Robots are no strangers to Geneva-based watch brand MB&F. Last year, it launched one of the most talked about pieces in the watch industry: the foot-long Melchior. The 35,000 Swiss francs (S$49,200) table clock was fashioned after a Pacific Rim-style machine in collaboration with L’Epee, a traditional Swiss clockmaker. This time round, MB&F is going on a bigger scale with its sci-fi fascination – it’s founder Max Busser is obsessed with childhood toys – with a collection of tin robots by designer Herve Stadelman for its M.A.D Gallery art space in Geneva. Here, we list all the things you need to know about these metal babies.
#1: The man behind the robots is a multi-hyphenate.
The 38-year-old Herve Stadelman is a Swiss native who is also a trained tinsmith, graphic designer, sculptor, typographer and indie artistic director.
#2: The robots are named Robotyp.
#3: The entire concept was a fluke – well, sort of.
According to Stadelmann, the entire process started in November 2014 when he was tinkering with metal parts to create skulls. “I told myself that I would start a sculpture of something abstract without knowing where I was going. It was only a moment before the abstract sculpture began to look like a robot and I thought, ‘yes, good idea'”.
#4: He is big on upcycling.
Each robot is made up of metals like tin, zinc, copper and steel and repurposed materials that Stadelman scours for. Think old Pepsi and Heineken service trays, cookie tins, and Asian tea boxes. Some of them are bought from flea markets while some were found discarded on the streets.
#5: A total of 16 unique pieces have been produced for the collection.
#6: Every piece is handmade by Stadelman.
He does the work from his workshop, which is incidentally located in the Swiss watchmaking country of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
#7: No electric tools were used in the production process.
Instead, Stadelman relied on a metal smith’s essentials like pliers and hammers to create each robot which boasts origami-like folds.
#8: Each robot design takes around 80 hours of work.
#9: You can’t miss these mini sculptures – they stand at an average height of 70cm.
#10: Each piece is priced at 2,450 Swiss francs (S$3,440).
They’re available from MB&F’s M.A.D Gallery in Geneva. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries.