L’Epee by MB&F: Balthazar5 September 2016
Balthazar is a sophisticated and imposing high-precision robot clock displaying jumping hours, retrograde seconds and a 35-day power reserve. Weighing in at over eight kilograms and standing nearly 40 centimetres tall, Balthazar is composed of 618 beautifully nished, micro-engineered components.
But beware… there is also a dark side to Balthazar, as there is in all of us.
Rotate his torso 180 degrees and discover a terrifying Balthazar, along with a dual hemisphere moon phase indicator that should help you anticipate the evolutions of your mood. To quote Darth Vader in Star Wars, “If you only knew the power of the dark side.”
Light side: boasting a month-busting 35 days of power reserve, clockwork displays “slow” jumping hours and trailing minutes via two discs on the chest, while the power reserve indicator is located on his belly. This side of Balthazar may be serene, but he is still always on guard : his red eyes, which continually scan the surroundings, are actually 20-second retrograde displays.
Moving higher still to the “brain” under the polished glass dome, we find the precision regulator of the clockwork. The animated balance constantly oscillates to let you know that while he may be standing still, Balthazar is always calculating.
Balthazar rotates around the hips like the high-precision machine that he is; you can feel the miniscule bumps of each micro-roller as he turns, and each distinct notch when he rotates the full 180°. Then everything changes: smiling Balthazar becomes very dark, or vice versa.
Dark side: The absolute nature of Balthazar’s darkness is revealed by the cold hard skull with menacing teeth and deep-set ruby-red eyes. But it’s not all threat here as the chest also contains a moon phase display accurate for 122 years. You can adjust the moon phase manually, providing one of many tactile pleasures.
Balthazar does more than display horological events: as well as rotating around the hips, his arms articulate at both the shoulders and the elbows, and his hands can clasp and hold objects.
Finally, the shield conceals and protects the secret of his awesome power: an integrated clock-winding and time-setting key.
Balthazar is available in limited editions of only 50 pieces per colour in black, silver, blue or green armour.