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MB&F MusicMachines Are Science Fiction Music Boxes

02.10.16 | By
MB&F MusicMachines Are Science Fiction Music Boxes
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Swiss watch manufacturer MB&F is known for their unique steam punkish catalog of horological devices (alongside a more sedate, yet handsome collection of legacy mechanical wrist watches). But it still comes as a surprise – even with Star Wars very much in the zeitgeistto happen upon this trio of extremely limited edition science fiction film-inspired music boxes.

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Citing their 10th anniversary and their company motto, “A creative adult is a child who survived”, the latest of MusicMachines is fashioned after sci-fi spaceships. The MusicMachine 3 is the last the trilogy of MusicMachines and obviously inspired by the Star Wars TIE fighter. Limited to just 99 pieces – 33 pieces with white finish; 33 pieces with black finish; and 33 pieces with ‘chrome’ finish – the futuristic sculpture offers an additional feature: music.

The lattice-like vertical wings of the TIE fighter surrounds dual music cylinders, each capable of firing off three melodies: John Williams’ Star Wars theme, Mission Impossible, and James Bond; from the right wing the themes from The Godfather, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and The Persuaders.

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The music is powered by two independent movements mounted on the two tail sections. The side wings play a vital role in propagating sound vibrations down from the combs to the naturally amplifying resonant base, manufactured by JMC Lutherie.

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Previous MusicMachine editions include a more general “spaceship” design –  this, the MusicMachine 1 – outfitted with two music cylinders for playback of the Star Wars theme, the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back, and the theme from Star Trek; the right cylinder plays back Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall, Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water and John Lennon’s Imagine.


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The MusicMachine 2 should be recognizable to anyone who prefers the United Federation of Planets of Star Trek versus the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances of Star Wars.

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Those of especially geeky sci-fi spirit should recognize the inspiration of this most unique table clock. Designed by MB&F and engineered and crafted by L’Epée 1839, Switzerland’s only remaining specialized high-end clock manufacturer since 1839, it’s subjectively our favorite of this quartet of space vessel-inspired horological and musical devices.

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.