HISTORY 2021-02-25T16:45:39+01:00




The passages which you can read below are taken in part from the catalogue l’Epée Edition 1995-1996.

February 2021

A respect for traditions and ancestral savoir-faire.

L’Epée has tried to respect, with love and tenacity, the rules of an art and an aesthetic that the old masters have transmitted from generation to generation.

The models of our clocks are those of the past. Perfectly identical. With the addition of modern technologies which allow a more stable quality and ensure, furthermore, the interchangeability of the components.

L’Épée is the only manufacturer in the world to produce a clock of this quality. A century and a half of experience and history, the taste for meticulous, careful manual work and the exceptional location in the environment of the watchmaking craftsmen of the Pays de Montbéliard constitute the great and endless wealth of L’Épée.

The prestige of the brand

And L’Épée was awarded prestigious gold medals at various international exhibitions.

In Paris in 1889 and 1900, in Vienna in 1892, in Hanoi in 1902, in the Americas and in Great Britain. Yesterday as today, L’Épée is represented in most countries of the world.

Birth of the first major watchmaking industry

In 1777 in the Pays de Montbéliard, thanks to Frédéric Japy, the world’s first major watchmaking industry was born.

Later, several factories were built in the region, following the example of this renowned predecessor.

Among these was the watchmaking factory L’Épée, which, from 1839, began to produce movements, escapement carriages and then complete clocks. Music boxes too, which are now to be found in the world’s finest collections, in museums and private homes.

Origin & creation of the first carriage clocks

The first authentic carriage clock was made in Paris at the beginning of the 19th century by Abraham Louis Bréguet (1747-1823).

The name “officer’s clock” is linked to history. It is said that Napoleon, having almost lost a battle due to the delay of one of his officers, required them to take a carriage clock with them everywhere.

The orders to the various master clockmakers always said in their wording “an officer’s clock”. This is how the name was established.

Inventions enabling the creation of the carriage clock

The first mechanical clocks worked with weights and were therefore untransportable.

From the end of the 14th century and the end of the 17th century, thanks to the invention of the spring and then the balance-spring, clocks began to be transported in France and Central Europe.

What a revolution for the era: “to carry the time with you!”. At the end of the 18th century, clocks, known as coach watches, capucines or stable lanterns, appeared.