By Rebecca Doulton
Ground control to Major Tom, there is great news for fans of horology and science fiction with time machines designed to navigate the far reaches of outer space.
MB&F is known for its futuristic take on time telling and space-inspired watches are one of the founder Max Busser's favourite themes. The HM6 Space Pirate, launched earlier this year, was inspired by a 1970s Japanese cartoon. Crafted in titanium, this lightweight ship features five bubble-domed pods on its body: the front two for hours and minutes; the central one to show off the tourbillon; and the rear two to display the hypnotic swirling turbines powered by the rotor. For the truly intrepid, the price tag of this limited-edition spacecraft is close to a quarter-of-a-million dollars.
Hours literally lose their gravity on board De Bethune's sculptural Dream Watch 5, a sleek titanium vessel complete with a ruby cabochon on the crown to simulate the glowing thrust of the propulsion engines during blast off. The jumping hours appear in a porthole at the stern of the ship, which also indicates minutes and the phases of the Moon.
Romain Jerome watches have found a niche with their popular steampunk interpretations of significant events from the dawn of the XX century, creating watches with metal rescued from the hull of the Titanic or lava from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. Outer space is not an impediment and the brand features a collection of Romain Jerome watches with Moon dust and parts of Apollo 11 integrated in the watches themselves. Naturally, a vessel was required to obtain these original materials and the Spacecraft model looks perfectly well equipped to make the voyage. With an unusual trapeze-shaped titanium case, the minutes are indicated on the surface of the spaceship while the retrograde hours are shown on a linear display.
Vianney Halter is a serious Trekkie and watchmaker and confesses to have watched the entire Star Trek series before coming up with the inspiration for his Deep Space Tourbillon. Designed to look like the Deep Space 9 space station from the Star Trek series, Halter has created a large domed microcosm complete with a triple axis tourbillon. In the event that an alien inquires about the time on Earth, all you have to do is look down into the dome for the two blue curved nails: the longer nail indicates the minutes, the shorter one is for the hours.