L’Épée 1839 Hot Balloon: The First Suspended Clock

The Hot Balloon, the mechanical clock in the form of a hot air balloon created by L’Épée 1839, follows the brand’s other co-creations – the Vanitas and Arachnophobia wall clocks. Placed simply on a table or suspended from the ceiling as if flying through the air, this kinetic sculpture symbolizes adventure and whimsy while remaining an exceptional mechanical timepiece.

An official partner of l’École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), and specifically its Masters program in Advanced Studies in Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship, L’Épée 1839 created this clock on the theme of travel in collaboration with the talented design student Margo Clavier.

Inspired by the hot air balloon and all that it represents – adventure, imagination, discovery, ambition, freedom – Margo and L’Épée 1839 unveil a mechanical clock with impressive, sometimes floating presence which displays the hours and minutes for eight days.

An authentic piece of watchmaking art, Hot Balloon can also be admired from below, just as one might view a hot-air balloon overhead, as is the very first mechanical clock that can be hung from the ceiling.

The clock is set and wound in either position through an ingenious system that combines form and function, design and engineering, precision and durability. To set the time, simply turn the wheel-shaped crown located in place of the balloon’s burner blast valve. Winding the barrel is less intuitive and rather unexpected: the key is the balloon’s basket. Simply turn the basket to power the mechanism.

Full of poetry, Hot Balloon comprises 207 components; all produced in-house at the L’Épée 1839 manufacture, and finished and assembled by hand by a passionate team. The clock, sometimes placed on a table, sometimes suspended, measures 31 cm in height, and 17 cm in diameter.

Hot Balloon has been created in a limited edition of 50 pieces for each model: Palladium, Black and Palladium, Blue and Palladium, Red and Palladium, or Gold.

Technical Specifications

74.6002/004: Gold
74.6002/104: Palladium
74.6002/204: Black and Palladium
74.6002/404: Blue and Palladium
74.6002/504: Red and Palladium

Limited Series: 50 per configuration
Dimensions: Height 31 cm; Diameter (balloon) 17.2 cm; Height (basket) 8 cm
Weight: 3.9 kg
217 components

Desk clock and suspension clock
Time displayed on two stacked cylinders; flame-shaped indicator serving as hour and minute hands
Wound by the basket
Time setting via the button above the basket

L’Épée 1839 Movement, designed and manufactured in-house
1855 LR Caliber
Balance vibrations: 18,000 vph – 2.5 Hz
Single barrel
Power reserve: 8 days
Number of jewels: 17
Number of components: 207
Incabloc shock protection system
Palladium or gold plated mechanism, depending on model
Materials: brass and stainless steel

The Basket
The basket is an essential piece of the movement since it serves to wind the barrel.
Materials: brass and stainless steel
Finish comprised of polishing, sand-blasting and satin finishing.

The Balloon
Materials: brass and stainless steel
Finish comprised of polishing, sand-blasting, satin finishing and painting.
A system for ceiling suspension composed of a cable and a hook at the top of the balloon.

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