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Spider clock reminds you that time creeps up on us all

Luxury manufacture d'horlogerie MB&F has designed the spookiest mechanical spider clock, appropriately named "Arachnophobia."

"Will you walk into my tourbillon?" said the spider clock to the fly. MB&F

It can be argued time creeps up on us all, like a giant daddy long legs, sparing none.

While it's apropos, that's not the imagery intended with self-described horological concept laboratory MB&F's latest timepiece, Arachnophobia, engineered by Swiss clockmaker L'Epée 1839.

Instead, the piece is an homage to artist Louise Borgeois and her giant spider sculptures, the most famous of which is the statue called Maman.

In Arachnophobia, the clock has been reimagined as the body of a spider, its mechanical movement engineered to sit partially outside the body as the spider's head, where it can be viewed and admired as it sits on a table, or mounted to a wall.

"Making this clock was an adventure; it is the first time we went so far on a design," said L'Epée 1839 CEO Arnaud Nicolas.

"In fact, the clock was made in two steps. The first one was the spider itself, and the second took place in the middle of a meeting when I was presenting it and had the spider in my hand near a wall. I was explaining how incredible this new clock was when the idea of hanging it on the wall popped up in my mind."

From left to right: The 18K gold-plated version; the black version mounted on a wall; and a close-up of the dome clock face with curved hands. MB&F

The piece is made up of 218 components, with ball-and-socket articulated, injection-moulded legs. It's manufactured in two colours, lacquered black or 18K gold plate. When the legs are fully flat, it measures 405mm (16 inches); when the legs are extended, it stands 203mm (8 inches) tall.

Inside (and outside) the body is L'Epée's eight-day movement, redesigned to fit the shape of the spider's body. The watch's escapement has been rotated 90 degrees to form the spider's head, and the mainspring barrel sits at the rear of the abdomen. The face of the clock is an unusual dome shape, with the hours and minutes inscribed around the rim and the hands curved over the top.

The key to wind the clock is inserted under the spider's body, tucked neatly away from view, and the delicate balance wheel is protected from shocks such as falls with an Incabloc shock protection system, usually only found in mechanical wrist watches.

With only minutes and hours, and no additional functions, Arachnophobia is definitely more about luxe style and simplicity. It will also test the arachnophile's commitment: The black version comes in at $15,800, and the gold at $18,050.