Piece, a collection of one of one creations
The Skull is the ultimate symbol of life, death and human experience – as such it has played a key role in both Horological and Art History. Through Fiona Krüger’s artistic approach to Haute Horlogerie and L’Epée’s know-how, the Skull has been re-interpreted into a mechanical Vanitas painting for the 21st Century.
Vanitas indicates the time by way of two hands which are centrally mounted on the nose. These hand-polished hands indicate the hours and minutes, hiding and revealing the skull’s eyes as if they were playing hide-and-seek.
Power reserve indicator: an indicator framed by two rows of teeth opens up as time passes, providing an intuitive view of remaining energy. When the mouth is completely opened (18.5mm a part from each other) the clock looks like it is “yawning”.
Vanitas is a luxury one-of-a-kind wall clock, featuring essentially the same mechanisms as a wristwatch, only larger: gear train, mainspring barrels (well, five in series), balance wheel, escape wheel and anchor. L’Epée’s regulator also features an Incabloc shock protection system, something generally only seen in wristwatches, which minimises the risk of damage when the clock is being transported.
Larger components, however, make finely finishing the movement much more challenging than finishing a wristwatch, because of the bigger surface areas. L’Epée 1839 CEO Arnaud Nicolas explains: “It’s not just a case of double the size of the components, double the time it takes to finish them. The complexity increases exponentially. For polishing you need to apply the same pressure as you would finishing a watch movement, but on a bigger surface, and that’s more challenging. It’s thanks to the experience and dexterity of our clockmakers that the Vanitas clock can feature such superlative fine-finishing.”
Form follows function is a principle associated with modernist architecture and industrial design in the 20th century. When it is reinterpreted by L’Epée 1839, the movement and the shape of the clock become one. The movement itself defines the shape of the clock and the design cannot be recognized without the movement. The eyes are the barrels (two of them), the mouth is the power reserve, the philtra is the differential allowing the teeth to open up.
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
Height: 306 mm, width: 220 mm, thickness : 86 mm
Weight : Approx. 5 kg
MATERIALS & FINISHING
Aluminium Skull, stainless-steel and brass movement
Mat Housing in Black Anodized Aluminum with mineral glass
Mechanism in palladium-coated brass