As we approach Peak Star Wars at last week’s Comic-Con, I’d like to present something so inexplicable yet potentially beguiling that it seems on the verge of exploding into a supernova of rich nerd lust. It is the MusicMachine 3, a music box shaped like an Imperial TIE Fighter. In fact the MusicMachine 3 contains two mechanical music playback systems, hidden in the rear of the fighter. One plays the Star Wars theme, obviously, but they also play, and I quote, themes from “Mission Impossible, James Bond on the right and The Godfather, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and The Persuaders on the left.”
It should also be noted, according to the company, that “the side wings play a vital role in propagating sound vibrations down from the combs to the naturally amplifying resonant base, manufactured by JMC Lutherie.” It is unclear if Darth Vader or any of the Storm Troopers ever whistled the tune to an old Roger Moore thriller-drama from the 1970s while pew pewing at the Rebels.
You can read about the TIE Fighter below but rest assured this mechanical marvel has all of the bells and ostentatious chimes necessary to keep you enthralled for years. It is handmade by MB&F, a watch company, and they’ve been producing MusicMachines for a few years now. This model, the third in the trilogy, is the last one they will make and features a number of hand-made mechanisms for the propagation of sound through the bright and shiny wing/fins.
From the documentation:
MusicMachine 3 completes the trilogy of MusicMachines. It is a limited edition of 99 pieces: 33 pieces with white finish; 33 pieces with black finish; and 33 pieces with ‘chrome’ finish.
Why does this exist? And how much does it cost? To answer the first question we need to understand that the founder of MB&F, Maximilian Büsser, is an unabashed nerd and creates most of his watches – including some frog-like pieces that I looked at a few years back – with sly references to sci-fi and war planes. The answer to the second question is equally simple: about $18,000 if you can find it.