Tripod comprises a minimalist clock face suspended between three delicate insect-like legs. It follows the mighty T-Rex in what will become a trilogy of half animal/half robot creations that MB&F calls Robocreatures. Tripod’s name originates in the trios that inform it: three legs, three insect-eye spheres, and three movement levels comprising the creature’s mechanical body. Also, Tripod is the second in a group of three clocks set to form a trio. MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser describes Robocreatures: “In the same way that H.R. Giger created his Alien universe, we’re creating our own world of creatures”. Robocreatures could well be future time capsules, fossilised “life” from a prehistoric era. With Tripod, Berlin-based designer Maximilian Maertens, L’Épée CEO Arnaud Nicolas, and Büsser lead us into a horological post-modern prehistoric era.
Tripod features three delicate legs supporting a colourful body, three insect-eye spheres made of precision lens-quality glass, and a clock dial making one full revolution in 36 hours that indicates three sets of hours and minutes. Underneath the dial is a 182-component three-dimensional sculptural movement crafted on three levels by L’Épée 1839 with a vertical balance slowly beating at a traditional 2.5Hz (18,000vph). Time-setting and winding are by key, and when fully wound the movement offers a generous eight-day power reserve.
An essential element of Tripod is indicating the time, which is done by looking down on the dial composed of rotating disks. But this clock requires some interaction between Man and Machine: the observer reads the time thanks to three optical spheres, each magnifying the clock’s numerals and making them legible. To allow all three of the “insect eyes” to show the time from any angle, the dial features three sets of numerals 1-12, meaning that the dial completes a full rotation in 36 hours instead of the customary 12 hours. The time is visible through one of the magnifying lenses at any time.