pieces, presented in 2015 under the theme:”A creative adult is a child who survived”. Created with L’Epée 1839, Switzerland's only specialised high-end clock manufacture, Melchior is not only an impressive kinetic robot which may remind you of your childhood dreams, but also an impeccably finished, 480-component mechanical table clock.
Indeed, with his smart steel and brass armour, enigmatic glint in his eyes, animated brain and muscular, articulated arms, Melchior is the robot buddy you would want by your side while trying to thwart Darth Vader. But look again and you will see Melchior is a majestic high-end table clock featuring ‘slow’ jumping hours, sweeping minutes, double retrograde seconds eyes and an impressive 40-day power reserve; a tribute to the most refined classic clock and watchmaking.
The clock regulator’s gentle beating and intricate composition are 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. The retrograde action of Melchior’s expressive eyes marks off intervals of 20 seconds, endowing the robot with a hint of endearing human-like personality.
Christening this roboclock ‘Melchior’ – after a traditional forename in his family – Maximilian 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. And of course a true robot companion is one you can play with: Melchior’s steel upper arms rotate and his lower arms pivot up or down – excellent manoeuvrability for aiming his rocket launcher and Gatling gun. In a neat design touch, his left arm detaches and doubles as the winding/setting key for the movement.
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 100th and final piece in the Melchior series is a piece unique: Melchior ‘Only Watch’, created especially for the biennial charity auction to raise money for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This unique piece is clothed in palladium-plated brass and steel with bright red shoulder pads.
As for all RESSENCE watches the essence of TYPE 5 is its main function - the expression of Time. To achieve the best-ever readability underwater, the complete ROCS 5 - all 142 components, including the dial - is immersed in 37.5 ml of oil. Indeed the use of oil has one ultimate advantage. It cancels out what is known as Total Internal Reflection. Typically, under water, a traditional diver’s watch needs to be viewed straight on in order to be read properly - otherwise refraction turns the glass into a mirror. But not with the oil-filled TYPE 5 . The use of oil ensures complete legibility whatever the angle of view. A first for a mechanical watch.
URWERK’s UR-105M is inspired by the Middle Ages, an era of lances, legends, chivalrous conduct and noble deeds. An era when knights in shining armor would risk their lives for honor and glory, with only their faith and shield for protection. The UR-105M embodies their gallant valor in a titanium and steel arena, the satellite hours conquering time in an eternal jousting tournament.
The UR-105M features an impressive titanium body reinforced by steel armor. At the heart of its time display four satellites slowly orbit. Each of these satellites is visible during their 60-minute journey along the minute scale. A circular PEEK (PolyEtherEthercetone) canopy with openings enhances the current hour. Once the hour has elapsed, the satellite – guided by a Geneva cross – rotates and continues around its orbit for another three hours before returning to the center stage. Completing the indications, running seconds and power reserve are displayed laterally on the case band. At the back of the UR-105M, URWERK’s signature ‘Control Board’ houses additional displays and functions: an ‘Oil Change’ indicator alerting when it is time for a service; 42-hour power reserve indicator; plus the fine-tuning screw allowing adjustment of the rate. Martin Frei, URWERK’s co-founder and artistic director, explains: “The case of UR-105M was developed as an armor. The visible screws on the bezel not only bring a distinctive esthetic to the watch, but also tack the steel armor onto its titanium body. This shield protects the movement (the heart of the watch) from the outside world’s aggressions. For me, the parallel with the chivalrous imagery is obvious. You have the power of the bezel-armor generating a feeling of invincibility.”
« Sophistication »
Our primary intention is to present our third invention in a case that is as slender as possible and yet able to accommodate the inclined Tourbillon cage.
It was the lateral projections of our asymmetrical models that gave us the idea for an original solution. By incorporating a dome into the sapphire crystal on the back of the Timepiece, we have created enough extra volume to allow the tourbillon cage to overlap the reference surface of the rear bridges.
The dome is a new and intriguing element that directs attention to the lower bridge of the Tourbillon.
This bridge is more than just a supporting element, it is a triumph of technology and craftsmanship. Its geometry is similar to a Roman vault and its surface is gently polished by hand. Obtaining a perfectly straight reflection over the whole piece requires such expertise and experience that each bridge finished in this way is signed by the craftsman-decorator who executed it.
Apart from the exceptional standard of decoration that naturally applies to all 288 parts in the movement, the play of colours and finishes creates a spectacular visual dynamic, with pride of place given to the sectorial 72-hour power-reserve indicator.
￼￼« Simplicity »
This new creation is also distinguished by its elegant, neoclassical simplicity. The overall aesthetic is extremely refined, paying homage to the standard of creation and the finesse of each component.
Particular care has been given to the design of the hands that indicate the time immediately and precisely. They have been lightened to the maximum degree and their form, in the shape of a lance, leads
the eye straight to the indications that are first engraved and then “oven-firing” enamelled into the solid gold of the dial.
The fast-rotating Tourbillon 24 Secondes is also an integral part of the graphic composition of the entire piece. Set inside a light well, it creates an animated scene that is an irresistible invitation to explore the back of the timepiece.