MB&F Unveils Melchior, the Mechanical Timekeeping Robot (Video + Pics)

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MB&F Melchior Light - head closeup

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 in collaboration with L’Epée 1839, Switzerland’s only specialized 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.  The name ‘Melchior’ is a traditional forename in Maximilian Büsser’s family.  The concept was specifically developed with designer Xin Wang, selecting a high-end L’Epée clock movement and reimagining it as the mechanical head and torso of a robot.   Melchior has plenty to occupy the senses, including moving eyes (double retrograde 20-seconds counters), an escaepement “brain” and steel arms which rotate.  I believe Melchior is also supposed to be a friendly, “happy feeling” robot, but he does hold a rocket launcher and Gatling gun in those steel arms of his, just in case something goes down.  And, by the way, that Gatling gun is detachable and cleverly doubles as a winding/setting key for the movement.

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MB&F Legacy Machine 101 (LM101)

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MB&F Legacy Machine 101 white gold

MB&F has unveiled its latest horological machine today, the LM101.  Only Max Busser and Friends could create a watch like this!  With an intention “to capture the very essence of the Legacy line” (which include the LM1 and LM2), MB&F describes the new LM101 is the most classic, purest Legacy variation to date.  The new Legacy Machine clear shares DNA with the line, but at 40mm the case is -4mm vs. the prior LMs, and it is simpler in that it has only one subsidiary dial for the time and another for the power reserve.  However, the magnificent 14mm flying balance wheel again takes center stage.  There’s one more very special feature, one that cannot be seen: the Legacy Machine 101 houses the very first movement developed entirely in-house by MB&F.

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MB&F Legacy Machine 2 (with Video)

MBF Legacy Machine 2 Platinum Case

As with Legacy Machine 1 of 2011, MB&F has again teamed up with two of the most talented watchmakers alive: Jean-François Mojon and his team at Chronode, and the inimitable Kari Voutilainen.  Legacy Machine No.2, shown above in one of 18 pieces that will be done in platinum case and blue dial ($190,000 per), is also available in 18k red or white gold ($156,00 per).  The movement has two independent escapements, with two beautifully shaped flying balance wheels floating high above the dial, linked by a a planetary differential which transmits the average rates of those balance wheels to a single gear train.  The watch appears immaculately finished as well.  Absolutely gorgeous, this is a beautiful evolution of LM1 and I love it.  See it in action — video action — below.
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MB&F HM5 “On the Road Again”, Inspired by 70’s Amida Digitrend

Inspired in part by an obscure 1970s watch known as the Amida Digitrend, MB&F today unveiled its fifth “horological machine”.   Introducing the piece, MB&F says the HM5 (Horological Machine 5) “may appear relatively simple, but it’s complicated: the hour and minute displays look straightforward, but they are bi-directional jumping hours with indications inversed, reflected 90° to the vertical and magnified 20%; HM5 has a futuristic case design, but it’s from the 1970s; HM5 has a mechanical movement, but it was inspired by an era when quartz was King; the rear louvres on supercars block light, but on HM5 they let it in; HM5 has exhaust pipes, but they drain water.”

As shown below, the HM5 is direct homage to the daring and rebellious Amida Digitrend which refused to accept the quartz revolution of the 1970s.  Though unlike the steel case and the acrylic prism of the Amida Digitrend, MB&F Chief Max Busser has brought the watch into the 21st century with modern day high tech materials and precision mechanics.  Rear window lourvres of 70s supercars also played a key role in the HM5 design.

Price:  54000 CHF (about $58k at current f/x), limited to just 66 pieces.
Full run down with lots of pics, below