Swiss maker L’Epée 1839’s new limited edition Time Fast D8 may just be the ultimate “car clock”. Designed by talented 26-year-old masters design student Georg Foster of the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, the sculptural piece features a beautifully finished aluminium body in the form of a 1950s-style single-seater racing car housing a high-end mechanical clock movement that will run autonomously for eight days.
L’Epée was founded near Besançon, France, in 1839, predominantly as a maker of music boxes and watch components, but later became a renowned clock maker, even designing cabin clocks for the Concorde supersonic passenger jet and creating the world’s then-largest clock, the Giant Regulator. More recently, it has produced high-end novelty clocks in the form of everything from robots and rockets to time capsules and spiders, often in collaboration with niche watch brand MB&F.
The Time Fast D8 is available in red, blue, grey and green, or blue with white stripes and vice versa, and just 100 of each version (all priced at SFr27,500, about £21,200) will be produced. The hours and minutes are displayed in digital format on a pair of revolving barrels visible through a “racing roundel” aperture at the side of the car, with the time being adjusted by turning the steering wheel. To rewind, the car is simply pulled backwards along the ground in the manner of a traditional friction toy, with the revolutions of the rubber-tyred wheels serving to recharge the mainspring.
The 289-part clock mechanism was especially developed to follow the form of the 38cm car’s bodywork, with the movement plates forming the chassis and the oscillating escapement being visible through a glass dome covering the cockpit. Details abound elsewhere in features such as the spoked wheels, finely pierced front grille and various polished, sandblasted and satin-finished components.