L'Epée, a Swiss luxury brand, specializes in manufacturing
elegant mechanical clocks.
For over 180 years, L’Epée has been at the forefront of watch and clock making. Today, it is the unique specialized manufacture in Switzerland dedicated to making high- end clocks. L’Epée was founded in 1839, the same year as the eponymous watch brand Patek Philippe, initially to make watch components and music boxes, by Auguste L’Epée, a Swiss Watch Industrialist, who set up the business near Besançon, France. The L’Epée hallmark was that all parts were made entirely by hand. From 1850 onwards, the manufacture became a leading light in the production of ‘platform’ escapements, creating regulators especially for alarm clocks, table clocks and musical watches.
The manufacture became a well-known specialist owning a large number of patents on special escapements, supplying many of the most celebrated watchmakers of the day. L’Epée has won a number of gold awards at International Exhibitions. During the 20th century, L’Epée owed much of its reputation to its superlative carriage clocks and, for many, L’Epée was the clock of the influential and powerful, providing business leaders, governments and royal courts, in addition to being the gift of choice of French government officials to elite guests. When the Concorde began its commercial flights in 1976, L’Epée fitted the cabins with wall clocks. And in 1994, the brand demonstrated its penchant for challenges by constructing the Giant Regulator — the largest pendulum clock in the world, which is featured in the Guinness Book of Records.
1994: The Giant Regulator
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.
L’Epée is now based in Delémont in the Swiss Jura Mountains.
Under the guidance of CEO and Artistic Director, Arnaud Nicolas.
L’Epée 1839 has developed an exceptional table clock collection, encompassing a range of sophisticated classic carriage clocks, contemporary design clocks (Le Duel, La Tour...) and avant-garde horological sculptures (Sherman, Starfleet Machine, Arachnophobia...) launched since the celebration of its 175th anniversary. This collection is intended to shock, evoke and inspire people, not to toe the line. L’Epée clocks feature complications including retrograde seconds, power reserve indicators, perpetual calendars, tourbillons and striking mechanisms – all designed and manufactured in-house. Ultra-long power reserves have become a signature of the brand as well as superlative fine finishing
Clockmaking Expertise and Passion
Specializing in horological complications for many years, L'Epée has built up an excellent reputation around the world. From computer-assisted design to the final technical checks and adjustments, all employees enthusiastically contribute to the creation of L'Epée timepieces. Their mastery of various tools and working methods has enabled the brand to adapt its complications in surprising ways: the transformation of the double retrograde seconds into a “laser cannon” on its Starfleet Machine is a prime example.
L’Epée is one of the few Manufactures to design, develop and internaly produce its own timepieces. Armed with exceptional expertise, the L’Epée artisans and employees make it their duty to perpetuate the expertise inherent to the production of all its components, and to form partnerships with the best specialists in the artistic crafts whenever these are required for a creation. All L’Epée products bear the highly coveted “Swiss Made” label and are, for the most part, conform to all the new regulations associated with this label. They strive to maintain a continuously high level of excellence in order to meet the quality standards exacted by the brand’s clientele of collectors and enthusiasts.
A Balance of Modernity and Tradition
Drawing on its heritage, L'Epée has preserved its know-how over the years, allowing it to create a world that combines modernity and clockmaking traditions. The brand’s constant quest for innovative solutions and its unremitting desire to push back boundaries have enabled it to offer a varied collection of clocks that are both contemporary and extraordinary.