Jaquet Droz - La Machine à Ecrire Le Temps
I've always loved Jaquet Droz - makers of old-world cool wristwatches. They have a storied history though, and they certainly flash it with their new Machine à Ecrire Le Temps automaton. The founder of Jaquet Droz built automatons - self powered, primitive computers or toys that wowed the gilded heads of the day. Things like a wind-up, movable knight in amour. Or a life-size doll which with the press of a button, elegantly scribbled some common writing exercises in a journal. Even a chess playing mechanical man. Seeking to go back to it's roots (and have something to wow with at BaselWorld '09), Jaquet Droz meticulously engineered the fully mechanical (no electricity!) 'Time Typewriter'. Wind a crank, and the gears turn, levers move, pulleys pull, and ultimately, the pen is lifted and moved over an index card - where it proceeds to write out the current time. The YouTube link is to a video of the machine in action. JD is producing these, but essentially upon request - with a price of 400K Swiss Francs, they probably don't have many extras lying around. If you want one (and can afford it), visit: http://www.jaquet-droz.com/english/contact.html And let them know to start building one for you.