Review of the MB&F Melchior Table Clock

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The previous collaboration between MB&F and clockmaker L’Epee produced the sci-fi inspired Starfleet Machine table clock.  One uber cool looking piece of art with a hint of badass! mixed in.   At Baselworld 2015, MB&F took the covers off  the newest clock made by L’Epee and designed by MB&F.  The Melchior Table Clock. It is one of pieces created to celebrate MB&F’s 10th Anniversary.  We took a closer look at this funky-retro cool robot  table clock.


The MB&F Melchior Table Clock

The name of the robot, Melchior has an interesting back story.  It was a Busser family tradition from the 1400s onwards, that every eldest Büsser son was either called Melchior or Balthazar.  Maximilian Busser’s grandfather was called Melchior but hated it and had everyone call him Max.  He broke with tradition and named his son Mario (Maximilian’s father).  Mario named his son Maximilian (The MB&F Founder).

The table clock reminds you of a robot straight away with its clamp like legs, the mechanical innards, the Gatling gun and rocket launcher arms and its domed shaped head.  Memories of childhood come flooding back!.


The time is told by the jumping hour and minute disks. The seconds are retrograde and are the eyes of the robot

The mechanics of the clock are housed in the upper torso of the robot.  The time is told by the two disks near the shoulder guards.  The left disk is the jumping hours and the right disk indicates the minutes.  The eyes of the robot contain the 20 second retrograde second hands.  The head of the robot is a polished glass done.  This contains the “brain” of the desk clock which is the movement regulator with Incabloc shock protection system, to reduce the risk of damage when the clock is been transported.    The abdomen of the robot contains the power reserve indicator for the clock, which is a whopping 40 days!


The brain of the robot houses the movement regulator which is covered by a glass dome, its “skull”.

Even though it is a table clock, it received the same level of finishing that you would find on a wristwatch. Côtes de Genève, anglage, polishing, sand-blasting, circular and vertical satin finishing were used.  Both the Gatling gun and rocket are movable since the steel upper arms rotate and the lower arms pivot up or down.


Close up of the finer details of the table clock.

To achieve the 40 day power reserve, the desk clock has 5 mainspring barrels to store the energy required.  They make up the bulk of the robots torso.  The back of the robot is where the desk clock is wound.  How do you wind it up?


The back of the robot houses the winding area

The Gatling Gun of the robot is not just there to look cool.  It is actually the time setting/winding mechanism. It is held by a small magnet strong enough to hold the key, but not so powerful as to affect the function of the movement.


The cool looking Gatling Gun which is also the winding/time setting device

The table clock weighs 6.3 Kilograms and stands at 30cm.  A great looking clock that would spice up a coffee table or even could sit on a mantel piece guarding your home or office.

This fantastic 480 component table clock is available in limited edition of 99 pieces in a “Light Edition” or “Dark and Light” Edition.  The Dark and Light edition has some elements covered in Black PVD.

The table clock will retail for $35,000 Swiss Francs excluding taxes.

For more information please visit MB&F

Technical Specifications

Jumping hours and sweeping minutes: Twin discs forming part of Melchior’s breast
plate, one disc displaying hours, the other disc minutes, both featuring MB&F’s signature
Retrograde seconds: Flyback discs mark 20-second intervals behind a steel mask
Power reserve indicator: Dial on abdomen providing intuitive view of remaining energy
L’Epée in-house designed and manufactured movement
Balance frequency: 18,000 bph / 2.5Hz
Barrels: 5 in series
Power reserve: 40 days
Movement components: 334
Jewels: 50
Incabloc shock protection system
Mechanism in palladium-plated brass
Manual-winding: double-depth square socket key sets time and winds movement
Movement finishing: includes Côtes de Genève, anglage, polishing, sand-blasting, circular
and vertical satin finishing
Dimensions: 30.3cm x 21.7cm (depending on position of the arms) x 11.2cm
Weight: 6.3kg
Body/armour components: 146
Dome: polished glass screwed via polished and bevelled palladium-plated brass bezel
Retrograde seconds display in stainless steel
Movement mainplate in palladium-plated brass
Breastplate (forming hour and minute hands) in palladium-plated brass
Abdomen (power reserve indicator frame) in stainless steel
Ribcage/spine (formed by skeletonised mainplate) in palladium-plated brass
Pelvis, thighs, shins and feet in stainless steel
Hips (long central bars joining pelvis) in stainless steel
Shoulders, upper arms and lower arm sockets in stainless steel; magnet in left arm socket
Right forearm: screwed-in rocket with chrome-plated brass body and stainless steel
Left forearm: Gatling gun/detachable stainless steel winding key with palladium-plated
Body and armour finishing includes anglage, mirror polishing, satin finishing, circular
satin finishing, sand-blasting, polishing. ‘Shoulders’, ‘pelvis’ and skeletonised
mainplate treated with black PVD for the two-tone ‘dark and light’ edition of Melchior


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  1. I wish most of the images I’ve found were lagrer and of higher resolution. While I agree that the item is a clock, it is difficult to see how the minute and hour hands are independently controlled. My knowledge of how clocks work is not grand, but I would think this would require 2 of the servo motors. One would rotate 6 degrees for every minute, right? The other would rotate 30 degrees for the hour. Now, how woud 2 motors be able to spin the hands from the ‘center point’? Wouldn’t you think they would interfere with one another OR at least one of them wouldn’t be exactly centered? It seems to me that an axle would have to be inserted through a hollow (lagrer) axle and I’m not sure that the NXT system would have that level of complexity for its small blocks/components.