In 1535, an alchemist builds an extraordinary mechanism encapsulated into a small golden device. The invention, designed to convey eternal life to its owner, survives its maker until 1997 when it shows up to an antiquarian. Fascinated with the strange device, Gris (Luppi) doesn't note that there's more than one person looking for it. The promise of eternal life has become an obsession to old and sick Mr. De la Guardia (Brook). He and his nephew (Perlman) will do anything to get the "Chronos Invention".