Australian rock band Crowded House, with their 1991 hit song said it first – ‘always take the weather with you’. A couple of decades later, with the launch of the Fifth Element the creative geniuses at MB&F have given us a way to do just that.
Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane?
The Fifth Element, which resembles a UFO, complete with an alien ‘pilot’, is a desktop, analogue weather station that measures time, air pressure, humidity and temperature. Inspired by MB&F founder Maxmilian Büsser’s long-standing fascination with desktop weather stations from the past, the Fifth Element was designed in collaboration with MB&F designer Stefano Panterotto and required tireless research.
Meant to channel the weather stations popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Fifth Element underwent numerous modifications in design before the final UFO made its landing. MB&F collaborated once again with Swiss high-end clock manufacturer L’Epée 1839, with whom the brand has previously created exciting and quirky clocks like the Octopod and the Starfleet Machine in order to bring the Fifth Element to life.
Form and Function
The clock, barometer, hygrometer and thermometer of the Fifth Element have been designed like pods, and can each be detached from the central structure and their locations interchanged. In addition, each ‘element’ is fitted with integrated stands and can stand independently as well.
Outstanding horological precision and competence can be witnessed with the clock element, which runs on L’Epée’s 8-day movement. In an astounding feat, L’Epée successfully rotated the most complex parts of the movement by 90˚, so that the movement mechanics are clearly visible even when the clock is docked on the side of the central structure.
The clock is also protected against shocks and damage which may occur when it is being removed or its position changed and also features the same detailed finishing on its movement as may be seen in the finest wristwatches.
Element No. 5
While the clock, barometer, hygrometer and thermometer comprise 4 of the elements, it is the special fifth feature from which the Fifth Element derives its name. In true MB&F fashion, the eclectic watchmakers never fail to bring a smile to our face, and so, the Fifth Element is piloted by Ross, a tiny alien figure at the base of the brass structure.
Thanks to L’Epée’s technical mastery, Ross is able to rotate around the ‘spaceship’ on his own, keeping a keen eye out for predators or bad weather.
The Fifth Element is a solid piece of horological machinery, weighing approximately 15kg and comprising over 500 unique components, which is more than many grand complications. This intergalactic weather station is available in three models, black, silver and blue, each in a limited-edition of just 18 pieces.
HOT Verdict: We know we may not need a desktop weather station, but this one is definitely something we want!