MB&F's Medusa puts a deep sea timepiece on your desk
MB&F has once again partnered with L'Epee to create a combination of art and craftsmanship in the form of the Medusa – a dual-configuration clock inspired by a jellyfish. Using Swiss engineering and a housing of hand-blown Murano glass, each timepiece is unique, yet boasts a 2.5-Hz (18,000-vph) movement with a seven-day power reserve.
We've come to expect a lot of whimsy from MB&F with its penchant for creating clocks in the form of arthropods and Mad Max transformers, but the 10th collaboration with L'Epee turns out to be something of a challenge as it had to be a solid timepiece that also evokes something as soft and insubstantial as a jellyfish floating in the sea.
To achieve this, the partners farmed out the task of creating the body of the Medusa to one of Venice's world-famous Murano glass blowers, who have sat in the top ranks of their craft for over 800 years. According to MB&F, out of 40 companies contacted, only four took up the challenge and only one could actually do it.
The central mass of the Medusa and the tentacles are made out of hand-blown glass in blue, green, or pink. The problem was to achieve the right color effect while keeping down the weight of the clock and maintaining a consistent effect in all the glass parts. This required a high degree of skill as well as a lot of trial and error, like testing multiple stages of layering red and clear glasses to provide just the right shade of pink.
Because of the weight of the glass, the Medusa tips the scale at about 6 kg (13 lb), making it too heavy and fragile to shift about casually, so the movement had to be designed from scratch over a period of two years to combine the winding and setting stems as well as making it possible to wind the mechanism with one hand while the other steadied the clock. In addition, the movement was designed as a central pillar to mimic a jellyfish's neural column.
The Medusa has a stainless steel base, but is designed to be displayed as either free standing on a flat surface or hanging from the ceiling. The time display of hours and minutes is through a pair of rotating rings with a single fixed indicator. In the dark, it even glows like a deep sea creature from its Super-LumiNova markings. The 155-part, 23-jewel movement is protected by an Incabloc shock protection system, while the metal surfaces are finished in Geneva waves, anglage, polishing, sandblasting, circular and vertical graining, and satin.
The Medusa is available in three sets of 50 units each in blue, green, and pink. Price is CHF25,500 (US$25,700).
The video below introduces the Medusa.