The MB&F X L'Épée 1839 T-Rex: A Walking Dinosaur On Your Desk?

THM Desk
17 Mar 2023 |
clock icon5 min read
like image
comment icon image
like image
SUMMARIZEarrow down


It is commonly held that one creative act will inevitably lead to additional creative acts. This is especially true for T-Rex, the eleventh time MB&F and Switzerland's best clockmaker L'Épée 1839 have worked together to create a co-creation that will leave you mesmerized.

Maximilian Büsser says, “When people look at the T-Rex, they’re like what the hell is that, but when we look at it, it’s how cool would be it if?” But before we dive into the details, let’s see where the true inspiration came from.

Where did the inspiration come from?

T-Rex is a powerful extraterrestrial creature, but its design was inspired by something familiar and whimsical. Who as a child has not played with a dinosaur? Like Maximilian Büsser, the company's founder, says “The idea was inspired by a Christmas ornament that consists of a bauble perched on top of two chicken legs that I kept on my desk.” Some believe that modern birds are the direct descendants of fearsome dinosaurs, but the humorous tone that apparently inspired them took a long time to develop.

MB&F X L'Épée 1839 T-Rex Blue

T-Rex is the result of the eleventh partnership between MB&F and L'Épée 1839, and it was conceived by designer Maximilian Maertens. Maertens cites the 1993 film Jurassic Park as the first movie he remembers watching in theaters. Said Maertens, “I just had the idea to do something with dinosaurs, and Max (Büsser) was very interested in biomechanical designs at the time, so we melded these two sources around his little desk sculpture and took the next step.”

In Maertens' head, this odd but thought-provoking mix of organic and inorganic elements grew, becoming more robust, fantastical, and MB&F. To achieve realism in the T-legs, Rex's 3D scans of fossilized dinosaur skeletons were used as references.

Making a debut at Only Watch

T-Rex made its debut as a one-of-a-kind creation made specifically for Only Watch, the most prestigious charity watch auction in the world. Only Watch contributions from MB&F were previously drawn from preexisting collections. The eighth iteration of the auction featured Tom & T-Rex, a creation by MB&F that bucked convention by being offered before the collection from which it was culled. Tom & T-Rex has a rider that stands in for the kids with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who will benefit from the money raised by Only Watch, hence the name.

 MB&F X L'Épée 1839 T-Rex Green

T-Rex is capable of reproducing in the Only Watch version. In retrospect, it can be traced back to an artifact on the desk of MB&F's founder, Maximilian Büsser: a gleaming, spherical holiday ornament perched precariously on metal legs fashioned to resemble birds. Büsser and designer Maximilian Maertens came together to make the T-Rex Co-Creation.

Into the details

T-Rex is a minimalist clock made of Murano glass and steel that hangs from two jointed legs that end in taloned feet, and it bears a passing physical resemblance to the eponymous king of beasts. Max says, “The central eye sometimes makes me think of Monster’s Inc!” The design details that are only apparent to a careful viewer are more responsible for the name, such as the combination of strength and presence communicated by the rigid limbs. Subtly but unmistakably, the spherical, skeletonized body alludes to the fossilized bones that contain all the information we have about a bygone prehistoric era.

MB&F X L'Épée 1839 T-Rex Red

The time is indicated by two thin steel hands that form an arch from the center of the Murano glass dial. The dial conceals a L'Épée 1839 movement with 138 parts and a balance that beats at a frequency of 2.5Hz (18,000vph). There is a keyhole in the back of the clock's mechanism that can be used to wind the clock for up to eight days of run time, and the same keyhole can be used to adjust the time in the dial's center.

The clock's legs, which alternate between polished and sandblasted sections, catch the light in ways that give the illusion of agility and flexibility, even though the clock's total weight is only about 2 kilograms and its joints are permanently attached.

MB&F X L'Épée 1839 T-Rex Red Engine

About The Murano Glass

T-Rex's dial is made of hand-blown Murano glass, a material with which MB&F and L'Épée 1839 became intimately familiar during developing their tenth collaborative effort, Medusa. Murano glass dials in T-Rex come in a variety of colors, including green, deep blue, and red. These dials are hand-blown and vividly colored using metallic salts.

MB&F X L'Épée 1839 T-Rex Blue

T-Rex, in more ways than one, will be seen as a memento mori by those who have an appreciation for symbolism. Time can get away from us all, just like T-legs Rex's look, as they can go pretty fast. In other words, now is the time to take action. Make art while you can, and don't waste your life. T-Rex is available in green, deep blue, or red Murano glass dials, each in a 100-piece limited edition and priced at CHF 22500.