Old-school timekeeping just got more extravagant with these mantelpiece-worthy clocks, writes Charlene Co
atch brands sometimes create truly exceptional, often oneoff pieces to remind their followers they’re as much artists as they are manufactures. Clocks are one of the mediums they use to do just that. A few spectacular models have come out recently, one being the Sherman by MB&F. The components of the affable robot’s movement double as body parts: the mainspring barrel bridge extends to support his tracks, his eyes are bolt heads supporting the regulator, and plates and bridges make up his skeleton and body.
Jaeger-lecoultre, meanwhile, looks up again to the cosmos for its Atmos Marqueterie Céleste clock, with a body dressed in blue straw marquetry representing the sky. Each straw is dried, dyed, cut, flattened and glued to cover the clock’s wooden panel, which is rendered in 3D to highlight the luminous nature of the straw. The MB&F Sherman’s head is a transparent dome of blown mineral glass that reveals the clock’s regulator, which represents his brain. His arms are moveable and his hands can be used to hold items, like a pen or his winding key The Atmos features a moon phase guaranteed to stay accurate for 3,861 years without intervention.
Parmigiani draws on its immense experience in restoring historical clocks and automatons to produce the Hippologia, a magnum opus aimed at surpassing its previous masterpieces. The 2,200-part automaton clock features a thoroughbred running alongside her foal; their bodies are crafted in gold, and the heads, tails and hooves are cast in silver. They move within a Lalique glass cabinet.
To celebrate its 260th birthday, Vacheron Constantin is creating 12 unique crystal table clocks: the Métiers d’art Arca collection. The first, which debuted earlier this year, is endowed with a crystal body. This extraordinary clock is driven by a movement that’s equipped with a constant-force mechanism, which is designed to ensure a stable and consistent flow of energy within the movement.