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For your next intergalactic voyage: a weather station by...

For your next intergalactic voyage: a weather station by MB&F and L’Epée 1839

Wednesday, 21 March 2018
By The FHH Journal editors
The FHH Journal editors

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3 min read

For their latest collaboration, MB&F and L’Epée give us… an intergalactic weather station named The Fifth Element. It comprises a clock, a barometer, a hygrograph and a thermometer (as detachable pods) within a mothership, flown by an alien.

The Fifth Element is an intergalactic horological weather station enabling accurate weather forecasting even when the power goes down. Four (UFO) elements: clock, barometer, hygrometer, and thermometer combine in a mothership (with Ross, the alien pilot) to create an entity much larger than the sum of its parts: The Fifth Element. An analogue weather station might at first glance appear anachronistic; however, when the storm hits and the power goes down, the Fifth Element will still work perfectly. And, in the worst-case scenario, you can hitch a ride off planet Earth with Ross.

Max Busser (MB&F) et Arnaud Nicolas (L'Epée 1839)
Max Busser (MB&F) et Arnaud Nicolas (L'Epée 1839)

MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser long admired desktop weather stations of the last century, but frustrated in not finding the right vintage model for himself decided to create his own. Four removable and interchangeable instrument Elements make up the Fifth Element:

  • Clock Element: Because weather forecasting is based on the speed of changes over time, the accurate time is required for meteorological observations. For the Fifth Element, L’Epée 1839 reengineered and skeletonised their 8-day clock movement to maximize transparency and visual access.
  • Barometer Element: The barometer, which measures air pressure, is the mainstay of weather forecasting. As a general rule, increasing air pressure foretells good clear weather, decreasing air pressure portends inclement weather. The faster the change, the more extreme the coming weather.
  • Hygrometer Element: The hygrometer measures the percentage of water vapour in the air; it displays this as a percentage of the maximum amount of moisture that might be held at a given temperature.
  • Thermometer Element: Thermometers don’t simply measure temperature, but the average kinetic energy of a substance. The higher the temperature, the higher the energy. A thermometer is essentially a power reserve indication of the energy in the atmosphere around us.
The Fifth Element, blue © MB&F / L'Epée 1839
The Fifth Element, blue © MB&F / L'Epée 1839

While the Fifth Element attends to the serious side of weather forecasting with joyful fantasy, this space-age weather station was only made possible thanks to L’Epée 1839, which mastered the precision manufacturing of the intricate series of curves and circles within circles that make up the large structure. Over 500 individual components form the mother ship and its interchangeable Elements; more than many Grand Complications!

And there’s one more function that MB&F surreptitiously integrates into all of its machines: the ability to make you smile. For the Fifth Element, that role goes to Ross: thanks to his own manually-wound, air-regulated movement, the alien pilot rotates around the UFO’s cockpit checking that the skies are clear of both clouds and hostile invaders. The Fifth Element is available in 3 limited editions of 18 pieces each in Black, Silver and Blue.

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