L’Epée 1839 Gaz Derrick

L’Epée 1839, the iconic mechanical clock manufacturer based in Switzerland, presents Gaz Derrick, a new kinetic timepiece inspired by the industrial machinery used in natural gas extraction. This creation joins to the club of contemporary horology creations such as Starfleet Machine, Destination Moon and Octopod.

Equipped with new caliber that has been recently developed by the manufacturer, Gaz Derrick boasts of 2 dials in the shape and style of gas gauges; each displays the hour and minutes.

The winding and time-setting key is embedded on the clock. The time setting nod is the gaz burner located on top of the derrick symbolizing the possibility to overcome any unexpected problems. As no holes can be made close to a gaz field, a control-valve-shape winding key is located on the right side of the base allowing the owner to operate the release of energy.

Designed, developed and manufactured by L’Epée 1839 in the Jura (Switzerland), Gaz Derrick takes its inspiration from vast industrial landscapes that captured our imagination and turns that into a tangible, luxurious and meticulous interpretation.

Inspired by industrial gauges, hours and minutes are displayed on two distinct and independent dials – somehow like a regulator – placed on top of each other, in the middle of the derrick. The similarities between the dials and true industrial gages are such that they drive us to the command-centre of the gaz derrick. All around, there are several elements, evoking a detailed realism, that pique your curiosity: valves, pipelines, reservoirs, pumps, and even a central drilling axis.

The power source of this clock is located in the black base that supports the various decorative elements.  The movement allows for precise timekeeping for up to 7 days.  Made up of 281 fine pieces and expertly assembled by hand, the handiwork can be admired through discreet openings at the base of the derrick.  Gaz Derrick is presented in two limited editions (50 pieces each) with a black base; the movement and elements are either yellow gold- or palladium-plated.

Inspired by various types of building toys from their childhood, young talented designer Martin BOLO and Arnaud Nicolas, Brand Director, succeeded in creating a homogeneous and realistic structure, relying on the high-quality workmanship courtesy of L’Epée 1839’s age-old expertise.

The main elements of a gas extraction platform become an example of industrial architecture, the design allowing you to quickly and easily identify the structure behind this clock. In the middle, the derrick is standing, then the pipelines, valves and pumps. Everything is protected by a harmonious and fine squared protective glass atop the black base.

After having developed a movement with arms for Sherman, or legs (Arachnophobia) or even accompanying it with a skull mechanism (Requiem), L’Epée is bringing one of its signature calibre movements back to the table and offsets the hour and minute indicators thanks to bevel gears.  Discover a horizontal movement with horizontal escapement paired with a central axis of nearly 200 mm in length; this enables L’Epée 1839 to display hours and minutes way off its original position. Displayed separately, like the regulator movement of a watch, two independent dials allow you to read the hour and the minutes away from the movement itself.

Here, the key drilling axis element of a derrick becomes the central axis for the hour and minute hands, displaying all information to the user as though it were a derrick. Going even further with this industrial aspect, the dials themselves have been designed to look like manometers.

A derrick gas burner, located on the top, allows you to adjust overpressure and maintain safe installation; at L’Epée 1839, the Burner becomes the time-set crown, allowing you to adjust the hour in case the power supply runs out; for example, if the owner forgets to wind the mechanism.   With its one-week power reserve, the 1853RV calibre mechanical movement is entirely made at the Delémont factory workshop.

Just as rich mineral resources are extracted from beneath the ground to fuel the need for power, the Gaz Derrick by L’Epée 1839 runs on the energy of its barrel located inside the base, underneath the derrick. Regulators used in the petroleum industry are based on a system of pressure relief valves; here, the same happens but in the form of a time regulator with its actuator gear train and escapement. A signature feature for the brand, the mechanism is visible through potholes, enabling those who like beauty and mechanical structures to appreciate the workmanship.

Gaz Derrick features two hands equipped with Superluminova so that you can read the time regardless of the lighting.

The most impressive element of this kinetic sculpture is without any doubts the derrick. It measures more than 14.3 centimetres – this is a far cry from standard watch-making dimensions – and both the gold and palladium versions boast of perfect finishes. Essential for drilling, it is the key element here as well. The derrick supports the axis which sends power and information from the clock mechanism to the hour and minute hands.

Inside the derrick, the perfectly executed drill strings are used to hoist rock fragments and gas. Gaz Derrick also incorporates this drill string; it has been turned into the central axis for the timer, which allows you to set the hour and minute indicators.

Lower down, on the ground level, you will find a few typical elements that bring to mind a particular world while at the same time remaining true to the design.

The inquisitive spirits and questioning minds who wish to have a deeper understanding of the realisation will wonder where the winding-key hole is. In fact, there is none… Remember we are in a special environment; no holes can be made. So, the control valve, on the right side of the base field, is in fact the key for winding the movement.

Each week, all you have to do is to open the valve so that enough power is supplied to the clock, just as a petroleum operation manager will feed the gas derrick with gaz. By making between 5 and 7 complete rotations, the watch will be run for the next 7 days.

Technical details

76.6007/002 – Gold-plated
76.6007/102 – Palladium-plated

Limited editions: 50 items per colour
Dimensions: 17.8 x 10 x 23.3 cm
Weight: 3.2 kg
Total of 281 components

Hour and minute display: two independent, white bright black pad-printed dials placed one on top of the other with hour indicator on the upper dial and minutes on the lower dial.  Time displayed by means of polished hands (gold- or palladium-plated depending on version) with Luminova (SLN Green to make up for lack of power).

L’epee 1839 Movement
Horizontal L’Epée 1839 movement designed and created in-house.
1853RV calibre – horizontal escapement
Frequency: 18’000 A/h / 2.5 Hz
Unique barrel
Power reserve: 7-day
Number of components: 147
Number of jewels: 11
Incabloc protection system
Gold- or palladium-plated brass mechanism
Hand-wind movement via solitary valve
Time adjust via crown above derrick
Materials: Stainless steel and brass
Included finishes: polished, sandblast, satin-finishing

Structure and Decorations
Number of components: 134 completely hand-finished components (movement not included).
– The Derrick: Fine industrial-style structure protecting the hour and minute referral mechanism.
– The Valve: Used for clock winding
– Motors: decorative, entirely hand-polished
– Pipeline: made from folded and plated brass rods
– Pump: Decorative, made from hand polished and satin-finished brass

Black aluminium base with exposed horizontal escapement on top and cylinder visible through two transparent circles
Mineral glass without prop

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.