With a futuristic design inspired by the film world, and a subtle nod to the mechanics of yesteryear, the Time Machine by L’Epée 1839 is nothing less than a mechanical sculpture that tells the time. The entire upper part revolves. A single press sets the entire time capsule – the glass tube, the carriage, the time display, and the whole mechanical movement – rotating and transporting you through time.
The two propellers at either end of the carriage are also mobile: the first winds the movement, while the second adjusts the time.
The time capsule, powered by all these rotations, rests on a stable and immobile tripod that ensures total stability for safe take-offs and landings. A wing-nut system at the center of the clock locks the rotation of the capsule and stabilizes the precious mechanism during the journey.
With its 370 components, the Time Machine is a complex table clock measuring 22 cm high and 26 cm wide. It includes a mechanical L’Epée 1839 caliber featuring an 8-day power reserve. As with any dream machine, the onlooker immediately seeks to understand how it works: the motor is therefore visible in its entirety, providing a clear view of the mechanics and their timekeeping.
The Time Machine is produced in three limited editions of 50 pieces each: silvered, black and silvered, and black and gold.
Inspired by the most famous time machines and created with meticulous attention to detail, the Time Machine is the combined result of three minds from very different backgrounds: engineer and creator Nicolas Bringuet, designer Martin Bolo, and artistic director and general manager of L’Epée 1839, Arnaud Nicolas. Together they have created a mobile and truly dynamic scientific instrument that offers some subtle nods to the worlds of industry and cinema, while shining a light on mechanical clockmaking.
Each element of the Time Machine has been conceived and designed to evoke a memory. The capsule consists of a glass tube with a propeller at each end, symbolizing movement, the vortex, and science. The technically indispensable part required to lock the tube’s rotation is inspired by the very first machine featured in the film “The Time Machine”. Finally, the tripod reflects the temporal convector of one of the most famous American cars of the 1980s, the DeLorean. Every detail is significant.
The dynamic thrust of the object is omnipresent throughout this project, since no journey through time can be made without space. L’Epée 1839 thus set out to create a mobile clock. The first striking feature is the 360-degree rotation of the time capsule and the entire gear train of the watchmaking movement visible within it. Every rotating device also needs a locking system: and this one has been designed as a wing-nut that is turned to block the rotation, thus making the owner the key player in its usage.
The Time Machine displays the hour and minutes by means of two black metal cylinders inside a glass cylinder (the time capsule) which is framed by a propeller at each end. Each cylinder is machined and decorated by hand. The numbers, notably, are manually filled with white lacquer for maximum visibility. The time sequence and reading is made possible by a central indicator placed between the hour and minute cylinder.
The propellers are not simply a significant secondary design element, they are the two key elements of the timekeeping mechanism. The left propeller sets the time, while the right winds the barrel. These two propellers enable the owner to adjust their machine, and thus control their journey through time.
Of course, the time capsule containing the caliber 1855 (also present in the Destination Moon), is protected by a cylindrical glass so that no particle can change the future, the past, and the present… making this a true time machine.
We can all picture images of flying contraptions allowing us to travel through time, complete with their bumpy landings. L’Epée 1839 has therefore deliberately created a stationary tripod for stability on all surfaces, whether a runway or a simple desk, while incorporating slight flexibility in the foot.
Although accustomed to exceptional handmade finishes, the experienced observer will note the multiple alternations of polished and satin-finished edges, thus creating marked angles and accentuating the interplay of light and reflections. This detail highlights the work of expert hands and the undeniable know-how of the teams at the L’Epée 1839 clock manufacture.
The twin ends of the capsule also required a time-consuming process of hand-finishing and polishing, both on the curved surfaces and the propellers themselves. The end result creates a visually absorbing mirror effect that both mesmerizes and showcases the chamfering work on the components.
Model: Time Machine
Limited series: 50 pieces per configuration
Dimensions: 25.7 x 22 x 21 centimeters
Weight: 5.2 kg
Number of components: 370
Hour and minute display in the center of the tube via two black laser-engraved PVD stainless steel cylinders
Winding and time-setting carried out via the propellers on either end of the tube.
360° tube rotation
L’Epee 1839 Movement
Horizontal L’Epée 1839 movement designed and manufactured in-house
Caliber 1855 – Vertical escapement
Balance wheel frequency: 18,000 A/h / 2.5 Hz
Power reserve: 8 days
Number of jewels: 17
Number of components: 162
Incabloc protection system
Time-setting via the left propeller, by turning clockwise with the H/M display facing you
Winding via the right propeller
Materials: brass and stainless steel, base plate: nickel or black PVD, gear train palladium or gold plated
Materials: brass and stainless steel
Finishes including polishing, sandblasting, satin finishing.
Mineral glass crystal
Two propellers at each end. Produced by bar turning and waterjet cutting
Materials: palladium brass and PVD depending on the versions.
Fixed tripod in brass and stainless steel (palladium, gold or black PVD depending on the version)
Stainless steel (fixed) cylinders
Capsule rotation locked by means of a nut system.
74.6001/204: black and gold
74.6001/214: black and steel