MEDUSA by MB&F and L’EPEE 1839

Jointly created by MB&F and Switzerland’s premier clockmaker L’EPEE 1839, Medusa is a dual-configuration clock, housed in hand-blown Murano glass, that can be ceiling mounted or stood upon a desk. In the form of one of the most compelling yet mysterious creatures of the sea, Medusa blends exceptional artisanal skill with Swiss horological precision, and introduces new frontiers in both.

The central mass of Medusa is formed by a large transparent dome of hand-blown Murano glass that evokes the bell-shaped body of a mature jellyfish. Two rotating rings, one displaying the hours and the other displaying the minutes, are visible through the dome, and the time is read off a single fixed indicator that extends over the rings. Like a jellyfish glowing in the abyss, Medusa glows in the dark thanks to Super-LumiNova. A 2.5Hz (18,000vph) movement beats underneath the time indication, forming the pulsating heart of this mechanical creature.

The movement of Medusa is entirely new and required over two years of development by L’Epée 1839. Whereas the other co-creations had separate points of winding and setting, Medusa required a combined system for winding and setting, since the surrounding glass dome limits access to the movement. Furthermore, in order to maximise the visual impact of the clock and reinforce the source of its design inspiration, the movement was engineered around a central axis, mimicking the radial symmetry of a jellyfish’s neural column.

Perfecting the glass exterior of Medusa – available in blue, green or pink – was as challenging as any aspect of its movement creation. The pink edition, in particular, required multiple stages of layering red and clear glasses to achieve exactly the right shade desired.

For the best possible aesthetic result, the dome and tentacles had to be crafted from the same glass, which would give them the same optical qualities. The skill needed to produce by hand a set of consistent glass tentacles for each clock exists only in very few glassblowing houses. Add to this the difficulty of creating a hand-blown Murano glass dome that has to appear extremely light and delicate, and yet withstand the weight of a clock movement – it’s easy to see why only one Murano glassblower, out of the 40 companies that L’Epée 1839 approached, was able to accomplish the task.

Independent designer Fabrice Gonet first proposed Medusa in 2016 to MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser, who immediately saw the appeal of Gonet’s sketch and recognised the essential spirit of an MB&F creation in its lines.

Medusa comes in three limited editions of 50 pieces, each in a different colour – blue, green and pink – chosen to reflect the natural hues of a jellyfish.

Technical details

Display
Hours and minutes

Size
Dimensions:
Hanging position: 286 mm tall x 250 mm diameter
Standing position: 323 mm tall x 250 mm diameter
Components total: 231
Weight:approximately 6kg (the exact weight of the hand-blown glass dome varies)

Body/frame
Dome/tentacles: Murano hand-blown glass
Movement and standing base: stainless steel and brass
Indexes and top plate with Super-LumiNova

Engine
L’Epée suspended movement, designed and manufactured in-house
Balance frequency: 2.5 Hz / 18,000 bph
Power reserve: 7 days
Movement components: 155
Jewels: 23
Incabloc shock protection system
Movement finishing: Geneva waves, anglage, polishing, sandblasting, circular and vertical graining, satin finishing.
Integrated winding key to both set the time and wind the movement (propeller at the bottom of the movement).

Dual configuration
Ceiling-mounted: Medusa can be ceiling mounted thanks to the buckle located at the top of the movement. In this configuration the glass tentacles can be hung on the movement.
Standing: Medusa can stand on a table by way of a special metal base.

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