“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

L’Epée Time Fast D8

The collaboration of designer Georg Forster and L’Epée 1839 has resulted in a clock that made every visitor turn in their tracks. We table-raced with the L’Epée Time Fast D8 like a child at Baselworld.

For a good reason, clock making has stopped being considered as a sexy job with the advent of electricity. In fact, mechanical clocks as such make even less sense than mechanical wristwatches. Being a part of your home or office decoration clocks are visible at all times and therefore a silently motionless mechanism with a past minute frozen on its face looks rather odd. Instead of an individual, they typically belong to or are maintained by a number of people, e.g. a family. We all know what shared responsibility normally results in: missed tasks and routines. Thus, clocks would be the first to be changed to something electronic and the last to return to their former glory when you can afford one.

All in all, anyone who jumps into the clock making business these days should have a rather clear vision in terms of how to find their way into the interior spaces under these circumstances. Well, it seems that L’Epée 1839 has a winning recipe: create soulful and daring designs many times in collaboration with other workshops, such as MB&F, Baccarat or Fiona Krüger, make sure you don’t compromise on quality and deliver the clocks with a long power reserve.

We took the new Time Fast D8 single seater clocks to a spin at Baselworld 2019. While there, I noticed the visitors came by and were stuck irreparably staring at the car models with an ever growing smile. Automobiles in general and sports cars especially have always attracted both the young and old. When a toy is so realistically developed in the inimitable style of the ‘50s, casted in heavy metal (4.7 kg each) with a robust mechanism inside and with real car paint on it, you can’t help but listen to your own heartbeat drumming in your ears. As we’ve heard, many curiosities ended up in an order right at Baselworld.

The clock is a collaboration with Georg Forster, a Masters student back then in the Advanced Studies in Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship program at ECAL (Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne). In his project with L’Epée 1839 he designed a vehicle originally invented to bridge distances to travel in time. The combination of the classic cigar shape with the futuristic elements such as the typography or time display’s brushed and bended aluminium frame bring out the child animal from the majority of grownups out there. What’s more, the little discoveries like the steering wheel that you can set the time with or that the clock is wound up just like those pull-back toy cars you used to play with make it a love affair.

Watchmakers designed the mechanism totally around Georg Forster’s shape. The wheels of the tiered movement are visible from the sides and the plates form the chassis. The escapement is positioned horizontally under the driver’s helmet. The moves of the balance wheel to the left and the right at 3Hz gives back the pilot’s tense attention perfectly. When it stops, you know he/she is sleeping, which is not healthy behind the wheel, is it? You need to wind it once in a week to avoid this.

Time Fast D8 comes in six different paints: white with blue stripes, grey, green, blue, red and blue with white stripes, each in a 100-piece limited edition.

Just like one instantly became a dragon after watching Bruce Lee fight, I am quite certain that many youngsters imagined themselves creating something like this right upon getting home. For projects such as the Time Fast D8 and companies like L’Epée, being a clockmaker is becoming sexy again.


Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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