Title: A.W.E. (Automated Winding Engine).

Year: 2013

Collaboration: Laikingland

Dimensions: Height 1350mm, Width 550mm, Depth 550mm.


A.W.E. (Automated Winding Engine) is a unique kinetic robot commissioned especially for the MB&F M.A.D. Gallery in Geneva. This alluring robotic arm shakes a cheeky, mechanical fist at the establishment by offering a playful alternative in showcasing and winding timepieces.

Motion sensors trigger the robotic arm into life. Rising slowly, the lower arm extends and rotates towards the observer. It allows an increasingly intimate encounter with the timepiece on its 'wrist', before moving the watch through different planes to rotate its automatic winding rotor. The robotic arm then slowly retracts, folding back neatly to its starting position. An AWE-inspiring way of winding up a watch!

When Martin Smith, Art Director of Laikingland, first started the project his research looked at our obsession with replicating man in robot form. Having previously collaborated closely with Atelier Ted Noten on Lady Killer Vol. 1, the robot in a jewelry box that presents a beautiful diamond ring, Smith wanted to adapt the wonderful ´presenting robot´ concept further.

Like all robots that are announced as living and thinking, Laikingland's new piece is actually a mechanical machine programmed to do a specific task, but eventually in the case of A.W.E. Laikingland aimed for two tasks; not only to display and present the wonderful MB&F horological masterpieces but also to act as an elaborate 'watch winder'.

In addition Martin Smith wanted to celebrate the history of robots, hence the piece is truly analogue in its control and operation and a marriage of old and new technologies, craftsmanship and thinking. Accordingly he has also included an automata (is a self-operating machine or robot) reference with the hand-carved mechanical hand that adds a bit of magic and intrigue with its wonderful finger movement.

A.W.E. in the window of the MB&F MAD Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland.

Copyright © Martin Smith 2014, all rights reserved.