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MB&F Octopod by L’Epée 1839

by Hours and Minutes Australia

MB&F’s Octopod continues the brand’s marine inspiration with the eight-legged clock that looks every bit like a sea-creature, and yet is perfectly home on land.

Octopod is just the kind of clock we have come to expect from MB&F. It succeeds in evoking the same sense of surprise and enigma with Octopod, as it does with all its creative concepts. MB&F’s exploration of aquatic themes is not new. In that sense, the Octopod is rooted in this inspirational world where cephalopods, marine chronometers and The Abyss take centre stage and inform the design.

The eight-leg, eight-day clock blends contemporary design with kinetic sculpture and a transparent bubble filled with precision horology. It has been conceived by MB&F and built by Switzerland’s premier clock maker, L’Epée 1839.

When you look at the Octopod for the very first time, there will be many things that strike you. First, the way it stands or crouches thanks to its eight articulated legs. Each leg can be individually adjusted to varying heights, enabling Octopod to rest securely on the most uneven of surfaces, just like a real octopus.

You will also not be able to ignore the head. It is a place of magic and it will draw you within. There’s a lot that takes place in Octopod’s completely transparent spherical ‘head’.

A mechanical marvel

This transparent sphere is gimballed in a similar way to how traditional ship chronometers were gimballed, although on one axis rather than two, so that they remained flat despite all the movement. With the Octopod’s case, the gimbal ensures that no matter what angle or height it sits, it is easy to rotate the bubble so that the time display inside is at the ideal plane for maximum legibility.

The Octopod’s pulsating escapement, which regulates the clock’s precision, is located on its minute hand rather than the more usual (and mechanically simpler) position attached to stationary movement plates. An ingenious spin on the original tourbillon we wonder?



The Octopod’s clockwork is suspended inside its crystalline sphere, so that it appears to be floating in space or water. The baseplate of the movement is a transparent glass plate that has been treated with a film of anti-reflective coating on both sides so that it is virtually invisible. Like an octopus concealing parts of itself with camouflage, Octopod conceals parts of itself with visual tricks of its own.

Octopod’s eight-day movement is an entirely new development by L’Epée 1839, with both the glass base plate and counterbalanced regulator posing particular challenges.

The Abyss

Along with its octopus and marine chronometer connections to the sea, Octopod also brings to mind the then futuristic glass bathysphere of James Cameron’s 1989 film, The Abyss. While the viewer may be outside looking in at the transparent bubble, it’s easy to imagine sinking below the waves and looking out at the astonishing iridescent creatures of the deep oceans.

The Octopod is available in 3 limited editions of 50 pieces each in black PVD, blue PVD, and palladium (silver).


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