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Spider clock pays homage to modern art icon

Arachnophobia can be placed standing on a desk or its legs manipulated to create a slightly sinister, arachnophobia-inducing position
Arachnophobia can be placed standing on a desk or its legs manipulated to create a slightly sinister, arachnophobia-inducing position
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Arachnophobia can be placed standing on a desk or its legs manipulated to create a slightly sinister, arachnophobia-inducing position
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Arachnophobia can be placed standing on a desk or its legs manipulated to create a slightly sinister, arachnophobia-inducing position
A gold-plated version is available
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A gold-plated version is available
Arachnophobia references the Maman, a spider sculpture created by the iconic artist Louise Bourgeois
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Arachnophobia references the Maman, a spider sculpture created by the iconic artist Louise Bourgeois
Arachnophobia can be mounted on a wall
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Arachnophobia can be mounted on a wall
Arachnophobia can stand on its legs
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Arachnophobia can stand on its legs
Close up of the clock mechanism
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Close up of the clock mechanism

The work of one of the most famous and lasting names from the Modern Art movement was the inspiration for two Swiss companies to come together on a high-end clock collaboration. Called Arachnophobia, the timepiece makes reference to the Maman, the spider sculpture created by the iconic artist Louise Bourgeois.

Geneva-based horologist Maximilian Büsser, founder of MB&F, worked with Swiss manufacturer L'Epée 1839 to adapt one of the manufacturer's clock movements to be shaped like a spider's torso and head. The eight legs jutting out from the central piece are attached by ball and socket joints, creating a stylized yet realistic effect.

White numerals showing hours and minutes are inscribed on the spider body's black dome. At one end of the time-displaying torso, the head houses the regulator with its balance wheel while the other end holds the power-generating mainspring. The head also bears the index mechanism.

The key to wind and set Arachnophobia is found under the spider's body. The designer says the idea is that the user has to interact with the clock and build "a close relationship" with it. That is a job that will have to be repeated roughly every week as the power reserve lasts eight days.

Close up of the clock mechanism
Close up of the clock mechanism

Sturdiness was also one of the manufacturer's concerns and the regulating organ features a shock protection system called Incabloc that reduces impact during transportation and handling.

The design is flexible in how Arachnophobia can be set-up and displayed. The user can either mount it flat on a wall, place it standing on a desk or move the front legs forward and keep the other six in a standing position to create a slightly sinister, arachnophobia-inducing position.

The legs are made of injection-molded aluminum and then hand-finished and lacquered. The glossy finish followed the same principles as those applied to luxury wristwatches like Côtes de Genève, and included various methods such as polishing, sand-blasting, and circular and vertical satin finishing.

There's another 18-k yellow gold-plated edition with gilded brass legs for a more artificial, glamorous look.

With its legs fully flattened, the clock spans 40.5 cm (16 in). It stands at 20.3 cm (8 in) with its legs extended. The gold-plated version tips the scales at 1.96 kg (4,3 lb) while the black version weighs 0.98 kg (2.16 lb).

Arachnophonia is available now from specialist retailers. The black version costs CHF 15,300 (about US$15,700). The gold-plated version is, unsurprisingly, more expensive at CHF 17,500 (US$18,000).

Source: MB&F

1 comment
DavidB
Oh, thank goodness. I've waited years to get my sister a birthday present, hoping something would come along that would both induce her very real fear of spiders and cost as much as a car without actually *being* a car—I mean, who wants to give his sister a car? My patience is finally rewarded.
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