First they started with wristwatches: Horological and Legacy Machines. Then they found Reuge and created a series of mechanical music boxes —dubbed MusicMachines— and more recently a musical automaton. With Caran d’Ache, they created a rocket pen and then teamed up with L’Epée 1839 to create an entire range of mechanical clocks. Today, pre-Baselworld 2018, MB&F is presented a new range of machines: a thermometer, a barometer, and a hygrometer —all mechanical of course. And since this is once again a co-creation with L’Epée 1839, there is also a mechanical clock part of this new creation. Those four stand-alone elements come together to create a mechanical sculpture much bigger than the sum of its parts: The Fifth Element. A mechanical weather station like the ones which existed throughout the 20th century, before weather forecasting was just another app on your phone.
Because this is MB&F’s take on the classic weather station, The Fifth Element’s curves are sculpted by science-fiction: each of the four Elements is modeled after the quintessential 1950-60s UFO. The mothership is piloted by Ross, MB&F's resident Alien —powered by his own manual wound movement.
The Fifth Element is an intergalactic horological weather station enabling accurate weather forecasting even when the power goes down. Four UFO-looking elements: clock, barometer,
hygrometer, and thermometer combine in a mothership with Ross, the alien pilot to create 'The Fifth Element.' MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser long admired desktop weather stations of the last century, but frustrated in not finding the right vintage model for himself decided to create
his own. Four removable and interchangeable instrument Elements make up the Fifth Element.
For the Fifth Element, L’Epée 1839 reengineered and skeletonized their 8-day clock movement
to maximize transparency and visual access. The barometer, which measures air pressure, is the mainstay of weather forecasting: as a general rule, increasing air pressure foretells good clear weather, decreasing air pressure portends inclement weather. The faster the change, the more extreme the coming weather. The hygrometer measures the percentage of water vapor in the air; it displays this as a percentage of the maximum amount of moisture that might be held at a given temperature. The Thermometers don’t simply measure temperature, but the average kinetic energy of a substance: the higher the temperature, the higher the energy. A thermometer is essentially a power reserve indication of the energy in the atmosphere around us. The Fifth Element is available in 3 limited editions of 18 pieces each in Black, Silver and Blue.
Over 500 individual components form the mother ship and its interchangeable Elements; more than many Grand Complications. Lastly, Ross the alien is powered by its own manual wound, air-regulated movement. Thanks to this movement, the alien pilot rotates around the UFO’s cockpit checking that the skies are clear of both clouds and hostile invaders.
Sticker Price CHF52,000 Swiss Francs —approximately $57,000 USD. For more info on MB&F click here.