Some (mechanical) balls

by Yule Heibel on June 16, 2005

I see way too much work stock-piling on my plate, but just to make sure that there’s something happening on this blog:

…And now for something completely different (sort of, since I blogged another wrist-watch/ pocket-watch fetish item before):

Take a look at this beauty, the L’Esprit des Cabinotiers:

How would you like to have this delicious ball pop up to tell you your appointments, instead of your boring stupid flat Palm Pilot? This particular mechanical personal assistant “is an engraved 18 carat pink gold sphere composed of eight petals that symbolize the lotus flower and opens up via a highly sophisticated mechanism to reveal a cylinder and two sapphire crystal domes connected by a pink gold frame. The indications and functions are: a 12-hour display, minutes, deadbeat or independent seconds (seconde morte), hour on 24-hour display, power reserve, day, date, month, leap year, equation of time, moon phases, age of the moon, temperature, hours and quarters striking automatically ‘in passing’ and on request, with the possibility of preventing the automatic strike, astronomical calendar giving the position of the sun according to the Gregorian calendar based on the calculations of Charles Etienne Louis Camus (mathematician, 1699-1768) and Antide Janvier (watchmaking mechanical engineer, 1751-1835). The base on which the piece stands is in lapis lazuli, onyx, rock crystal and 18 carat pink gold.” Wow. Thanks (again) to the husband watch-aficionado for the link, which is here (scroll down a ways).

Wanna know what it sold for at auction in April? It sold for 2, 200,000 Swiss Francs (which is just over US$1.7million at today’s rate…). See this fascinating account of that auction…

There is a whole world of people out there who are geared toward objects. That’s so weird, and so compelling, too. Sort of like watching traffic…

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