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The Realization of Sci-Fi Horological Moments

If you happen to be a fan of sci-fi and haute horlogerie all at once, this is a timepiece that might just wow your fancy. The overall concept of the Octopod was conceived by MB&F, and built by Switzerland’s premium clock maker, L’Epée 1839.  Together, they have masterfully crafted this quirky yet astounding Octopod, a sci-fi galore on eight legs for a table clock.

The Octopod is inspired by cephalopods, marine chronometers and The Abyss, a sci-fi movie directed by James Cameron. It is no surprise still, among premium watchmaking brands and horologists, that MB&F continues its enthusiasm and passion in exploring aquatic themes and implementing them in such a form as this Octopod. We’ve seen some other sea-inspired stunners from the watchmaker, such as the HM7 Aquapod, MB&F’s first aquatic wristwatch.

​Equipped with 8 legs, the Octopod shows fluidity in blending contemporary design with kinetic sculpture and a transparent bubble filled with precision horological trinkets. With each of the legs composed of 31 component pieces, the Octopod is able to stand or crouch in an octopus-meets-spider manner, thanks to its eight articulated legs. Each leg can be individually adjusted to varying height by the push of a button. This enables the Octopod to rest securely on the most uneven of surfaces, just like a real octopus.

​However, the real highlight of this sci-fi look alike table clock is its completely transparent spherical ‘head’, another vivid depiction of an actual octopus. The first thing to notice is that Octopod’s transparent sphere is gimballed in a similar way to how traditional ship chronometers were gimballed. In 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. 

Adding to its steep aesthetics is the Octopod’s pulsating escapement. The escapement helps to regulate the clock’s precision and is located on its minute hand rather than the more usual position attached to stationary movement plates. While it is technically not exactly similar to a typical tourbillon; with its movement vertical, the 60 minute rotation of Octopod’s regulator on the minute hand is to mitigate the positional errors with an aim to maximize time precision.

There’s also a tinge of mystery explored in how the Octopod’s clockwork is suspended inside its crystalline sphere to appear to be floating in space (or water). The baseplate of the movement is transparent glass that has been treated with a film of anti-reflective coating on both sides so that it is virtually invisible. Like the camouflaging talents of an octopus, the Octopod conceals parts of itself with visual tricks of its own. Also, the sphere is able to do 360° rotation in both vertical and horizontal planes with 3 sand-blasted and satin-finished brass rings.

The power reserve for the Octopod can last up to a commanding 8 days, not to mention the movement alone is composed of 159 pieces of components, entirely new development by L’Epée 1839. ​With 468 fine-finished components, this Octopod is certainly on the wishlist of those who like adding the quirky to their collections. And yes, the Octopod is limited edition from the word go, in three variants of 50 pieces each in either black PVD, blue PVD, and Silver (palladium).

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