The only premier producer of music boxes in the world Reuge has partnered with MB&F and automation specialist to create Kelys & Chirp, a turtle automaton with a singing bird on its back. Kelys (from the Greek chelone or chelys for tortoise) moves in a realistic tortoise-like gait with his head moving slowly side-to-side, his movements all in synchronicity with Chirp as springing from her nest and pirouetting, her beak opening and closing, wings apping, and tail wagging, all in time to the melodic bird song. The birdsong is created with the help of a 230-year- old invention created by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, who is credited for discovery of the modern Singing Bird complication.
The Singing Bird is a complete movement itself, while the turtle is automaton module, powered by the Singing Bird movement. To replicate the turtle’s movement (it pushes itself forward with both rear legs, after which the front legs catch up), Nicolas Court used elliptical gearing and cams, the shapes of the cams dictating the movement of the legs. Its movements are synchronised with the bird’s own movements and singing. A friction clutch security system integrated into the automaton mechanism detects surface edges and immediately stops the turtle moving forward over the abyss.[justified_image_grid preset=8 ids=124727,124728 caption=off]
Court also reintroduced a Reuge security system for the bird movement: if the bird is pushed down while singing, a lever system safely pivots the bird and it returns to nest.
The scales on Kelys’ shell are individually hand made from high quality leather in 4 different colors, creating a warmer and more natural feel than bare metal. Kelys & Chirp is available in 4 limited editions of 18 pieces each in blue, green, yellow or ochre.
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