When know-How becomes Art

ORB

INTRO


“All eyes on ORB” - L'Epée 1839 x MB&F

A clean designed sphere, revealing an hour-striking mechanism; the first chiming function to be released within our creative art line. 

The Orb is protected by 4 Elytra inspired from beetle insects, which can be opened not only to show the inside of the movement, but also to display this kinetic sculpture in multiple ways, like a polymorphic object.

THE STORY


Designed by German designer Maximilian Maertens and developed by L’Epée 1839, Orb’s minimalistic structure is composed of four elytra that not only open up, but can also swivel like a transformer to display the Orb in a variety of different positions. The shiny-white version is reminiscent of the first iPods with their lustrous curved cases, a surface that is particularly pleasing to the eye and the touch.

The word orb comes from the Latin orbis, meaning “circle” or “disk”. The word is also the basis of the word “orbit”, a word that has stayed in the modern-day vernacular even if orbits are now known to be elliptical and not at all round.

Orbs are also used today in fanfiction to mean eyes, as in “cerulean orbs” that designate blue eyes or “chocolate orbs” for brown eyes – a nod to perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when we first lay eyes on the Orb.

During the manufacturing, nothing about this atypical project was easy, L’Epée faced two major challenges. The first was making the sphere in four pieces so that they could be totally transformable, durable, and also form a perfect sphere when closed.

The second significant challenge was developing the striking system. Usually, with a bell-chiming mechanism, gravity is needed to strike the bell. As the Orb’s brass bell can find itself in an infinite number of different positions, L’Epée 1839’s clockmakers incorporated several springs to strike the bell so it can chime even when it is flat. The system is a hybrid between a clock and a watch striking mechanism.

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INSIGHTS


The sculptural clock has two barrels, one for the time and the other for the striking of the hours that are wound separately. The hour mechanism doesn’t just chime the passage of the hour, but indicates the actual hour, like a church clock. This function can also be repeated on demand via a button on the side of the clock, or turned on and off if required.

As for the movement, the eight-day calibre can be seen just slightly through the curved aluminium dial covered by a domed mineral glass, which has a hole in the centre to allow the setting of the time with a special key.

During its production process at the L’Epée 1839 manufacture, Orb started life as a solid block of aluminium that was then hollowed to create the perfect sphere. Once cut, the elytra was then coated with several layers of lacquer that were hardened in a kiln to create the brilliant finish. The four elytra were soldered to the structure with torque hinges so they can retain their angle however little or wide they are opened. When closed, the elytra are held in place with four tiny magnets on the interior of each tip to keep the shape of a perfect sphere.

A special hour-striking movement

Four foldable elytra, shapping the sphere

Futuristic dial - Time display

The verticaly built in-house movement

SPECIFICATIONS

EXCLUSIVE LIMITED EDITION

Orb is available in two limited editions of 50 pieces per color in black and white

DESIGN & DISPLAY

Hours and minutes
Striking hour, repeated on demand via a button on the side of the clock, or turned on and off if required.

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT

Closed: 
Height: approx. 17cm
Diameter: approx. 17cm

Opened (complete opening):
Height: approx. 24cm
Diameter: approx. 30cm

Number of elytra: 4
Number of parts: 165
Weight: 1.9 kg

MOVEMENT

L’Epée 1839 in-house designed and manufactured movement
Balance frequency: 18,000 bph / 2.5 Hz
Two barrels, 300 components
Jewels: 17
Incabloc shock protection system

Manual-winding: double-depth square socket key sets time and winds movement

Power reserve 8 days

MATERIALS & FINISHING

Materials: Clockwork in palladium-plated brass and stainless steel
Elytra in aluminium and covered with handmade lacquer

Movement finishing: polishing, sandblasting, circular and vertical satin finishing and starburst decoration

FEATURES

The possibilities of displaying the ORB are multiple. Placed on its saucer so it doesn’t roll away, it can be displayed completely closed or with one, two or three opened elytra. Alternatively, opening all four elytra allows to display the clock without the saucer.

THE COLLECTION


Reference

63.6000/184

White laquered - Limited edition of 50 pieces

Inquire
Waiting list

Reference

63.6000/124

Black laquered - Limited Edition of 50 pieces

Inquire
Waiting list