MB&F’s co-creations with L’Epee 1839 have consistently extracted smiles from even the most serious watch enthusiasts. You may recall the too-cute, dual-tread robotic Sherman, from 2016, which MB&F said “makes people smile, which is probably the world's most useful and emotionally valuable complication.”
This week, Sherman meets Grant, MB&F’s latest animated co-creation with Swiss clockmakers L’Epee 1839. While the names may suggest a replay of the Civil War, both these co-creations are actually battling for the same thing: enjoyable timing.
Grant succeeds by transforming itself as it displays a simple hours and minutes dial. Moving across a desk using three tank-like rubber treads, the 6.5-inch-tall polished steel and brass Grant can transform into one of three positions to display an easy-to-read “time-shield” dial: sitting up at 90 degrees, crouching at 45 degrees or lying horizontally over its chassis.
Thus, Grant allows its owner to set the Grant time shield to a comfortable viewing angle.
Whatever angle Grant’s owner chooses, the highly polished L’Epee clock is easy to see. When the dial is facing forward, the movement’s mainspring barrel click (which appears near Grant’s ‘belly button’) can be mesmerizing. The movement is housed inside a glass-domed ‘brain,’ which MB&F suggests viewers watch tick (or think) as a stress-relief exercise.
Grant’s brain is of course made by L’Epee 1839, and it boasts an eight-day in-line manufacture movement with the same fine finishing found on all MB&F/L’Epee 1839 creations: Geneva waves, anglage, polishing, sandblasting, plus circular and vertical satin finishing. MB&F notes that hand finishing a clock movement is significantly more challenging than polishing a wristwatch due to the larger surface areas of the clock components.
There’s more to Grant however than mobile, transformative time-display. The machine’s left arm holds a spinning disk while its right arm clasps a removable grenade launcher—which doubles as the winding and time-setting key for the clockwork. The movement’s regulator (balance and escapement) utilizes Incabloc shock protection, a superior protective design typically found in wristwatches, but not clocks.
Why? Because, as MB&F reminds us, Grant is not a stationary clock. Grant is a robot on a mission to transform time.
You can watch Grant in action on video here.
Grant is available in three limited editions of fifty pieces each in nickel, black and blue. Price: CHF 22,200, or about $22,600.
Grant transforms into three positions, each with a practical purpose.
Position 1: Grant’s torso folds flat in his lap with his shield/time display lying horizontal across his back. This flat position enables the time to be easily read if Grant is significantly lower than the viewers’ eyes and, in this relatively stable position, the winding key will wind the 8-day mainspring.
Position 2: Grant’s torso locks securely into place at 45 degrees, from which he transforms into a more recognizably robotic shape. In this angled position, if resting on a desk or table, the time display is easily seen whether the viewer is sitting or standing.
Position 3: Grant’s torso sits up straight at 90 degrees to his chassis, with his shield now lying vertically along his back. In this position, Grant looks most like the Mad Max warrior he sometimes longs to be (that’s AI for you) and the key will now set the time.
Specifications: MB&F/ L'Epée Grant
Hours and minutes
Flat position: 115 mm tall x 212 mm wide x 231 mm long
Vertical position: 166 mm tall x 212 mm wide x 238 mm long
Components total: 268
Weight: 2.34 kg
Transformer body with three operational tracks and three positions of clock/body.
Materials: stainless steel, nickel-plated brass, palladium-plated brass.
Dome/head: mineral glass.
L’Epée in-house designed and manufactured in-line eight-day movement
Balance frequency: 18,000 bph
Power reserve: 8 days
Components movement: 155
Incabloc shock protection system
Movement finishing: Geneva waves, anglage, polishing, sandblasting, circular and vertical graining, satin finishing.
Winding: Key on right hand doubles as weapon and pulls out to reveal a double-depth square socket key that both sets the time and winds the movement (on the back/dial side of the clock).