History of L'Épée


[ extract from the L’Épée catalogue 1995-1996 ]

"The weight-driven clocks were the first mechanical clocks and, hence, were impossible to transport. From the end of the 14th century and the end of the 17th century, with the invention of the spring and the sprung balance, clocks started to be transported in France and in Central Europe. What a revolution at the time: “ Carrying time with you! ”. At the end of the 18th century, clocks, also known as carriage watches, “Capucines” or stable lanterns appeared.

Abraham Louis Bréguet created the first authentic carriage clock in Paris at the beginning of the 19th century (1747-1823). The name “officer’s clock” is based on a historical anecdote. It is said that Napoléon, having almost lost a battle because one of his officers was late, demanded that his military chiefs carry a carriage clock with them at all times. Orders placed with master watchmakers always included the reference “a clock for an officer”. This is where the name comes from.

Frédéric Japy created the world’s first major watchmaking factory in 1777 in the area of Montbéliard in France. Thereafter, several factories were created following the example of this illustrious predecessor. One of them was the L’Épée clockmaking factory that in 1839 began producing movements, platform escapements and even complete clocks. The factory also produced musical boxes that now appear in the world’s finest collections, in museums and in private homes.

L’Épée received prestigious gold awards at various international exhibitions. In Paris in 1889 and 1900, in Vienna in 1892, in Hanoi in 1902, in the Americas and Great Britain. Today as in the past, L’Épée is represented in most countries in the world.

With love and persistence, L’Épée has upheld the rules of art and aesthetics passed down from generation to generation.

Models of our clocks are the faithful models of early masterpieces. They are perfect reproductions with, in addition, the supply of modern technologies that allow a lasting quality and interchangeable parts.

L’Épée is the only company in the world to produce a complete clock of this quality. A century and a half of history and experience, meticulous work by craftsmen and the exceptional situation in the environment of watchmakers in the area of Montbéliard in France, are, in fact, the inexhaustible wealth of L’Épée."

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