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MB&F's Sherman Robot Desk Clock

A mechanical, charming time-telling machine that's been meticulously engineered

by Evan Orensten
on 18 January 2016

With each new release, luxury Swiss horological design house MB&F demonstrates a level of imagination uncommon in today's world of mechanical time-telling—especially when it comes to desk clocks. With Sherman (unveiled today at Geneva's annual fine watch-making fair Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève SIHH), MB&F continues its partnership with historic clock brand L'Epée 1839. The resulting piece adds a layer of charm to already superb engineering. Sherman follows up last year's introduction of the Melchior robot, but Sherman is smaller (143mm tall, 109mm wide and 80 mm deep), less expensive—and cuter.

Sherman's arms are movable, and can be set into ideal positions—especially when Sherman's hands hold its own turnkey. The support tracks work, though with the help of a human push. Its transparent blown mineral glass dome (which functions as Sherman's head) offers the most magic; inside, the clock regulator clicks and twitches away, moderating the time showcased clearly in Sherman's chest (the same movement powers the Melchior). There's an in-line eight-day movement, with a mainspring barrel bridge extending all the way down to the tracks and movement spacers acting as shoulders. Throughout the piece, form supports function as much as it does personality.

As with each MB&F and L'Epée collaborative piece, it all comes down to the details. Côtes de Genève finishing graces the body, in union with circular and vertical graining and satin finishing elsewhere. The movement features 148 components and 17 jewels. A double-depth square socket key sets the time and winds the movement. Altogether, there's 175 years worth of watch-making prowess within a structure envisioned by one of the most forward-thinking design houses.

The Sherman is available online for $13,000. The gold and palladium finished iterations will be limited in production to 200 each, while a diamond-set iteration (pricing yet to be announced) will be limited to 50 for each style.

Images by Evan Orensten

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