Six years after the launch of the Starfleet Machine, the first watch resulting from the collaboration between MB&F e L'Epée 1839, a new "expedition" begins. In 2020 the space station makes its big return, in a more compact dimension, embellished with bright colors and accompanied by a fleet of three small spaceships that explore the universe, and rightly bears the name of Starfleet Explorer.
Lo Starfeet Explorer, designed by MB&F, is an intergalactic table clock made by L'Epée 1839, the only watchmaker specialized in the production of luxury table clocks left in Switzerland. This specimen not only displays hours and minutes, but also features an animation in which three spaceships orbit around the station in five minutes. The meticulously finished in-house exposed movement is distinguished by its extraordinary eight-day power reserve. The movement can be loaded manually with a double key, which also serves to set the time.
Hours and minutes are indicated on two discs, equipped with a window and a brightly colored hand. In particular, the minutes, indicated on a rotating parabolic antenna, are visible every time they appear inside a fixed, satin, hand-brushed and anodized metal window, which follows the curvilinear contours of the dome. The hour disc, positioned just below, is fixed. The hour hand, also satin, brushed and anodized, marks the time by rotating on itself and completing a complete rotation around the disc in 12 hours.
Lo Starfleet Explorer it is also distinguished by another element, presented in the form of three small spaceships, aligned on the same axis at regular intervals and placed within the movement of the Starfleet, the heart of the entire mechanism, around which they make a complete rotation every five minutes : a space exploration guided by the mothership.
The movement of the Starfleet Explorer it is horizontal, while the escapement mechanism is vertical. The components in palladium treated brass or finished in steel (with the exception of the 11 jewels) are designed and manufactured in the Swiss atelier of L'Epée 1839. The gears and mainspring barrel are fully visible thanks to the skeletonized main platen and the concentric C-shaped external structure. Starfleet Explorer rests on both ends of the vertical landing gear; a very advantageous aspect when you turn the clock over to wind the mainspring and set the time. It can also be tilted to one side to offer a different perspective of the intergalactic watch station.
Lo Starfleet Explorer it is available in three limited editions of 99 pieces in different colors: blue, green and red and is a table clock, essentially equipped with the same mechanisms as a wristwatch, but much larger: wheel train, spring barrel, balance wheel, escape wheel and stop lever. The regulator of L'Epée 1839 it is also equipped with an Incabloc impact protection system, generally exclusive to wristwatches, which minimizes the risk of transport damage.
Some might think that the size of the components simplifies the work. In reality, with larger components, the task of making a carefully finished movement becomes much more complex than with a wristwatch, due to the size of the surfaces.
Arnaud Nicolas, CEO of L'Epée 1839, explains: “It's not about doubling the size of the components, but about doubling the time it takes to refine them. Complexity increases exponentially. For polishing, you need to apply the same pressure required to refine the movement of a wristwatch but on a larger surface, and this is much more challenging. It is only thanks to the experience and skill of our watchmakers that the Starfleet Explorer can boast such masterfully executed finishes. "
The fine detail of the polished movement can be easily contemplated with the naked eye, especially thanks to the concentric C-shaped external structure of the Starfleet Explorer, to which the main platen is attached.
The external C-shaped structure consists of three vertical arches on which the clock rests. These elegant supports play a fundamental role from a design point of view, but at the same time have an equally important practical function: they allow the Starfleet Explorer to be turned upside down, to facilitate setting the time and winding the watch. with the appropriate key.