MB&F Balthazar Robot Clock

MB&F Balthazar Robot Clock

MB&F Balthazar Robot Clock Luxury Items

Let’s get one thing straight – MB&F is light years away from starting a robotics lab, which is probably a good thing since MIT seems to have that realm already pretty well covered. Besides, could you imagine this nightmare bringing you the newspaper in the morning? Thankfully, the Swiss watchmaker isn’t in the business of bringing us another step closer to a Skynet takeover, and is instead expanding its range of highly posable desk and tabletop clocks with the MB&F Balthazar – a steely, horological cyborg with split personalities whose inner workings reveal the same clever time-telling means that have routinely made the brand a fun one to watch.

MB&F Balthazar Robot Clock Luxury Items

Balthazar is the latest evolution of MB&F's prior robotic offerings, each of which were seemingly inspired by the last 50 years of robots in cinema; first with a Robot B-9 lookalike from 1965’s Lost in Space, then with this amiable dead-ringer for Short Circuit’s Johnny 5 from 1985. Unlike those two options, though, the MB&F Balthazar comes with a dark side – flipping from a friendly living room sentinel to a menacing T-800 Endoskeleton, à la 1984’s Terminator by merely rotating his torso 180 degrees.

MB&F Balthazar Robot Clock Luxury Items

MB&F Balthazar Robot Clock Luxury Items

To pull off the MB&F Balthazar’s ambitious design and sophisticated construction from over 600 micro-engineered components, MB&F again enlisted the assistance of clockmaker L’Epée; a highly specialized manufacture with nearly two centuries of experience making music boxes, clocks, and watch components near the Swiss-France border. The movement inside the MB&F Balthazar is in-house designed and manufactured by L’Epée. Beyond the challenge of the clock's construction itself is the polishing, blasting, and satin finishing of each component, whose larger surface area yields a much greater challenge for watchmakers trained in traditional Geneva finishing.

At the core of his feature set is a jumping hour clock with retrograde seconds and a crazy 35-day power reserve on a single wind – all of which are exhibited through subtle cues throughout his massive 16-inch (40cm) tall, 18-pound (8kg) frame.

MB&F Balthazar Robot Clock Luxury Items

MB&F Balthazar Robot Clock Luxury Items

Smack-dab in the middle of the MB&F Balthazar’s cheerful visage is the standard time display, told via two rotating discs. Just below his chest, you’ll notice the double-barreled power reserve – indicated here in days instead of the usual hours. Seconds are displayed through his red eyes, which constantly “scan” his surroundings in repeated, 20 second retrograde intervals. But the other indicator that the MB&F Balthazar is running occurs beneath his polished glass dome brain, where the oscillating weight regulates the movement and lends an eerie sense of animation to his cold thought process, which hums along at a steady 18,000bph. Once rotated, the bark of the MB&F Balthazar’s dark side is far worse than his bite – here, the two personalities are employed as a manually-adjustable, dual-hemisphere (i.e., each "personality") moon phase indicator on his chest, rated for 122 years of accuracy. You might also notice he's carrying a shield finished with Geneva waves – but rather than stop ray gun fire, the shield is actually a cleverly disguised key used to wind his mainspring and set the time.

MB&F Balthazar Robot Clock Luxury Items

Par for prior MB&F machines, the price of the MB&F Balthazar robot clock starts at 52,000 CHF. Those interested in retiring their guard dog and introducing a Balthazar to their mantle will be able to choose between black, silver, blue, or green armor variants – each produced in 50 units only. mbandf.com

  • DanW94

    Insanely cool…..

  • There are about 10 things I love about this thing, but the balance-wheel brains wins hands down, hands up, hands left, and hands right.

  • IanE

    Nice horology, awful design.

  • Alex

    A work of art! truly amazing.

  • David Williams

    Sometimes it’s okay to do something just because you can! This is a technically impressive clock housed in a superbly well-finished conversation piece. To me, in addition to its artistic merit, it performs several honorable functions; it tells the time, it shows how a clock works, and it will make people SMILE! Just give him a dust-free home. Go Balthazar!

  • Andi

    Robot B-9? T-800? Pah, neither nor. I know exactly who inspired MB&F …

    http://www.hwdyk.com/q/images/futurama_1_3_15.jpg

    • laup nomis

      That’s a spit for likeness, hilarious.
      I suppose its a future antique, but for the money I’d rather a genuine antique for my desk.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      MB&F are way behind the times on this one, meet Mickey, and he can talk !

      • laup nomis

        ‘For mash get smash’. Can’t beat the smash robots for anthropomorphic silliness.

        • Raymond Wilkie

          It’s Metal Mickey, best kids tv show ever. Those chimps gave me the creeps.

  • Beefalope

    Utterly useless and completely cool.

  • funNactive

    I want to see his brains move – video

  • SuperStrapper

    Destroy all humans…. At 3pm

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Number 5’s alive ! : )

  • David west

    I rather have a Jeager LeCultre Atmos.

    • SuperStrapper

      Wouldn’t you prefer to have the real thing?

      • David west

        What real thing do you speak of?

        • SuperStrapper

          A real jlc. Not sure what a jeager lecultre is.

          • David west

            My JLC Geophysic is very real and very awesome.

          • David west

            My favorite in my collection.

          • SuperStrapper

            Im not suggesting it isn’t. I would just think that someone who actually owns one would know how to spell Jaeger LeCoultre.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    Desk ornament? Something for the curio cabinet?

    • Berndt Norten

      Straight to the dustbin of history!?

  • I need to get two Chihuahuas and name them Balthazar and Melchior.

  • word-merchant

    I rather like this: I can see how the arms link together to form the strap, but what I don’t get is how the rest of the watch will fit under my shirt cuff. Where does one tuck the legs for instance?

    Still that’s true of quite a few Hublots too, and that hasn’t held them back.

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