MB&F and a premier clock manufacture L’Epée 1839 launch Orb – a state-of-the-art clock equipped with an hourly striking mechanism. German designer Maximilian Maertens and the Swiss watchmaker came up with the concept and design of the clock, while L’Epée 1839 developed the movement as well as the lacquered transformable sphere.
The minimalistic structure of the clock is formed of four elytra (a beetle’s protective wing covers) that can open up and swivel like a transformer to display the Orb in a variety of different positions. Placed on its saucer, it can be displayed completely closed or with one, two or three opened elytra. Alternatively, opening all four elytra allows displaying the clock without the saucer.
Orb is crafted of a solid block of aluminum that is hollowed to create the perfect sphere. Once cut, the elytra are then coated with several layers of lacquer that are hardened in a kiln. The four elytra are joined to the structure with torque hinges so they can retain their angle however little or wide they are opened. When closed, the elytra are held in place with four magnets on the interior of each tip.
The clock is powered by a beautiful L’Epée 1839 hour-striking movement with an eight-day power reserve. Although the movement is not perceivable from the outside, the perfectly formed sphere allows the viewer to admire the mechanical heart of the piece. The eight-day caliber is visible slightly through the curved aluminum dial covered by a domed mineral glass, which has a hole in the center to allow the setting of the time with a special key.
There are two barrels, one for the time and the other for the striking of the hours, that are wound separately. The hour mechanism chimes the passage of the hour and indicates the actual hour. This function can also be repeated on demand via a button on the side of the clock, or turned on and off if required. This new hour-striking development is based on a similar mechanism used in L’Epée 1839’s historic carriage clocks.
The Orb is available in white or black.