Baselworld is the world watch and jewellery show held every year in Basel, Switzerland. It attracts around 100,000 visitors and is one of the most important events in the horological calendar. One of the stars of this year’s show was not a watch but La Machine à Ecrire le Temps (translation: ‘The Machine that Writes the Time’). This beautifully crafted “horological sculpture” contains 1200 components and took almost ten years to construct.
Much like the Corpus Clock or the Clock of the Long Now the machine is as much art project as it is timekeeper. It was designed and built by French watchmakers Montres Jaquet Droz and pays homage to the company’s founder Pierre Jaquet Droz, who in addition to being a skilled watchmaker was also a master creator of mechanical dolls and automata.