Two-way collaborations are fairly common in the high-end watch world — see, for example, any number of splashy Hublot models produced in tandem with boldface names, such as the new Big Bank Millennial Pink Unico, a team effort between the brand and Garage Italia’s Lapo Elkann.
But three-way collaborations? Not so much.
Leave it to Massena LAB founder William Massena, MB&F founder and CEO Maximilian Büsser and the clockmakers at L’Epee 1839 to spearhead the creation of a three-way timepiece, a bronze version of the T-Rex table clock that MB&F and L’Epee unveiled last fall (itself a follow-up to a unique piece, Tom & T-Rex, they created for last year’s Only Watch auction).
Like the two versions that preceded it, the latest version of the whimsical creation, the MB&F x L’Epee x Massena LAB T-Rex Bronze, owes its inspiration to a kooky Christmas ornament that Büsser kept on his desk for years, a bright blue ball sitting atop a pair of scrawny chicken legs.
Designer Maximilian Maertens transformed the goofy bauble into a still-quirky but more fearsome object, with taloned feet, legs modeled on the actual skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and a clock face bearing a Murano glass dial suspended between them.
When Büsser approached Massena LAB, a 2-year-old firm that specializes in high-end watchmaking collaborations, Massena, the former managing director of the online watch forum TimeZone, suggested a version of the clock using bronze instead of stainless steel in a subtle nod to the timepiece’s ancient influence.
“We wanted to do something more organic, with a rugged aesthetic,” Massena says.
Notably, the feet of the T-Rex are aged and stabilized, lending the bronze a rich brown color, and the entire piece has been treated to “lock in” its color and stop further oxidation.
“Bronze aging and oxidation can be very different depending on two factors: geography (whether it is near the sea or not) and climate (whether it is humid or dry),” Massena explains. “Every T-Rex Bronze owner should enjoy his clock the same way and as long as possible. To let it age on its own would expose the clock to possible premature oxidation and rusting. We did not want that to happen. It is easy to clean a water-resistant watch and prevent the case from aging too much, but a clock is much more delicate.”
The clock retails for $27,000 and comes in a limited edition of just 15 pieces. It is available for purchase at massenalab.com, the Hodinkee Shop and Watches of Switzerland.