When know-How becomes Art

over 170 years of history and passion

History and Heritage

1839
Creation

At the age of 41, Auguste L’Epée (1798-1875) joined forces with Pierre-Henri Paur from Geneva to found the L’Epée Manufacture in Saint Suzanne in the Doubs department of France. At the time, the Manufacture produced horological products and music boxes.

1850
The escapement

Keen to enrich its know-how, the L’Epée Manufacture started producing platform escapements for prestigious alarm clocks and carriage clocks from 1850. This was a key turning point in the company’s development.


1857
Expertise and patents

Just seven years after launching this new line of business, L’Epée submitted its first patents to the authorities to establish and protect its expertise. The Manufacture won recognition throughout the clockmaking world for its high-quality platform escapements, several of which presented highly specific systems that were very useful at the time, placing the company at the forefront of the horological scene. Some of these patents, such as those protecting the “anti-knocking” system, the “auto-starting” mechanism, and the constant-force escapement, made a lasting impression on their era.

1877 - 1889
Record-breaking annual production

The Manufacture’s reputation defined it as both the leader and a reference in escapements. The company’s annual production of platform escapements gradually increased over two decades, culminating at 200,000 platform escapements in 1889—nothing short of exceptional for the time!

1889 - 1902
Gold medals

This growing success was rewarded with various gold medals at the World Fairs held in Paris in 1889 and 1900, in Vienna in 1892, in Hanoi in 1902, and in America and the United Kingdom.

Early 20th century
Diversification

During these first few decades, the L’Epée Manufacture decided to diversify by producing other mechanical movements for both clockmaking (precision instruments, for example) and associated industries.

1975
Luxury watchmaking

1975 marked a major turning point for the Manufacture. New company directors reoriented production to focus on the design and creation of luxury clocks and carriage clocks.

1976
Aeronautics

In 1976, the Manufacture participated in a major aeronautical project, the Concorde, by fitting the first commercial flights of this supersonic airplane with wall clocks. They remain the only clocks ever fitted in supersonic aircraft used in civil aviation.

1994
The Giant Regulator

L'Epée unveiled the largest clock in the world, known as “the Giant Regulator”, earning it a place in the Guinness Book of Records. This one-off creation measures 2.20 m tall and weighs 1.2 tons. Its mechanical movement alone weighs 120 kg. This modern-day masterpiece required more than 2,800 hours of work and was unveiled at the Louvre in Paris, before touring Europe, the Middle East and the US.

2009
The creation of a new modern collection

L’Epée 1839 went on to develop a collection of exceptional desk clocks, including a sophisticated range of classic carriage clocks, contemporary models (Le Duel) and minimalist avant-garde models (La Tour). The L’Epée creations feature complications such as retrograde seconds, power-reserve indicators in the form of animated logos, perpetual calendars, tourbillons, chiming mechanisms and more, all designed and produced in-house. The very long power reserves and remarkable finishes of these creations have become brand signatures.

2014
175TH ANNIVERSARY, LAUNCH OF THE ART LINE.

For its 175th anniversary, L’Epée 1839 wanted its aficionados to be surprised … L’Epée management wanted something unique, something stunning, something that catch the eyes, that everyone will remember. So L’Epée launches its ART line Collection. A collection that is intended to shock, evoke, and inspire people, not to toe the line. In the Art Line of L’Epée, there is clearly no space and no interest in object for the common man to own. L’Epée is creating horological sculptures, timekeeping sights, and wacky Table watches, giving the experienced aficionados of the world a way out – clearly something not all, but many consciously or subconsciously have been looking for.

See all collection

Nowadays
KINETIC HOROLOGICAL SCULPTURE

In the art line collection mainly, but not only, L’Epée likes to surprise people. Embracing all the challenges offered to her, L’Epée is sending us from surprises to surprises. After Arachnophobia, Melchior, Sherman, you never know what will be the next creation of L’Epée, stay tuned for the next remarkable creation…