MB&F introduces a little robot called Sherman

There’s just no predicting what Maximilian Büsser and his eponymous brand will get up to next. In 2015 MB&F introduced Melchior with two legs, Arachnophobia with eight legs and now, on day one of SIHH 2016, we’ve got… caterpillar treads. No, you aren’t seeing things, and yes, MB&F has a new robot, and the cute little guy is called Sherman.

We're getting a cute Wall-E vibe from MB&F's latest horological robot.

We’re getting a cute Wall-E vibe from MB&F’s latest horological robot.

Compared to his predecessors, Sherman isn’t a particularly imposing fellow. He stands just 143mm tall and weighs just under one kilogram. But, as with all the MB&F Performance Art creations that came before, Sherman has the ability to charm the pants of you with his great looks, inspired design and fantastic finishing.

As was the case with Melchior (read our story here) and Arachnophobia (story here), Sherman was conceived and designed by MB&F, and fully produced by Switzerland’s only specialised high-end clock manufacture, L’Epée 1839. Sherman’s time keeping is courtesy of a highly finished, in-line, L’Epée-developed eight-day movement, consisting of 148 parts. The movement features fine finishing traits including Geneva waves, sandblasting, satin finishing and anglage, so when you’re not playing with Sherman, you still have plenty to admire.

Sherman is named after the prolific M4 Sherman tank that was used extensively by the United States and its allies during World War II.

Sherman is named after the prolific M4 Sherman tank that was used extensively by the United States and its allies during World War II.

As with Melchior, a winding key is provided but with this robot, setting the time or winding the movement requires inserting the key into the back of one of the robot’s two eye sockets (Melchior had dedicated time/winding sockets on the back of his body). If you’re wondering about storing the key, you can use either of Sherman’s fully movable arms to hold the key and/or other items, which means you can also create interesting scenarios and poses.

Sherman’s chest area comprises the clock that you’ll look to for time and just below this, in the torso area, you’ll be able to spot the large mainspring barrel. The most animated part of Sherman is his mineral-glass domed head, under which you can see the balance wheel and regulation system going about their business. MB&F says it’s ‘mesmerising to watch the little guy think’, and having seen Melchior thinking first hand, we reckon MB&F has made a fair assessment with that statement.

This is a Sherman tank and besides the caterpillar treads used by the MB&F robot, we can just about see the shape of the turret reflected in Sherman's head.

This is a Sherman tank and besides the caterpillar treads used by the MB&F robot, we can just about see the shape of the turret reflected in Sherman’s head.

The base of the little robot is dominated by the detailed sprockets and rollers around which the caterpillar treads wrap around. Sherman is not a powered robot (how cool would that be?) but the treads are fully functional, so you can have fun rolling Sherman around your desk or take him out to play.

Three different editions of Sherman will be produced by MB&F for 2016; 200 pieces with plated palladium parts, 200 pieces with plated yellow gold parts, and last but not least, 50 pieces set with diamonds. The palladium- and gold-plated models carry an approximate retail price of US $13,800, whereas the diamond set piece is dearer at US $33,000.

MB&F will produce three different versions of Sherman in 2016.

MB&F will produce three different versions of Sherman in 2016. The palladium plated model (pictures above) is very attractively priced.

MB&F has also produced a small video to introduce you to Sherman. You can watch that video below.

To learn more about MB&F, click here.

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