MB&F And L’Epée 1839 Create The Aquatic Themed ‘Octopod’

The “Octopod” table clock is the latest collaboration between specialist watchmaker MB&F and traditional clockmaker L’Epée 1839.

The Octopod table clock by MB&F and L’Epée 1839
The Octopod table clock by MB&F and L’Epée 1839

MB&F created the concept of the eight-leg, eight-day clock inspired by cephalopods, marine chronometers and the James Cameron’s 1989 film, The Abyss. The timepiece was built in L’Epée’s Delémont headquarters in the Swiss Jura Mountains. The clock blends contemporary design with kinetic sculpture and a transparent bubble filled with precision horology.

Each leg of the Octopod is composed of 31 pieces and can be individually adjusted to varying heights, enabling it to rest securely on uneven surfaces, just like a real octopus.

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Octopod’s transparent spherical “head” is gimballed in a similar way to how traditional ship chronometers were gimballed – although on one axis rather than two – so that they remained flat despite the pitching and rolling of the ship. In Octopod’s case, the gimbal ensures that no matter what angle or height it sits, it is easy to rotate the bubble so that the time display inside is at the ideal plane for maximum legibility.

In addition, Octopod’s pulsating escapement, which regulates the clock’s precision, is located on its minute hand rather than stationary movement plates.

“While not technically a tourbillon according to Abraham-Louis Breguet’s original patent, with its movement vertical, the 60-minute rotation of Octopod’s regulator on the minute hand is closer to the primary aim of Breguet’s invention,” MB&F said. “His intention was to rotate the escapement of a pocket watch sitting vertically in a fob pocket to average out positional errors, while wristwatch tourbillons are continually moving through all positions without requiring 360° rotations.”

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The Octopod’s clockwork is suspended inside its crystalline sphere so that it appears to be floating in space (or water). The baseplate of the movement is a transparent glass plate that has been treated with anti-reflective coating on both sides so it is virtually invisible. Like an octopus concealing parts of itself with camouflage, Octopod conceals parts of itself with visual tricks.

Octopod’s eight-day movement is a new development by L’Epée 1839, with both the glass baseplate and counterbalanced regulator posing particular challenges.

The sphere was designed to be reminiscent of the futuristic glass bathysphere of, The Abyss.
“While the viewer may be outside looking in at the transparent bubble, it’s easy to imagine sinking below the waves and looking out at the astonishing iridescent creatures of the deep oceans.”

Octopod is available in 3 limited editions of 50 pieces each in black PVD, blue PVD, and palladium (silver).

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