18 Extraordinary Horological Machines and Timepieces

We have featured a number of gadgets, devices and technical topics of which most of us are aware of; However, when we mention “horology” most would have only a faint idea of what it is and will only associate it with watches and clocks. Still, Horological devices are not clocks or watches, but something more complicated and philosophical than just precision instruments. Horology as a term refers to the art and science of studying time, and how time could be interpreted in a manner that humans can understand.

Since time and space have always eluded their real essence to man, and since most of scientific, artistic and philosophical studies are devoted to the study of time and space, horology combines art, philosophy and science in order to study, celebrate and venerate time with extraordinary timepieces. Horological devices usually are complex devices that border on the Steampunk art qualities, industrial age machinery and futuristic society. Some famous horologists include Abraham Louis Bréguet, Aaron Lufkin Dennison, and Ernst Thomke.

There are several museums all around the world which are dedicated to horology and Horological machines. Some of these museums are British Horological Institute, Upton UK, Musée d’Horlogerie du Locle, Le Locle, Switzerland and Uhrenindustriemuseum, Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. Let us take a look at some of the 18 most extraordinary and complex Horological Machines and Timepieces which are complex, striking and most amazing looking devices that can be found today.

Intricate Horological Machines

Horology is always about the fine details, so here are some really cool Horological Machines that are intricately detailed to begin our journey.

Cabestan Winch Tourbillion Vertical watches have been designed by the DMC group and represent the Ste3eampunk art movement. They were inspired by Vianney Halter.

Vulcania by HD3 Complication was a concept that has been turned into reality. Fabrice Gonet joined hands with Jorg Hysek and Valerie Ursenbacher in order to create Vulcania and has been inspired by Jules Verne Steampunk hero, Captain Nemo and his Island.

Image Sources: 1

Jaquet Droz Machine à Ecrire le Temps

Of all the Horological machines I have ever seen, this has to be the most bizarre and weird device. The Jaquet Droz’ Machine à Ecrire le Temps is something that makes your jaws drop. It is a complex structure that artistically shows how complex the innards of a watch could be.

In fact, to tell time, a lot of complex machinery has to be involved and this particular Horological machine conveys that complex message in this manner. Machine à écrire le temps apparently was not intended to look like the “Android” or any other common device that is famous right now. It was built as a philosophical contemplation about time itself. It has more than 1,200 watch parts, 84 ball bearings and 50 belts. If you put a sheet of paper at the designated place, it writes the time in pencil, 4 digits at a time!

Image Source: 1

MB & F Horological Machines

Like Buben and Zorweg, MB&F or Max Busser & Friends are another important Horological company. They have unveiled a number of cool Horological devices which are futuristic and Steampunk at the same time.

In this picture, you could take a look at the X-Ray of the MB&F Horological Machine 2. The innards really look pretty complex and intimidating, don’t they?

People say that MB & F do not make just time pieces, they make Horological machines and they do not talk about specifications but speak poetry. This machine here is yet another proof to that statement.

French high-end watch designer Alain Silberstein has designed a black case for the MB&F’s Horological Machine No 2, which exudes Bauhaus purity and restraint.

MB & F Horological Machine No 3 is another beautiful device that takes your breath away.

Here is the MB & F Horological Machine No 1. It is made of Titanium!

Maximilian Büsser Horological Machine No.1 is something that princess of a gothic nation should carry.

Horological Machine No2-SV Watch looks neat and is one of the more down-to-earth horological machines that you could find.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Buben & Zorweg Horological Case and Collectors

Buben & Zorweg are one of the premier Horological companies who have manufactured timepieces for several decades, and their unique and luxurious objets d’art are known among the upper crusts of the society for their mysterious technical beauty.

Recently, Buben & Zorweg unveiled the Fine Art Collecting 2010, which are a set of Horological cases that are designed to showcase the best time pieces in the world. The one that you can see here comes with 8 holes to showcase the best Horological machines.

Buben & Zorweg also unveiled the Vanguard, which is a great case that comes with a humidor even, to house your expensive Cuban cigars. Of course, the upper part of the case is a highly fortified closet to showcase Horological devices. It is made of satin-matte macassar and hand-sewn Italian leather.

Image Sources: 1, 2

Pirate Inspired Black Pearl Timepiece

This Horological machine comes with a price tag of $400,000 and is one of the most complex devices to be ever created. The Black Pearl is designed by Fabrice Gonet and comes with the prerequisite skull and bones typical of piracy of middle ages.

Image Source: 1

Cartier Ratonde Chronographical Machine

One of the most interesting Horological machines around, the Cartier Ratonde Chronographical Machine is a circular device that comes with several components to tell time.

Image Source: 1

Brazilian Motorcycle Horology Art

You might wonder what is common between motorcycles and quaint Horological machines, and for that question, I would say there is a lot in common. Brazilian, Jose Geraldo Reis Pfau is fond of both horology and motorcycles.

His motorcycle models are made entirely of watch parts and when he watched the movie Easy Rider in 1969, he decided to devote his life to motorcycles and horology. Of course, these are not just gadgets, they are masterpieces of technical art.

Image Source: 1

Jaeger-LeCoultre Horological Horror

This particular Horological creation comes with three-million Euro worth of gold, tsavorites, yellow sapphires and a bad design. It looks so bad that it is almost horrifying. Would you pay 3 million Euros for this? Sometimes, Horology can go horribly wrong and the price to be paid can be really high, pun intended.

Image Source: 1

Horological devices and machines have always been a symbol of not just luxury but of artistic taste, and aristocratic lineage. Not all of us can afford to own a Horological device, but one could always gloss over them and feel good!