When know-How becomes Art

over 180 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.

1850-1889
A leading manufacturer of escapements

Keen to enrich its savoir-faire, the L’Epée Manufacture started producing platform escapements for prestigious alarm clocks  and carriage clocks makers.
Through its expertise and patents, the Manufacture won recognition for its high-quality platform escapements, placing the company at the forefront of the horological scene. The company’s annual production of platform escapements gradually increased over two decades, culminating at 200,000 platform escapements in 1889 — it was record breaking for the time!


1889 to Early 20th century
Expertise, patents and diversification

L’Epée has won a number of gold awards at International  Exhibitions for major improvements in the watch making field, 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.
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.

1970
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.

1981
Royal Wedding Gift

Hundred L'Epée clocks in fitted Hermès leather cases were gifted to important guests who attended the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981.

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. 
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. 

2014
175TH ANNIVERSARY, LAUNCH OF THE CREATIVE ART LINE.

For its 175th anniversary, L’Epée 1839 wanted its aficionados to be surprised. 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.
L’Epée 1839 first Creative Art Line piece. “The Starfleet Machine” made in collaboration with MB&F, marking the beginning of a successful partnership.

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2015 to present day
Kinetic horological sculptures

Enriching collections of unique kinetic horological sculptures with more spectacular collaborations, for the people that expect the unexpected.

2019
180th Anniversary of the Manufacture

On this occasion, was launched the creation of our legendary TIME FAST D8, developed in partnership with young talented designer Georg Foster from ECAL.
The TIMEFAST D8 is a vintage-inspired race car and a modern clock in one kinetic sculpture that tells the time.