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Cosmic creation: The Fifth Element has been found by MB&F

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Text: Angelyn Kwek


If ever you have a doomsday scenario on your hands (i.e all the power goes out), MB&F’s Fifth Element is here to save the day

It's a clock, a weather forecaster, and a miniaturised alien mothership all at once. The Fifth Element by MB&F is pretty much what you'd expect out of a sci-fi movie (sans Milla Jovovich though), and it looks so impressively complicated with its four dials you don't even know where to start. Unveiled at BaselWorld 2018, this intergalactic horological weather station continues the maison's streak of inspired objet d'art creations — remember Octopod and Balthazar? — in collaboration with L'Epée 1839. Conceptualised from MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser's appreciation for desktop weather stations from the past century, yet having no luck sussing out a vintage model for himself, the Fifth Element is his brainwave that sees a clock, barometer, hygrometer and thermometer coming together.

In combining all these functions into one machine — helmed by an alien pilot named Ross, BTW — the sum total of the Fifth Element makes it greater than its parts, hence its moniker that borrows the title of a certain '90s cult classic blockbuster. While the less enlightened might dismiss this gizmo as an analogue weather station that's fancy but ultimately useless, it's able to keep running even when all your other tech, including your wifi, are out for the count in a major blackout. Keen to delve into the workings behind the Fifth Element now? We've got the breakdown:

MB&F The Fifth Element

Clock Element
You might not know it, but weather forecasting is based on the speed of climate changes over time. As such, accurate time is required for meteorological observations. Within the Fifth Element is the famous L'Epée 8-day clock movement, sitting right up top, re-engineered and skeletonised to maximise transparency and visual access.

Barometer Element
Another mainstay for weather forecasting, the barometer measures air pressure and is an indispensable tool: Increasing air pressure foretells good clear weather, while decreasing air pressure means a storm's brewing. And the faster the change, the more extreme the coming weather.

MB&F The Fifth Element

Hygrometer Element
The third dial — or pod, if you want to be accurate — in the Fifth Element, the hygrometer measures the percentage of water vapour in the air. It displays its readings as a percentage of the maximum amount of moisture that might be held at a given temperature.

Thermometer Element
Duh, this is a given in a weather machine. But its usefulness isn't only in telling you the exact degree Celsius of Singapore's infernal heat; it also gauges the average kinetic energy of a substance, meaning the higher the temperature, the higher the energy. Essentially, it's a power reserve indication of the energy in the atmosphere around us.

MB&F The Fifth Element

The MB&F Fifth Element is available in 3 limited editions of 18 pieces each in Black, Silver and Blue.

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