Sherman is a cute little horological robot designed and developed by MB&F in association with L’Epée 1839, Switzerland’s only specialised high-end clock manufacture.
Sherman’s mechanics are based on a L’Epée 1839 in-line eight-day movement, which ensures that the friendly tank-treaded table clock can display the correct time on his chest for more than a week before requiring rewinding.
But Sherman is not simply a clock inside a robot, but an integral and holistic robot-clock. The mainspring barrel bridge extends down to support his tracks, movement spacers act as shoulders for the arms, and his eyes are bolt heads supporting the regulator. The movement plates and bridges of the clock also make up the skeleton and body of the robot.
The transparent blown mineral glass dome on Sherman’s head reveals his mechanical brain, which is actually the regulator controlling the precision of the robot’s time. It’s mesmerising to watch the little guy “think”. Sherman’s arms can be manipulated into nearly any configuration, and his hands can be used to hold items like a pen or his winding key.
And while Sherman doesn’t walk, his rubber caterpillar tracks are fully functional and, with a little help from a friend, he can roll over the rugged terrain of a typical office desk. But as cool as Sherman’s robotic and horological accomplishments are, they pale in comparison with his emotional superpower of spreading happiness wherever he goes.
Sherman is launched in limited editions of 200 palladium (plated) pieces, 200 gilded pieces (gold-plated) and 50 diamond-set gilded pieces.
Sherman’s name is derived from the prolific M4 Sherman tank used by the USA and its allies in World War II. Despite being technically surpassed by larger and more powerful tanks toward the end of the war, the Sherman tank proved to remain effective because it was extremely reliable and easy to produce. Better to have lots of smaller tanks in action than smaller numbers of larger, more complex tanks sitting in the garage. Officially called the Medium Tank M4; it was dubbed the Sherman M4 by the British, who named it after General William Tecumseh Sherman. Sherman rose to command the Western Union army (succeeding General Ulysses S. Grant) during the American Civil War (1861 – 1865) and then headed the American army when Grant assumed the presidency. British military historian B. H. Liddell Hart called Sherman “the first modern general”.
While the name of Sherman may have originated in a war scenario, he is most definitely a robot of peace. Sherman is fitted with the most powerful weapon of all: the ability to spread happiness and unabashed joy.
Display: Hours and minutes displayed on Sherman’s chest
Size: Dimensions: 143 mm tall x 109 mm wide x 80 mm deep
Weight: 0.9 kg
Options: Fully palladium-plated (polished silver colour); gold-plated with palladium-plated going train (gearing) and nickel-plated balance wheel; and fully gold-plated body and movement,gem-set with 735 high quality VVS diamonds around the eyes, hour markers and head.
Dome/head: blown mineral glass
L’Epée in-house designed and manufactured in-line eight-day movement
Balance frequency: 2.5 Hz / 18,000 bph
Power reserve: 8 days
Components movement: 148
Incabloc shock protection system
Movement finishing: Geneva waves, anglage, polishing, sandblasting, circular and vertical graining, satin finishing
Winding: double-depth square socket key sets time and winds movement at back of clock