MB&F’s Arachnophobia crawls out from under the covers

If you have a crippling fear of creepy crawlies or the sight of a spider causes you to exercise your vocal cords uncontrollably, you may want to stop reading right now. If, however, insects, bugs and spiders don’t bother you or you’re the type that is intrigued by them, we invite you to join us in welcoming ‘Arachnophobia’ to the world of horology. Arachnophobia is MB&F’s most intense mechanical clock yet, and is the second clock that the creative brand has released this year, as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations.

MB&F's latest tells the time with two hands and eight legs. It's brilliant.

MB&F’s latest tells the time with two hands and eight legs. It’s brilliant.

Unlike Melchior, which MB&F released earlier in the year (read our story here), Arachnophobia is not a limited edition piece. But, thanks to its beautifully organic design (we like spiders) and some clever engineering, it can be used as a desk- or a wall-clock.

On desks, the finely-finished mechanical spider stands tall using its eight legs, while a subtle mounting system that can be attached to the base of Arachnophobia’s body, allows the owner to stealth-suspend it from a wall (see picture below). You read that right, you can wall mount this mechanical marvel and, potentially, scare the hell out of someone, particularly if they’re visiting your home or office and it’s dark.

You can wall mount Arachnophobia to create some truly terrifying scenarios. You won't be able to tell the time from a distance with this clock however.

You can wall mount Arachnophobia to create some truly terrifying scenarios. You won’t be able to tell the time from a distance with this clock however.

Maximilian Büsser – MB&F’s Owner and Creative Director – has always made it a point to create mechanical clocks (and other mechanical art) that owners can play with, and the same holds true with Arachnophobia. The spider’s eight legs are connected to its body via ball-and-socket joints, allowing the owner to manipulate them to create different poses – an attacking stance is just a matter of angling the two legs closest to the head forward, leaving the spider to rest on its six remaining legs. (We can see ourselves losing hours with posing Arachnophobia…)

While it’s easy to get carried away with Arachnophobia’s flexibility as a posable object, the fact remains that it is a highly finished mechanical clock. It features no less than 218 components and was built by MB&F’s longtime partner, L’Epée 1839. The idea for Arachnophobia came from Büsser, of course, who was inspired by the massive Maman (mother in French) spider sculpture he had seen in Geneva and Doha. Incidentally, that sculpture measures more than 30 x 33-feet and was created by Louise Bourgeois. If Arachnophobia scares you, we highly recommend NOT googling Maman…

A clever mounting system gives the impression that Arachnophobia is a real spider crawling across the wall.

A clever mounting system gives the impression that Arachnophobia is a real spider crawling across the wall.

A high-end L’Epée mechanical clock movement gives Arachnophobia its timekeeping abilities. It features a single barrel and offers a power reserve of eight days, and even includes an Incabloc shock protection system, which helps to reduce the risk of damage during transportation. The interesting thing to note here is that a system like this is usually found on wristwatches.

As with Melchior, the movement has been arranged to deliver both form and function to the piece – in this case the hand-finished movement features a linear design, so as to create the head and body of the spider. The balance wheel is positioned at the head of the spider, while the body consists of the gear train, mainspring barrel, and a domed-shaped dial that has MB&F’s signature numerals printed on it. Two sets of hands moving around the dial indicate the hours and minutes.

Speaking of hours and minutes, setting the time and keeping the manual winding movement running requires that the owner head to the underside of Arachnophobia. We’d have thought nothing of this but the guys at MB&F clearly wanted to have a bit of fun and said this “The owner must interact with the clock in an intimate manner to wind and set the time of this precision instrument, thereby building a close relationship with it”.

Like MB&F's past works, Arachnophobia is supremely well finished.

Like MB&F’s past works, Arachnophobia is supremely well finished.

MB&F’s latest desk/wall clock is being produced as two different editions – black and 18k yellow gold-plated. The gold-plated edition weighs nearly one kilogram more than the black edition. Both editions are beautiful but if we had to pick between the two, we’d opt for the black finish version, as that model better creates the illusion of a large spider.

We’d also like to repeat the warning we issued with Melchior – we think it’s worth keeping Arachnophobia under a transparent case of sorts, to prevent dust from settling on the beautiful body, and to keep the intricate movement safe from unintentional tampering by curious adults/children or even pets.

There's a bling version of Arachnophobia too.

There’s a bling version of Arachnophobia too.

We’ll update this story once we have local pricing information and availability on Arachnophobia from MB&F’s Dubai distributor, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.

To learn more about Arachnophobia, click here.

To learn more about Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, click here.

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