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Hours & Minutes

Luminox Advt
WMR - January 2018

Editor's Pick


Kelys & Chirp  

When it comes to MB&F, the watch world almost waits with bated breath to know what they are up to next. Well, this time round, it is two friends, or rather, two unlikely companions living happily together. This was developed as a co-creation again by two Friends: Reuge and Nicolas Court.

Kelys (from the Greek chelone or chelys for tortoise) moves in a realistic tortoise-like gait with his head moving slowly side-to-side, his movements all in synchronicity with Chirp as springing from her nest and pirouetting, her beak opening and closing, wings flapping, and tail wagging, all in time to the melodic bird song.

Chirp’s birdsong sounds amazing, both due to the accuracy of the song and for the fact that such a relatively loud sound emits from such a small object. This is thanks to a 230-year-old invention, generally credited to Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721– 1790), who came up with the idea of the modern Singing Bird complication. The quality of the bird’s song and how well it carries always astonishes the first time it is heard.

The movement of Kelys & Chirp is actually in two parts: the Singing Bird, which is a complete movement itself, and the turtle automaton module, which is powered by the Singing Bird movement. Nicolas Court and his team developed the automaton mechanism around the Singing Bird movement and unsurprisingly faced significant challenges, which they also overcame quite ingeniously.

While Kelys & Chirp may look relatively simple compared to a complicated watch, its 480 components (enough for a minute repeater) lie testament to the complexity within. The scales on Kelys’ shell are individually hand made from high quality leather in 4 different colours, creating a warmer and more natural feel than bare metal. Kelys & Chirp is available in 4 limited editions of 18 pieces each in blue, green, yellow or ochre.

Kelys & Chirp