No, You Don’t Need a $10,000 Desk Clock. But Then Again, Maybe You Do

MB&F’ + L’Epée’s Starfleet Explorer, a miniaturized version of their Starfleet Machine, is equaled in sheer cool factor perhaps only by other MB&F designs.


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

If you’ve been following Gear Patrol for some time now, you may remember a special piece from famed horological provocateurs MB&F called the Starfleet Machine. A collaboration with Swiss clockmaker L’Epée 1839, the Starfleet Machine was shaped like a a space station and featured orbiting spacecraft. Incredible, beautiful to behold, and unlike pretty much anything else on the market (save MB&F’s own creations), the Starfleet Machine was also limited to just 175 pieces at a cost of ~$28,948.

Well, if you were keen on the idea of a Star Trek-inspired space clock but missed the boat (starship?) the first time around, you’re in luck. MB&F has returned to the idea of the Starfleet Machine in the form of the Starfleet Explorer, a smaller, less complicated version of the original (16.5cm in diameter by 11cm in height). It’s also roughly a third the price, at ~$10,218.

The clock is read via a fixed metal aperture at the top of the station, where the minutes spin by on a revolving disc. Hours are indicated by a hand that makes a full revolution once every half-day. The movement itself, which is finished in-house and features an eight-day power reserve, is visible beneath the aperture, and is wound and set via a key. Best of all, three small spacecraft now orbit the movement at the rate of one full turn every five minutes, adding a further whimsical touch to this already out-of-this-world clock.

The Starfleet Explorer — which, by the way, can be oriented vertically or on its side — is available in 99 pieces each in blue, green and red for CHF 9,900 plus VAT (~$10,218). So is it worth the price of admission? Given the expense, complication and lack of accuracy of a mechanical wristwatch next to a quartz model and the degree to which we love them anyway, we would argue: hell yeah, brother.

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