It’s not a watch, it’s not a clock, it’s not a music-box…and it is the perfect New Year gift! We are talking about a mechanical walking turtle combined with a singing bird! The least we can say about this new MB&F Kelys & Chirp, created together with Reuge and automaton specialist Nicolas Court, is that the brand has again, created something rare, amazing, heart-warming, away from the traditional codes and totally exceptional. It has one single purpose, being a dream machine that puts a smile on every face!
Kelys & Chirp is a joyous celebration of friends. It is itself a union of Chirp and Kelys, two unlikely companions living happily together, and was developed as a co-creation 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.
Turtles have long represented wisdom in many cultures because of their long life spans (up to 190 years). While Kelys is certainly wise enough (an integrated mechanical sensor ensures that he doesn’t walk off table or desk tops), it’s his playful streak that complements Chirp’s musical exuberance.
Turtles move with a very particular push/pull gait; thanks to unconventional gearing and cams, Kelys moves in a very similar fashion. You can also enjoy a concert by Chirp without Kelys moving by pushing his tail up; with his tail down he walks while Chirp sings.
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. By 1785, Droz had both miniaturized the mechanically-controlled bird and developed a compact movement: his secret was in recreating a realistic birdsong using just one bellow of variable pitch rather than multiple single-pitch bellows. The quality of the bird’s song and how well it carries always astonishes the first time it is heard.
The scales (turtles are reptiles) 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.
It is available at MB&F MAD Gallery and the price is AED 187,000.
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