It’s nothing new to see one of L’Epée 1839’s high-end, Swiss-made timepieces flying over the Atlantic at twice the speed of sound: L’Epée’s beautifully-crafted wall clocks were chosen to furnish Concorde cabins when the supersonic aircraft entered commercial service in 1976. Unfortunately Concorde is no more. However, thanks to the aero-horological design team at MB&F, there is now another supersonic-themed L’Epée clock, which will not only traverse the stratosphere, but explore deep space and beyond: Star Fleet Machine!
Star Fleet Machine is engineered and crafted by L’Epée 1839, Switzerland’s only remaining specialized high-end clock manufacture, founded in 1839. Star Fleet Machine is an intergalactic spaceship-cum-table clock, featuring hours and minutes, double retrograde seconds and power reserve indicator. The highly visible, superlatively finished in-house movement boasts an exceptional power reserve of 40 days (you need a large fuel tank for long space voyages). Star Fleet Machine has been designed by MB&F, the award-winning artistic and micro-engineering laboratory.
Hours and minutes are indicated on the central black dome by hand-polished hands that follow the dome’s curved contours. Behind that, a smaller rotating dome, accompanied by a revolving radar dish, provides an intuitive view of remaining energy: five bars indicates the movement is fully wound (40 days of power); one bar means Star Fleet Machine is running low on propellant (eight days of remaining power) – it’s all relative – most table clocks have a maximum power reserve of only eight days.
Below 12 o’clock on the central hour-minute dome are the double retrograde seconds in the form of turret-mounted laser cannons. The cannons start in parallel and cross over one another before rapidly flying out again, an action marking off 20-second intervals. The red-tipped cannons provide eye-catching visual animation, and perhaps just as importantly, fend off enemy attacks against the core of the craft just underneath: the regulator, which has deliberately been placed in full view for all to admire.
One of the biggest challenges for L’Epée was respecting the movement configuration required by MB&F’s spacecraft design. L’Epée’s calibre – featuring five main spring barrels – usually equips vertically standing clocks, but here it is laid flat. The escapement platform also had to be set horizontally to be protected by the turret-mounted laser cannons. Naturally, the movement beats with a precision that Starfleet would be proud of, for an impressive accuracy of -2 to +2 minutes over 40 days!
Every component (except the 48 jewels) of the superlatively finished palladium-treated brass movement is designed and manufactured at L’Epée’s Swiss atelier. The gears and mainspring barrels are on full display thanks to the skeletonized main plate and concentric C-shaped external structure in stainless steel. Star Fleet Machine can rest on both ends of its vertical landing gear; useful for when you turn it over to wind the mainspring and set the time.
When conceiving Star Fleet Machine, MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser set out to boldly go where no clock designer had gone before, and L’Epée has enthusiastically enjoyed the ride. CEO Arnaud Nicolas says: “MB&F’s idea for Star Fleet Machine blew my mind. Like Max, I am a big sci-fi fan so when MB&F came to us with the design, we had to accept the challenge. Our team has been really inspired by this piece, and we think others will be too.”
Limited Edition by L’Epee and MB&F – Only 10 pieces in this finish!
Made in Switzerland
Double retrograde seconds, power reserve indicator, animated laser cannons and signal antenna
Palladium plated, Blue features
40 days power reserve, 46 jewel, spring wind, cal.2175
Incabloc shock protection system
Transparent ‘biosphere dome’, 20″ dia. x 10″
Radical, science fiction influenced design
If you’re interested in the fine piece, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your zip code for a dealer in your area.