MB&F and L’Epée 1839 first collaborated together on a clock called the Starfleet Machine six years ago. Following many additional co-creations, today they revisit the same space theme with the Starfleet Explorer.
For 2020, the so-called “space station” clock returns in a more compact size, with three small spacecraft attached below the time discs that are attached to the movement and perform an animated orbit of the station every five minutes.
The Starfleet Machine desk clock was designed by MB&F and manufactured by L’Epée 1839 (the last remaining Swiss manufacture specializing in high-end table clocks).
The hour dome and the minute disc are satin-brushed and feature MB&F’s signature numerals. Hours are indicated by the lower disc which stays and place and have a horizontally mounted satin-brushed anodized hand (in green, blue, or red) that displays the current hour. Minutes are indicated by the rotating disc (evolving radar dish) on the top and a fixed aperture that’s satin-brushed by with an anodized finish matching the color of the hour hand. While the aperture and hands are color matched with the three spacecraft that revolve below them, their color is created with a hand-lacquered polymer.
The Starfleet Explorer uses a 2.5Hz in-house movement with 95 components, 11 jewels, and an eight-day power reserve and can be manually wound using a double-ended key which is used to wind the movement as well as to set the time. The table clock movement is mounted horizontally, with a vertical escapement, and however, just like a real watch, the mechanism features a gear train, mainspring barrel, balance wheel, escape wheel, pallet lever, and even an Incabloc shock. The latter is generally only seen in wristwatches and is beneficial because it minimizes the chance of damaging the clock while it’s being transported.
The Starfleet Explorer can rest on both ends of its vertical landing gear which is useful when turning it over to wind the mainspring and set the time. It can also be leaned sideways so as to offer a different view of the immaculately finished components — which require significantly more work than merely finishing an upsized wristwatch. Arnaud Nicolas CEO of L’Epée 1839 explains, “It’s not just a case of double the size of the components, it’s double the time it takes to finish them. The complexity increases exponentially. For polishing, you need to apply the same pressure as you would finishing a watch movement, but on a bigger surface, and that’s more challenging. It’s thanks to the experience and dexterity of our clockmakers that the Starfleet Explorer can feature such superlative fine-finishing.”
Similar to a wristwatch, the MB&F and L’Epée 1839 Starfleet Explorer’s main structure (case) is crafted from stainless steel, whereas the mainplate (movement) is a made of palladium-treated brass. There are three limited editions of 99 pieces each in blue, green, and red. Retail is approximately $10,700.
Learn more at MB&F.