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LVMH acquires Swiss Clockmaker L’Epée 1839

The acquisition of L’Epée 1839 will bolster LVMH’s watch division.

In yet another snap-up, LVMH has acquired Swiza, the parent company of L’Epée 1839, an esteemed Swiss manufacturer of high-end clocks and genuine ‘objets d’art’ renowned for exceptional mechanisms and intricacies.

Based in Delémont, in the Swiss Jura, L’Epée 1839 has been a custodian of unparalleled horological expertise for 185 years, crafting pieces that have been contrived, developed, and manufactured in-house. Now gaining mastery in the realm of clocks, the company is praised for its unmatched prowess and its unique creative vision in blending form and function.

Louis Vuitton L'Epee clock
Image courtesy: watchesbysjx.com

Each clock symbolizes a veritable technical master stroke, integrating major intricacies such as ceaseless calendars, tourbillons, retrograde hands, and more. Special attributes comprise power reserves reaching up to 8,760 hours, or a full year—a code of the house—and unrivaled design and aesthetics, always ensuring a poetic or humorous touch. Finally, each mechanical or design feature acquits itself as a creative ornament, a fusion of the incomparable qualities of the timepiece with a watchmaking expertise par excellence.

Founded by Auguste L’Epée in the 19th century, the company initially facilitated the manufacture of watch components and was a front-runner in the production of music boxes. It then progressed to develop a range of groundbreaking timepieces, primarily by producing carriage clocks valued by traveling officers, and then, for the 20th century, by diversifying its range of exclusive clocks. This evolution has emboldened the company to set itself apart, aided by its many technical and technological innovations.

Maison L’Epée’s masterpieces quickly became the benchmark for quality and gained the stamp of approval from the state, ministers, and royal families, for whom these ‘objets d’art’ are perceived as a treasured heritage gift on the eve of official visits.

Of late, L’Epée 1839 has hammered out prestigious and creative synergies with several luxury and watchmaking houses with the aim of creating extraordinary timepieces. A plethora of collaborations have been announced with LVMH Group Maisons, including Tiffany, which unveiled a carriage clock in the form of the first Formula 1 cars from the 1950s to commemorate the reopening of its historic boutique on 5th Avenue in New York in 2023. Louis Vuitton collaborated with the skilled watchmakers at L’Epée 1839 to create a hot-air balloon, an emblem frequently used by the Maison. L’Epée 1839 has also collaborated with wristwatch maker MB&F multiple times to create futuristic clocks.

A diverse team of over 80 professionals including designers, engineers, watchmakers, and craftsmen collaborates under CEO Arnaud Nicolas to create these exceptional timepieces, dedicated to delivering skill, expertise, and commitment to all its current and future customers.

“L’Epée 1839 is a brand of mechanical objets d’art with unrivaled and unique expertise. Its creations span the ages; from officer’s carriage clocks to space rockets to the automotive inspirations of the 1950s, its products appeal to a public of enthusiasts for fine mechanics. L’Epée is also a renowned manufacturer, with the capacity to develop and design objects and, in particular, the unique ability to interpret horological intricacies in three dimensions. Most of the company’s components are produced in-house, demonstrating its strong creative prowess. L’Epée has initiated a number of watchmaking partnerships that we will maintain and develop with Arnaud Nicolas, and I am excited by the untapped creative potential of the various LVMH Group Maisons associated with this exceptional expertise,” said Frédéric Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH Watches Division.

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