Astrolab

by Hours and Minutes Australia

Watch The Table

How far does your love for watch mechanisms go? Observing the mechanism of a watch through its transparent case back is something that all watch lovers love to do. What if this mechanism assumes table-like proportions?

Introducing Astrolab. While this name may sound like an ingenious instrument beyond comprehension, it is actually just a table. But, it is no mean table. For starters, looking at it will remind you of the mechanism of your favourite mechanical watch, so, you can have some engineered fun as you dine! Lets just say its one of those rare times where engineering is not only welcomed, but also celebrated.

The credit for this ingenious creation goes to Paris based Studio Roche Bobois, known for inventive furniture. The Roche Bobois Astrolab has a design that combines precision engineering and a sleek look in a futuristic format. The inhouse design team sought the input of young international designers and renowned names in the industry.

The table is a reinforced glass one with remote-controlled extension leaves operated by a mesmerizing cog mechanism viewed beneath the surface. The polished aluminium legs and tempered glass top are a nod to contemporary design language. But what really caught our attention is the smooth-motioned giant clockwork, which is the operating mechanism (which by the way would definitely make a swiss watch proud).

We’re all mesmerised by displays of intricate engineering. The Astrolab pays homage to the great inventors, engineers and artisans who’ve designed and created some of these charming pieces back in the days. The mechanism consists of a set of gears and pulley system that electrically powers the extension leaves to slide out and return. The motor can be activated either directly at the table or via a small rechargeable remote control. Enthusiasts love to watch as the cog and pulley system operates the leaves, smoothly extending them and drawing them in again.

The name may sound celestial, but there is a reason behind this. The Astrolab was an elaborate instrument used to determine the altitude of the sun and other celestial bodies, similar in form, to a watch. The creators of such pieces pushed the boundaries of science and engineering and in doing so, created things of great beauty.

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