With MB&F you can’t even begin to imagine what might come next, don’t even try. Even the wristwatches, the manufacture has introduced in its 12-year-run are more than unusual, let alone the Horological Machines. And don’t forget the MusicMachines, the watches in the form of space stations, rockets, a spider as well as three robot clocks.
But even if no one can know what the creative powerhouse will present next, one thing is for sure: there will be amazement and awe. That being also the case with the new Kelys & Chirp a automaton which is also a hommage at Pierre Jaquet-Droz, who invented the modern Singing Bird complication.
For the creation of Kelys & Chirp MB&F has collaborated with Reuge, the only premier producer of music boxes in the world today. The manufacturer calls more than 150 years of expertise and experience it’s own and has previously worked with MB&F in creating the MusicMachines and when the idea of a turtle automaton with a singing bird on its back came up, Reuge was the natural partnership in choice. And Reuge in turn, partnered with automaton specialist Nicolas Court to develop the mechanism that moves the turtle.
The movement of Kelys & Chirp is actually two parts: the Singing Bird, which is a complete movement itself, and the turtle automaton module, which is powered by the Singing Bird movement. The turtle’s movements are synchronised with the bird’s own movement and singing. Kelys moves very similar to a real turtle (up to the slow speed of .03 meter per second) with his head moving slowly side-to-side, his movements all in synchronicity with Chirp as springing from her net and pirouetting, her beak opening and closing, wings flapping, and tail wagging, all in time to the incredibly melodic bird song. If you’re afraid, Kelys & Chirp could walk right over the edge of your coffee table – don’t worry, MB&F’s got you covered: a friction clutch security system integrated into the automation mechanism detects surface edges and immediately stops the turtle moving forward over the abyss.
Kelys & Chirp is made mainly from rhodium plated brass and stainless steel; Chirp comes in white gold and with sapphire eyes.
The automaton weighs 1.4 kilos, measures 24 cm in length, 16 cm in width and 8 cm in height with Chirp inside the shell.
Kelys & Chirp is available in four limited editions of 18 pieces each in blue, green, yellow and ochre. The scales of Kelys’ shell are made from colored calfskin. MB&F will introduce the automaton officially at the SIHH in January and even if you don’t know why you would need Kelys & Chirp exactly – not to be in love with it even a little seems impossible. It’s simply too gorgeous and too much fun.