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MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

As an “horological concept laboratory,” Swiss watchmaker MB&F have certainly made some strange contraptions in recent years. The Octopod Clock for instance looks like something which might adorn a comic book supervillain’s desk. Previously, most of the brand’s “machines” have had some link to horology or timekeeping. Not so with the MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy, which does not tell the time in any way whatsoever. What it does offer is an automaton tortoise with a singing bird who lives in, and pops out, of its shell. It’s surely destined to become the coffee table attraction of choice for the wealthy tortoise-and-bird loving, automaton-collecting socialite demographic, should such a thing exist. It’s both charming and quite pricey at just under $50,000.

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

The MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy was developed as a co-creation between Reuge and Nicolas Court. Reuge was founded in 1865 as a musical pocket watch specialist in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland. Since 2006, the brand has been under the guidance of CEO Kurt Kupper, and has expanded into bespoke music boxes and singing bird complications. In recent years, Reuge has partnered with MB&F to release a series of “MusicMachines,” including the first which played Star Wars and Star Trek music, the second in the shape of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, and the third crafted to appear like a Star Wars Tie Fighter. Apparently either Maximilian Busser or Kurt Kupper (or both) have a passion for science fiction.

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

Nicolas Court is an independent micro-mechanic who has worked for T.H.A. (Techniques Horlogères Appliquées) where he was responsible for the creation of Breguet Sympathique clocks, as well as working on projects for his own watchmaking brand called “Arts15.” Court has partnered with Reuge several times in the past, resulting in creations like the Chiffchaff singing bird and
the Escalado Horse Race automaton. Court as an automation specialist was responsible for creating the tortoise’s mechanism for the MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy, while Reuge created the Singing Bird complication.

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

When activated, Kelys (from the Greek “chelys” for tortoise) moves with an asymmetrical gait in a very a tortoise-like manner. Its head moves slowly side to side as it walks. A clever “friction clutch security system” detects surface edges and ensures that Kelys doesn’t walk off table tops. Kelys also features a “tail switch” to stop the tortoise from moving if only the singing bird activity is desired. Kelys is mostly made of rhodium-plated brass, with a mixture of grained, satin brushed and polished finishing. Its eyes are black onyx gems, and his shell is adorned with hand-made leather scales. A circular stainless steel winding key is located on the tortoise’s belly.

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

Also when activated, Chirp emerges from her “nest” underneath Kelys’ topmost scale, and flaps its wings, moves its tail, pivots from side to side, and opens and closes its beak in time with the birdsong. Chirp features a double bellows system for bi-directional air pushing, creating a song which is louder than one expects from such a small mechanism. Chirp is made of 18k polished white gold with sapphire eyes, and also features a security mechanism to prevent the movement being damaged if the bird or cover are pushed down while singing, safely retracting Chirp to its nest. All together, the MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy includes 480 components, all hand-assembled, and weighs approximately 1.4kg. Both mechanisms share the same twin-cam spring barrel which provides a power reserve of 3 cycles of turtle walking and bird singing.

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy By Music Box Maker Reuge Luxury Items

Although such clever engineering can be appreciated, the MB&F Kelys & Chirp Mechanical Toy is appropriately named; this is a highly expensive toy of the most frivolous sort. Previous MusicMachines from MB&F and Reuge could at least appeal to die-hard collectors of Star Wars and Star Trek memorabilia. Not so with Kelys & Chirp, which while finely crafted and equipped with a marvelously complex mechanism, it’s a highly expensive yet non-specific novelty item, albeit one with whimsical charm. Kelys & Chirp is available in 4 limited editions of 18 pieces each in blue, green, yellow, or ochre, with a retail price of 49,000 CHF + VAT. mbandf.com

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  • Marius

    49,000 CHF + VAT means that in most European countries, the actual retail price of this rather derelict Kelys & Chirpmunk will be around €60,000. That’s extremely expensive for a relatively small device which, at least judging from the pictures, looks like a cheap €10 toy made in China.

    If you want a real toy, and if you also like watches, then my advice would be to spend your hard-earned €60,000 on an alternative option, namely on a Ducati 1299S Anniversario (205 bhp, Ducati Traction Control EVO, Akropovic racing exhaust, 500 unit limited edition) for €30,000 AND a brand-new Lange 1 for another €30,000. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8632b1a267068ef3fbdd6aef0eee3956b6189c48dbdccd1ec9467353528efa88.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/309bdc5a46713df8e9aa662d7b06d5c4273495a9a1c478513d44e8c0e5cda9b9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4778ca5328e4f408ee74ddfa6ca88b5479bf8ea17eccb74aad42726f2a26a750.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/708976eb321d91b629e8168501406d66bd6e6ac3cc4ba25a545627628c7c3134.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/08958a332b4bb320fde620fd3bb008701da6eabd00fa521479fb4fd0686d8169.jpg
    Once again I have brought you intelligent as well as interesting alternatives for spending your hard-earned Nigerian pessos. You’re welcome!

  • Good Gene 42K18

    My turtle brings all the sheiks to the yard.

    Does it come on a NATO?

    • Marius

      And they’re like,
      Its better than yours,
      Damn right its better than yours,
      I can teach you,
      But I have to charge.

      La la-la la la,
      Warm it up.
      Lala-lalala,
      The sheiks are waiting.

      • Mikita

        Spirit of Berndt!

  • Good Gene 42K18

    Too Terry Pratchetty.
    Happy Hogswatch!

  • Raymond Wilkie
    • Good Gene 42K18

      Would you rather a snake on a walrus? That makes much more sense.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Why a turtle ? ,….makes no sense. ………………….hold on, is that the point ?

        • Good Gene 42K18

          Don’t think about it too hard. Remember, this turtle’s not the limit. It’s just the view.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            That makes no sense,……………………hold on, is that the point ?

          • Good Gene 42K18

            Only three things you need to know, son:
            1. Hataz gon’ hate.
            2. I get mine with my Glock 9.
            3. Turtles have greenbacks, yo. I be straight turtlin’ up in herre.

        • Good Gene 42K18

          I hope the screws are aligned on this turdle.

      • DanW94

        The walrus was Paul.

    • Mikita

      New haircut, Ray?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        You noticed ! 🙂

  • DanW94

    It’s all fun until your moron big brother puts it on its back and it dies! (Um, I mean breaks).

  • Yan Fin

    Is VAT negotiable?

    • Good Gene 42K18

      Value-Added Tortoise?

  • Good Gene 42K18

    Doesn’t sing to me. I mean, who would shell out for these? I think the market will be slow-moving.

    • DanW94

      Agree, take that money and hide it in a shell corporation…..

      • Good Gene 42K18

        Offshore account in Tortuga.

      • Good Gene 42K18

        See my friends at Plastron Financial.

  • Steve Loader

    Great, so the next time I visit a Hong Kong street market I’m going to get hassled to buy a fake turtle.

    Within 6 months of buying one, the plating will peel off the bird, and the asymmetric crawling rhythm will get all out of sync so that it moves around in drunken circles.

    And when I take it in for repair the official Turtex dealer will smash it with a hammer!

    No thanks!

  • Good Gene 42K18

    Max Busser leads, Nic Court does machines. Kurt Kupper’s cool but rude (gimme a break). Max Busser’s Friends are some party dudes (PARTY!)

    Heroes of the art scene.
    Dinkee Power!

  • Gokart Mozart

    I’ll wait for the limited limited edition. The teenage mutant ninja turtle edition with the heroes in a half shell song and instead of a bird it has a slice of pizza.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    Requesting a Rolex pocket knife review. Just more incidental products from watch companies, please. Does MontBlanc also sell baseball caps? Now THAT would be an interesting article.

  • Playboy Johnny

    I am just not understanding this thing.

    • Mikita

      No need to understand this. It’s just a funny mechanical turtle with a singing birdy.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Weird art. Doesn`t need to be understood.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50BiGmGhgWE

      • Mikita

        Love our comments section!! You never know what kind of weird trash you find here 🙂

      • Mikita

        Had a really weird moment in the office. Forgot to turn off the sound…

      • Mikita

        Phew, that’s okay. My colleagues just concluded that I was watching porn.

      • Playboy Johnny

        Watching that has disturbed me.

        EDIT: I did kind of like the crawling woman thing.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    ABlogToWatchAdjacentTurtles
    ABTWAT?

    • Mikita

      ABTWTF?

      • Good Gene 42K18

        MB & What The Sh!t?

        • Mikita

          MB&What The Coprolite! Son of A Blog

          • Good Gene 42K18

            What a piece of sheez gagoo. Looks like a berndt salami.

          • Mikita

            Sollo shi on this blog. Use the carson color to revitalize the look.

          • Sheez Gagoo

            You discovered the secret behind my nick! Devil told you! You must be Swiss.

  • Mikita

    I like it! I want it! I need it!

    • Good Gene 42K18

      A classy and interesting comment. Thumbs up.

      • Mikita

        “Awesome comment, you awesome, awesome.” -ELLIE Stevenku

  • SuperStrapper

    It’s cute and obviously well engineered, but who do you think you are, Jacot Droz? Please.

    • Mikita

      Drot Jacoz

  • Ranchracer

    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • JLG

    Very nice…NOT

  • IanE

    Well the finish looks to me like a cheap Argos product in these images. MB&F is just cheapening itself with this type of item : they should leave automatons to those who can do them properly e.g. Jaquet Droz.

  • IG

    MB&F should make a mechanical platypus, much cuter than a bloody turtle.

    http://howtodoright.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/92726180_89d1666d-8dbc-4793-ab23-186d11df2834.jpg

  • Mischa

    – Do you like our turtle?
    – Is it artificial?
    – Of course it is.
    – Must be expensive.
    – Very. I’m Rachel.
    – Deckard.
    – It seems you feel our work is not a benefit to the public.
    – Automatons are like any other machine. They’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem.

  • Mr. Snrub

    I’ll wait for the frog & scorpion version