The year 2019 marks a milestone in the history of space exploration: it is 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 expedition that brought about Man’s first steps on the moon. It is also a landmark year for L’Epée 1839, which is celebrating the 180th anniversary of its watchmaking art manufacture. So, the brand created the Space Module, a Swiss-made weather instrument whose design is inspired by the first lunar modules from the 1960s.
The barometer—an essential indicator of good or bad weather—measures atmospheric pressure. Meanwhile the hygrometer measures the percentage of humidity in the air. Lastly, the thermometer indicates the temperature of the environment. The three mechanical and modular instruments are placed one on top of the other on a stable base adorned with finishes and decoration inspired by the tools used for space exploration.
This mechanical weather station device was created by Martin Bolo, a promising young designer. He drew his inspiration from the tiered structure of lunar modules and the unmistakable shape of cylinder landing gear.
Space Module weighs 3.8 kg (8.4 lbs). Its diameter of 25 cm/9.8 in and height of 21 cm/8.3 in (for the most complete version) give it a balanced stature that enables it to go almost anywhere.
Space Module is a limited edition of 50 pieces, available in gilded and silver-colored versions.
The module’s overall architecture draws on the construction and engineering conventions used for the various different modules designed for lunar missions, which notably include the independent tiered system. The symmetry of its silhouette and the various design elements immerse the viewer into the brand’s beloved world of exploration and innovation.
Housed between the three feet under the base are a number of details: a decorative satellite dish, an anemometer to measure the wind wherean atmosphere is present, three propulsion engines for returning to base and, of course, a flag, the ultimate symbol of conquest.
For 180 years, the leitmotif of L’Epée 1839 creations has been Dare to be different, which this year has led the brand to deliberately not include a watch movement in this new piece.
Mechanical Weather Station
The Space Module weather station presents three functions: hygrometer, thermometer and barometer. It is entirely mechanical, with no electrical components to disturb the machine’s smooth operation in any environment. There is just a single calibration screw provided for each instrument to guarantee the tool’s accuracy.
The decision to use only mechanical instruments reflects the brand’s long history and its conscious desire to create objects that stand the test of time. And here it also incorporates a more far-reaching idea: in all distant exploration, energy, sustainability and environmental impact are the main keys to success. A 100% mechanical module therefore increases the lifespan of a module, removing the constraints of the sun’s position and battery issues.
Space Module operates best in an Earth-like atmosphere. Although Earth is not the only planet with an inhabitable atmosphere, the device is currently only able to display a data range similar to the conditions on planet Earth. So the barometer indicates between 980 and 1040 Hpa: the higher the value indicated by the hand, the better the weather. The hygrometer indicates the percentage of humidity in the air—from 0 to 100%—while the temperature ranges from -10 to +50°C. All of this data is shown on a dual scale in inches of mercury and Fahrenheit.
The data is indicated by means of the red hand, which is finely laser-cut to represent an intergalactic spaceship flying at full throttle. Meanwhile the three dials are made from stainless steel with a satin-brushed and polished finish.
Modular system & Construction
L’Epée 1839 has chosen to use a modular structure. The three independent tiers can be installed on the base in a staggered fashion by means of a secure system of bayonets with magnetic bolts. Each module operates entirely autonomously.
The construction constraints of exploratory devices have also been implemented here, with engineers having to meet the sizable challenge of reducing the mass as much as possible without sacrificing any technical or aesthetic aspects. This led them to use lightweight materials such as aluminum.
Two versions of Space Module have been created. One is comprised of a set of gilded pieces—dial, base and stand—while on the second version, these elements are palladium-plated. The addition of black anodized components (the legs and fastening rings) enhances the decoration and the finishes, which include polishing, sand-blasting, satin-brushing and engraving.
Limited Edition: 50 pieces per color
Dimensions: Ø257 x 221 mm
Weight: 3.8 kg
3x Weather instruments
-140 mm x 35 mm dodecagon [H and T] / 140 mm x 57 mm dodecagon [B]
– Stainless steel dial
– Black elox aluminum / laser-engraved back
– Display with curved hand painted red [spaceship shaped]
– Calibration bolt accessible from the back
– Rings can be attached to each other or the base using three bayonets with magnetic bolts
– Weight: approx 3 x 0.8 kg
• DOUBLE diaphragm aneroid
• Dual display
• 980 to 1040 Hpa [ 29 to 30.7 inHg]
• Thermometer with bimetallic strip spiral spring
• Dual display
• -10 to +50° Celsius [15 to 120° Fahrenheit]
• Hygrometer with metal spiral spring
• 0 – 100%
+ 1 Base
– Base in laser-engraved anodized aluminum
– Black anodized aluminum leg / Diamond-polished brass foot [Palladium or Gold]
– Multiple decorative imitation scientific instruments
Three propulsion engines: stainless steel nozzles
“L’EPEE 1839” flag in black PVD
+ Glass dome
– Bezel in black anodized aluminum
– Dome in blown glass
-Can be affixed no matter the weather instrument: completely modular