The Sun clock, an impressive wall clock designed in 1948 by Georges Chevalier for Baccarat, re-issued in 2014 for the legendary manufacture 250th anniversary is seeing the light again today with its beams painted in 20K gold and with a L’Epée 1839 movement.
A solid crystal sunburst, whose sixteen pointed beams provide eye-catching effects of majesty and beauty, was inspired by the symbol of the Sun king, Louis XIV, and used on the gates of his palace at Versailles.
The dimensions of the clock are impressive: one meter of diameter (38 inches) and around 40 kgs (90 lbs) in weight. The highly visible, superlatively finished in-house movement boasts a power reserve of 25 days. Hours and minutes are indicated on the central skeleton movement by hand-manufactured and polished hands. Behind that, a full rotating gear wheels train allows the clock to keep track of time.
The regulator, which is deliberately placed on top for all to admire, and, as a king, to dominate everything, controls the precision of time. Every component (except for the 25 jewels) of the superlatively finished palladium-treated brass movement and housing is designed and manufactured at L’Epée’s Swiss atelier. The gears and mainspring barrels are on full display thanks to a skeletonised main plate.
In its original version, the clock was displayed in the window of Baccarat first boutique in New York where it caught the eye of Arthur Miller who chose it to decorate the Manhattan apartment he shared with his wife, Marilyn Monroe.
The Sun clock is an ultra-exclusive clock, featuring essentially the same mechanisms as a wristwatch, only larger: gear train, mainspring barrel (three 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. Limited and numbered edition of 50 pieces.
Hours and minutes: Hand-made and hand-polished hands
Diameter: approx. 1 meter diameter
Thickness: 7.5 cm
The sixteen crystal pointed beams are cut by the The Best French Craftsmen, “Meilleurs Ouvriers de France”. Recognized worldwide, the title is awarded to an elite of artisans capable of shaping exceptional works of art.
Baccarat handmade crystal trimmed with 20-carat gold (800/1000e) on the back of each of the sixteen beams. The gold plate is hand-applied by one of Baccarat’s most talented and experienced “doreuse”.
L’Epée 1839 in-house designed and manufactured movement
Balance frequency: 18,000 vph / 2.5Hz
Barrels: 3 in series
Power reserve: 25 days
Incabloc shock protection system
Mechanism and main plate in palladium-treated brass
Polished palladium-plated brass dial
Manual-winding: Double-ended key to set time and wind movement from the front.
Movement is protected by a mineral glass door.
Baccarat is the oldest and greatest crystal manufacture in the world. Created in 1764 by permission of King Louis XV to this day it keeps its entire production in the same village in Lorraine where it first started. For over 250 years it has been the symbol of superb craftsmanship and of French “art de vivre”. The refined precision, the timeless elegance of its production, the continuous service to the royal houses and to the greats of the world have given Baccarat the status of a legend in its own right.
In addition to seducing the celebrities of the world, Baccarat’s designs immortalise the excellence of its savoir faire. This know-how is at the forefront of progress, handed down over the centuries by elite craftsmen and the ultimate emblem of an incomparable heritage. Ranging from iconic lighting to unique tableware and decorative objects, fine jewellery and tailor-made flacons, the brand’s products and tradition of excellence are recognised around the globe.
Georges Chevalier (1894 -1987)
A graduate of the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs, in Paris, Georges Chevalier began working with Baccarat in 1916 ending his career there in the early ‘70s. His designs earned Baccarat a place at the forefront of the history of the decorative arts.
Georges Chevalier ensured that the Baccarat name would forever be associated with modernity and beyond thanks to his stylistic vocabulary and clean shapes and proportions. He used his remarkable artistry to create an animated vision of Baccarat, whose spirit he grasped instantly and instinctively.
His close collaboration with the craftsmen enabled him to overcome any technical constraints, he grasped the full complexity of crystal. He mastered the creation of both form and decoration and focused on setting up a constructive dialogue between artist and craftsmen. Geoges Chevalier delved eagerly into the archives of the manufactory to reinterpret the Maison heritage and codes and invent new designs drawing on the expertise of the master glassmakers, glass blowers, cutters and engravers.