By Andrew Liszewski
Shown for the first time at Baselworld 2009, La Machine à Ecrire le Temps or ‘The Machine That Writes the Time’ is an automaton designed to relate to the 21st century. While Pierre Jaquet-Droz created his automata back in the late eighteenth century, La Machine à Ecrire le Temps was created by Montres Jaquet Droz, the company that bares his name today. It’s development and construction took almost a decade, and the final product contains over 1,200 components including 84 ball bearings, 50 cams, 9 belts and is protected by an aluminum and liquid crystal glass case allowing the inner workings to be obscured at the push of a button.
The company claims they can produce a “few copies per year” of the La Machine à Ecrire le Temps for the tidy sum of 400,000 Swiss francs, or just over $342,000. So I’d suggest checking out the video included after the jump, because that’s probably as close as most of us will ever get to seeing this thing in action.