Recently I have been commissioned to write a book (by a renowned publisher) about Luxury Design. As the concept was originally mine, I can include products that I really like within certain parameters. Working on this project has been exceptional fun and very informative. Even though not all of the selections are beyond reach most of them are reserved for the elite. Primarily the reason why most of these creations are exceptionally expensive is because of the level of craftsmanship, design and meticulous attention to detail. If I ever get the opportunity to publish a second edition, then MB & F’s extraordinary Balthazar would have to be on the shortlist.
Over the last few years I have written several articles about MB & F for my website and other magazines. With a few minor exceptions I love all of the company’s horological offerings including Balthazar. Like all the previous clocks (Sherman, Arachnophobia, Melchoir) this is a successful collaboration with Swiss clock manufacturer L’Epée 1839. It also is the largest and technically most impressive piece this talented partnership has devised together. This sculptural mechanism weighs in at 8.2 kg and measures 39.4 cm x 23.8 cm.
When I write about these splendid creations I always try to imagine who would actually purchase a piece like this. With a retail price of around $53,000 this clock is more than most family cars. However, I feel this Objet d’art will attract serious collectors who are fascinated with this type of mechanical novelty, especially since each model is limited to only 50 units. These discerning few will also appreciate the fact that the mechanism on this clock contains 405 individual components and 62-jewels. Most of which have been hand finished by L’Epée 1839’s finest craftsmen at their workshops in Delémont, Switzerland.
Functionally Balthazar features jumping hours, sweeping minutes and 20-second retrograde indication (displayed in the eyes). The clock also features a double hemisphere moon phase indication and has an impressive power reserve of 35 days.