Swiss watchmakers MB&F and L’Épée 1839 have joined forces to co-create and donate a one-of-a-kind clock for Only Watch, the world’s most high-profile charity watch auction. The Tom & T-Rex timepiece has been especially crafted to raise awareness of a genetic disorder primarily affecting male children.
The clock features the sculpted body of a boy named Tom, who represents children suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy — a disease that causes gradual loss of basic motor functions, including the ability to walk.
Bound to a life full of pain and misery, Tom has found a friend in the T-Rex-shaped clock, upon whom he is mounted and who takes him on adventures to a fantastical world, therefore offering him an escape — a metaphor for hope.
The sitting rider measures 4.3 cm, whereas the T-Rex is 26.5 cm high. On a side note, if we were to imagine real-life proportions of these two beings, the instrument could easily look right into the second floor of an average apartment block. It comes complete with a hand-wound mechanical movement conceived and manufactured in-house by L’Épée 1839. It’s powered by a single barrel that offers a power reserve of eight days.
An “eyeball” forms the main body of the clock that also functions as a dial. Sitting cross-legged in a youthful, peaceful and vulnerable pose, Tom stares down at a transparent blue marble of Murano glass, which is among the clock’s most stunning features. Cupping it as if he is holding the world in his hands, the young boy perhaps imagines a different life.
The jointed legs of T-Rex suggest a sense of motion. In fact, the legs were modelled on actual Tyrannosaurus Rex bones, using 3D scans of fossilised dinosaur skeletons as references. A combination of sandblasted and polished surfaces lets light interact with the body of the T-Rex in such a way that the clock seems agile, and ready to run off with its tiny passenger to a land bereft of diseases.
Tom & T-Rex is not just a fine work of art, but also a testimony to the pain and suffering sustained by many children affected by the disease. This, however, is not the first collaboration between MB&F and L’Épée 1839. But, out of the 10 previous clocks made jointly by the two Swiss luxury watchmakers, T-Rex bears the closest design kinship to the pieces inspired by the animal kingdom.
The funds raised at the auction, to be held in Geneva, will go towards research in treating neuromuscular diseases, in particular Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Till date, the auction has raised over RM185 million, over seven editions. A general release of the Tom & T-Rex clock is expected at the end of August 2019.