#FirstClassFriday: The MB&F Balthazar
Two sides of the same clock
What do you call a solid piece of complex, high-precision micro-engineering marvel masquerading as a table clock? The Balthazar, a horology objet d'art by fine watchmaking innovators MB&F that looks nothing short of a mini Transformer standing tall with shiny components — all 618 pieces of them, in fact.
More complicated than a wristwatch, pure expertise and cutting edge know-how of MB&F labs with Swiss maison L'Epee 1839's specialisation in mechanical art go into the construction of Balthazar's body and clockwork. With design codes gleaned from its earlier cousin, the Melchior, this upgraded futuristic robot of a timepiece runs on an in-house designed and manufactured movement with a jumping hour display, retrograde seconds and a 35-day power reserve. Cleverly encased within the torso, twin discs on Balthazar's chest indicates the jumping hours and sweeping minutes, while the power reserve gauge is shown as a dial on the belly. And when his eyes flash red, it's the 20-second retrograde display kicking in.
As impressive as Balthazar performs, don't be lulled into complacency by his seemingly benign appearance — it can switch up a one-eighty to reveal a whole other intimidating side to it. By turning his torso completely around, a dual hemisphere moon phase indicator, capable of being manually adjusted, becomes visible and his face goes from smiling to scary. When the 'dark side' takes over, Balthazar is altered into a fearsome figure with a skull head armed with menacing teeth and glowing ruby eyes, nevermind that he measures up to just 40 centimetres.
And if you can tear your gaze away from the cool (or creepy) visage, focus your attention towards the clear dome-shaped head and the precision regulator 'brain' that controls the clockwork will draw you in. Constantly oscillating, Balthazar never rests and keeps time like a strict disciplinarian, even if he looks like he's just chilling atop a corner of your desk. Beyond his horological prowess as a super badass clock, he also plays at being an action figure with limbs that can be rotated and hands that are able to grasp and hold items. Lastly, his shield hides a little secret: The key that controls the integrated clock winding and time-setting. Bingo, the MB&F Balthazar is a dream come true for all the geeks out there.
Balthazar is available in limited editions of 50 pieces per colour in black, silver, blue or green armour, at MB&F's authorised retailer The Hour Glass.
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