Wednesday , 24 July 2024

Time Fast II by L’Epée: Life in the Fast Lane!

As a classic car and watch lover, my heart leapt when I saw the Time Fast II by L’Epée, because the Time Fast II combines both my love for classic cars and watches.

Time Fast II is inspired by racing sports cars of the 1960s, a golden era of long-distance automotive competition. The name Time Fast II references the fact that it’s a 2-seater car, has two movements (one for time and one for the engine automate), racing cars are getting faster, modern time seems to be running faster, and it is L’Epée’s second car inspired clock. 

The floor and body are screwed to a H-chassis as in their full-sized counterparts. The body of Time Fast II is in aluminum because in the 1960s, aluminum was the high-tech material for racing cars as carbon fiber is today. An aluminum body on a race car offers a higher power-to-weight ratio, shorter braking distances, and faster cornering: all winning attributes in a sports car. 

Time Fast II features two independent movements, both with their own power source. The first movement is in the cockpit and is responsible for keeping the time. Hours and minutes are displayed by rotating stainless steel disks on the air filters feeding the dual carburetor banks on top of the engine. The 8-day movement is regulated by a visible 2.5 Hertz escapement in the ‘driver’s helmet’ and powered by a mainspring visible in the passenger’s ‘seat’.

The second movement powers the engine automat. Turning the dashboard key starts the engine, triggering the pistons of the V8 to go up and down. This animation is completely independent of the time movement.

A manual gear lever selects between winding the time movement, winding the engine automate or neutral. Winding is accomplished by selecting the appropriate gear and pulling the car backwards.

The three-spoke steering wheel is assembled just as the original steering wheels were, with a center rim and two outer rims held together by 12 rivets. The steering wheel is turned counterclockwise to set the time, while turning clockwise allows repositioning of the wheel to center.

Highlighting just how much meticulous attention to detail L’Epée put into ensuring that Time Fast II is as accurate as possible to the cars that inspired it, the stainless-steel spoked wheel rims are crafted just like the real racing wheels were in the 1960s. The tires are in soft rubber for optimal grip when winding the movements and filled with a carefully selected foam compound so that the tires are slightly flat on the bottom to the same degree as real sport’s car racing tires on a real car racing track.

Technical specifications

Launch limited editions of 99 pieces in each of five colors: Ferrari Red, British racing green, Mercedes silver, AC cobra blue with white stripes, and White with blue stripes

DIMENSION: 450 mm long, 189 mm wide, 120 mm high
WEIGHT: 4.7 kg
FUNCTIONS: Hour and minute displays on rotating disks, Time is set via counterclockwise rotation of the steering wheel, clockwise rotation repositions the steering wheel as desired, The clock is wound using the rear wheels, Reversing the car (and rotating the rear wheels) winds the mainspring barrels, A gear box lever selects which movement barrel is wound during winding, Time Fast II moves freely forwards and backwards in neutral. The key on the dashboard starts the engine piston automat.
ENGINE/MOVEMENT: Tiered mechanical movement, L’Epée 1839 1855 MHD in-house caliber
ESCAPEMENT:  2.5 Hz/18,000 bph, 26 jewels
MATERIALS: Palladium-plated brass, polished stainless steel, Incabloc protection system
BODYWORK AND WHEELS: Blown glass dome, machined and polished to simulate the driver’s helmet, Top and bottom bodywork in aluminum, 12-spoked rims in stainless-steel, Tires in soft compound rubber with foam inside offering authentic deformation of the tire on the ground
MATERIALS: palladium-plated brass, stainless steel, anodized aluminium
FINISHES: Polished, satin-finished and sand-blasted movement / polished and satin-finished rims / lacquered bodywork
PRICE: 45’000 Euros. Taxe included.

Georg Foster, designer + ECAL

Son of an engineer, Georg Foster (26) discovered a passion for mechanics at a young age. After studying design in London (London College of Communication and Central Saint Martins), Georg continued his professional development in the fields of furniture, jewelry and accessories, working in particular on artisanally produced motorbike helmets. This varied experience brought him closer to the world of luxury, know-how and high-precision work. In 2017, he enrolled in a Master of Advanced Studies in Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship at ECAL (Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne). Established 10 years ago, this program brought him into direct contact with industry professionals, enabling him to work with prestigious brands in the fields of tableware, fashion, gastronomy, cosmetics and fine watchmaking. During Georg studies, thanks to a partnership between ECAL and L’Epée 1839, Arnaud and Georg got to know each other and design the First Time Fast. Arnaud already had in mind the design of a second cars, a 2 seated one and when time has come to start the development, he naturally came to George to ask him to work with him on the project.


About Karl Heinz Nuber

Nuber ist langjähriger unabhängiger Uhren Journalist und begann seine Karriere in den frühen 80er Jahren. Durch das Sammeln kam er zum Schreiben. Er ist Gründer des vierteljährlich regelmässig bilingual – Deutsch und English - erscheinenden TOURBILLON Magazin’s, der digitalen TOURBILLON Plattform TICK-Talk, der Ausstellungs- und Event Plattform Art of TOURBILLON und TOURBILLON TV. Er tritt regelmässig als Kenner der Branche in Erscheinung.

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