From the Ferrari 250 Testarossa, to the Lamborghini Miura, the 1960s undoubtedly witnessed the pinnacle of design for racing cars, showcasing the epitome of automotive aesthetics. L’Epée 1839 chose to embrace this thematic with the introduction of the Time Fast II in Silver Chrome. With its sleek and reflective surface, Time Fast II shifts its artistic dimension from a demonstrative to a more evocative kinetic art piece.
Celebrating the Iconic Lines of 1960’s racing cars.
The Chrome, renowned in the automotive industry for its ability to elevate car parts, finds new expression in the skilled hands of L’Epée 1839, as it adorns the full bodywork, reminiscing the iconic lines of 1960’s race car models.
The 1960s was a golden age for sports car performance and sleek sensual design.
And it was probably in 1960s when the most beautiful cars were ever made.
Sports car racing features cars that have two seats and enclosed wheels, and they usually run over relatively large distances so there is an emphasis on reliability and efficiency.
Sports car racing in the 1960s was responsible for the now mythical reputations of racetracks like Le Mans, Sebring and Daytona. And it cemented the reputations of the most prestigious car manufacturers like Porsche, Ferrari, Jaguar, Bentley, Aston-Martin, Maserati, Lamborghini, Alfa-Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW…
Automotive & Art
The captivating fusion of art and engineering found in the automotive industry resonates within numerous artists and designers, who perceive the car as a symbol of speed, grace and freedom. The link between artists and the automotive has been found in some of the greatest artistic pieces such as sculptures and photographs.
The remarkable combination of aesthetics and mechanical engineering not only captivates artists but also attracts passionate collectors, as cars hold a multitude of meanings for different individuals — passion, nostalgia, cherished memories, and more. Cars become objects of personal expression, evoking deep emotions and connecting people to their unique stories.
Time Fast II in short
Time Fast II is built on a H-chassis in aluminum as the racing cars were then. A three-spoke steering wheel (that sets the time) is made just like those of the real sport cars. Likewise, the spoked stainless wheels are meticulously crafted just like the originals, and their soft compound rubber tires are filled with special foam to replicate the pressure of tires on their full-sized racing counterparts.
And in a nod to the ultimate in authenticity, the tires on Time Fast II rest slightly flat on the bottom, just as they are in reality.
The time displays (hours and minutes) of the manufacture 8-day movement are on the dual air filters feeding the V8’s two banks of carburetors.
Under the driver’s helmet sits the perpetually animated 2.5 Hz escapement and turning the ignition key starts the pistons of the V8 engine moving realistically up and down. You can almost smell the high-octane fuel in the air as those pistons fire up!
And naturally, Time Fast II sports a functional manual gear stick that selects between winding the time movement, winding the piston automaton movement, and neutral. Winding is done by turning the rear wheels. Pushing Time Fast II backwards along a table to wind the two movements brings back childhood memories of playing with those toy cars that you pulled along to charge the spring before letting them fly across the room under their own steam.
Construction and Inspiration
Time Fast II is inspired by racing sports cars of the 1960s, a golden era of long-distance automotive competition.
The name Time Fast II references the fact that it’s a 2-seater car, has two movements (one for time and one for the engine automate), racing cars are getting faster, modern time seems to be running faster, and it is L’Epée 1839’s second car inspired clock.
The floor and body are screwed to a H-chassis as in their full-sized counterparts.
Time Fast II features two independent movements, both with their own power source. The first movement is in the cockpit and is responsible for keeping the time. Hours and minutes are displayed by rotating stainless steel disks on the air filters feeding the dual carburetor banks on top of the engine. The 8-day movement is regulated by a visible 2.5 Hertz escapement in the ‘driver’s helmet’ and powered by a mainspring visible in the passenger’s ‘seat’.
The second movement powers the engine automat. Turning the dashboard key starts the engine, triggering the pistons of the V8 to go up and down. This animation is completely independent of the time movement.
A manual gear lever selects between winding the time movement, winding the engine automate or neutral. Winding is accomplished by selecting the appropriate gear and pulling the car backwards.
The three-spoke steering wheel is assembled just as the original steering wheels were, with a center rim and two outer rims held together by 12 rivets. The steering wheel is turned counterclockwise to set the time, while turning clockwise allows repositioning of the wheel to centre.
Highlighting just how much meticulous attention to detail L’Epée 1839 put into ensuring that Time Fast II is as accurate as possible to the cars that inspired it, the stainless-steel spoked wheel rims are crafted just like the real racing wheels were in the 1960s. The tires are in soft rubber for optimal grip when winding the movements and filled with a carefully selected foam compound so that the tires are slightly flat on the bottom to the same degree as real sport’s car racing tires on a real car racing track.
L’Epée 1839 Time Fast II in Chrome Technical specifications
Dimensions: 450 mm long, 189 mm wide, 120 mm high
Weight: 4.7 kg
- Hour and minute displays on rotating disks
- Time is set via counterclockwise rotation of the steering wheel, clockwise rotation repositions the steering wheel as desired
- The clock is wound using the rear wheels
- Reversing the car (and rotating the rear wheels) winds the mainspring barrels
- A gear box lever selects which movement barrel is wound during winding
- Time Fast II moves freely forwards and backwards in neutral.
- The key on the dashboard starts the engine piston automat
- Tiered mechanical movement, L’Epée 1839 1855 MHD in-house caliber
- Escapement: 2.5 Hz/18,000 bph
- 26 jewels
- Power reserve: 8-days
- Materials: Palladium-plated brass, polished stainless steel,
- Incabloc protection system
Bodywork and wheels
- Blown glass dome, machined and polished to simulate the driver’s helmet
- Top and bottom bodywork in aluminum
- 12-spoked rims in stainless-steel
- Tires in soft compound rubber with foam inside offering authentic deformation of the tire on the ground
Materials & finishing
- Materials: palladium-plated brass, stainless steel, anodized aluminium
- Finishes: Polished, satin-finished and sand-blasted movement / polished and satin-finished rims / Silver chrome bodywork
Georg Foster, designer + ECAL
Son of an engineer, Georg Foster (26) discovered a passion for mechanics at a young age. After studying design in London (London College of Communication and Central Saint Martins), Georg continued his professional development in the fields of furniture, jewelry and accessories, working in particular on artisanally produced motorbike helmets. This varied experience brought him closer to the world of luxury, know-how and high-precision work. In 2017, he enrolled in a Master of Advanced Studies in Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship at ECAL (Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne). Established 10 years ago, this program brought him into direct contact with industry professionals, enabling him to work with prestigious brands in the fields of tableware, fashion, gastronomy, cosmetics and fine watchmaking.
During Georg studies, thanks to a partnership between ECAL and L’Epée 1839, Arnaud and Georg got to know each other and design the First Time Fast. Arnaud already had in mind the design of a second cars, a 2 seated one and when time has come to start the development, he naturally came to George to ask him to work with him on the project.
L’EPEE 1839: Switzerland’s leading clock manufacture
L’Epée 1839 has been a prominent clockmaking firm for more than 180 years. Today, it is the only manufacture in Switzerland to specialize in the production of high-end clocks. Founded in 1839 by Auguste L’Epée, the company originally focused on producing music boxes and watch components. Even at this early stage, the brand was synonymous with entirely handmade pieces.
Starting in 1850, the manufacture became a leader in producing escapements and began to develop special regulators for alarm clocks, table clocks, and musical watches. It gained wide recognition and filed numerous patents for special escapements, particularly for use in its anti-knocking, auto-starting, and constant force systems. L’Epée became the principal supplier of several famous clockmakers and went on to win many gold medals at World Fairs.
During the 20th century, the firm owed its success largely to its remarkable travel clocks. Many associate the L’Epée brand with influential individuals and people in positions of power; members of the French government often gave clocks to their distinguished guests. When the Concorde supersonic airplane began its commercial flights in 1976, L’Epée fitted the cabins with wall clocks to give passengers the time. In 1994, the brand demonstrated its penchant for challenges by constructing the largest pendulum clock in the world, the “Giant Regulator”, which features in the Guinness Book of Records.
L’Epée 1839 is currently based in Delémont in the Swiss Jura Mountains. With CEO Arnaud Nicolas at the helm, it has developed an exceptional collection of table clocks that includes an entire range of sophisticated clocks.
The collection focuses on three themes:
– Creative Art: artistic pieces first and foremost developed in partnership with external designers as joint creations. These clocks surprise, inspire, and even shock the most seasoned collectors. They are for those consciously or unconsciously looking for exceptional objects.
– Contemporary Timepieces: technical creations with a contemporary design (Le Duel, Duet, etc.) and minimalist, avant-garde models (La Tour) incorporating complications such as retrograde seconds, power reserve indicators, moon phases, tourbillons, chiming mechanisms, and perpetual calendars.
– Carriage Clocks: also known as “officers’ clocks,” these historical pieces issued from the brand’s heritage also feature their fair share of complications: chiming mechanisms, minute repeaters, calendars, moon phases, tourbillons, and more.
All of L’Epée 1839’s timepieces are designed and manufactured in-house. The clocks’ technical prowess, combination of form and function, long power reserves, and remarkable finishes have become signature.