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T-REX

MB&F + L’EPEE 1839 : JURASSIC ART

Overview

T-Rex is the 11th collaboration between MB&F and Switzerland’s premier clockmaker L’Épée 1839. It was first introduced as a unique piece (Tom & T-Rex), specially customised for Only Watch, the world’s most high-profile charity watch auction.

A minimalist clock-face of Murano glass and steel, suspended between two jointed legs that end in taloned feet — T-Rex bears slight physical resemblance to the eponymous king of beasts. The name owes more to the aspects of design that reveal themselves to the close observer, such as the confluence of power and presence conveyed in the taut limbs. The literal time capsule formed by the spherical, skeletonised body is a subliminal yet insistent allusion to the fossilised bones that contain all we know of a prehistoric era.

Two slim steel hands arch outwards from the centre of the Murano glass dial, indicating the hours and minutes. Behind the dial is a 138-component movement by L’Épée 1839, crowned by a balance beating at the rate of 2.5Hz (18,000vph), with a maximum power reserve of eight days.

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HM1

the machine

Display

  • Hours and minutes

Engine

  • L’Epée 1839 movement, designed and manufactured in-house
  • Power reserve: 8 days
  • Balance frequency: 2.5 Hz / 18,000 vph
  • 138 components and 17 jewels
  • Time setting: winding key to both set the time (in the centre of the dial) and wind the movement (on the barrel axis at the back)

BODY / FRAME

  • Dial: Murano hand-blown glass
  • Materials: stainless steel, palladium-plated brass and bronze
  • Finishing: polishing, satin-finishing and sandblasting
  • 63 components

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT

  • Dimensions: 265 mm tall x 258 mm x 178 mm
  • Weight: approximately 2kg
  • Components total: 201 (movement + body)
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MANUFACTURE MOVEMENT

MANUFACTURE MOVEMENT

Clock making tradition at its best: beating within the 201 finely finished components, a hand-wound mechanical movement conceived and manufactured entirely in-house by L’Epée 1839. Hours and minutes are regulated by the balance wheel beating at 2.5Hz (18,000vph), powered by a single barrel offering 8 days of power reserve.

MURANO GLASS

MURANO GLASS

Hand-blown in Murano glass, the complex hemitoroidal “eyeball” is in fact the clock’s dial. T-Rex comes in variations of green, deep blue and red, which are vividly coloured with metallic salts via age-old glassblowing techniques.

BIOMECHANICAL DESIGN

BIOMECHANICAL DESIGN

T-Rex is closely modelled on the actual skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex; designer Maximilian Maertens studied 3D scans of dinosaur fossils to inject authenticity into the proportions and positioning of T-Rex’s legs.

inspiration

inspiration

Powerful and otherworldly, T-Rex was nevertheless drawn from a source both whimsical yet familiar. A quirky ornament on the desk of MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser, composed of a Christmas bauble perched atop two chicken legs. Members of the avian species are said to be modern-day descendants of the mighty dinosaurs of old, but the comic air of T-Rex’s inspiration had a long way to evolve before it came to fruition.

Designer Maximilian Maertens was the creative incubator for the eventual rise of T-Rex as the 11th collaboration between MB&F and L’Épée 1839. The 1993 film Jurassic Park was a big influence on Maertens, being the first movie he remembered watching as a child. Said Maertens, “I just had the idea to do something with dinosaurs, and Max (Büsser) was very interested in biomechanical designs at the time, so we melded these two sources around his little desk sculpture and took the next step”.

In the course of designing T-Rex, Maertens even came up with a little backstory to inform the process of developing the perfect balance of mechanical and organic visual elements. “The story takes off from ideas given to me by past projects of MB&F, that we have a pilot in his starship discovering new planets. Eventually he got so far out in space that the only way back to Earth was via a black hole, but it time-warped him back to the time of dinosaurs and the starship was fused with a hatching dinosaur egg. You see the remnants of the starship in the body of the clock and the movement, the dinosaur appears via the legs, and even the black hole remains part of the design, via the dial that sinks inwards towards the centre where time originates”.

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