Vanitas is engineered and crafted by L’Epée 1839, Switzerland’s specialised high-end clock manufacturer, founded in 1839. This charismatic cranium reminds you to celebrate life.
The hours and minutes are shown by the clock’s hands, and a power reserve indicator is integrated into the mouth of the skull. As Vanitas loses power it starts to yawn, indicating it needs to be wound up. Though with a 35-day power-reserve, this monthly ritual will give you a moment to stop and take stock of the time you have.
Fiona’s Fine Art and Design training, combined with her international upbringing are apparent in the design of this mechanical symbol. Having spent part of her childhood in Mexico City her vivid memories of the Dia de los Muertos festival have influenced her own skull collection and this latest collaboration with L’Epée.
This mechanical Fiona Kruger Vanitas is rich in symbolism but also in humour. The bridges of the clock are intricately detailed, designed to build up into a pattern which ultimately forms this ornate skull.
Fiona Kruger Vanitas: a wall clock as no-one has seen before!
When picturing a clock in your mind, everyone has a similar idea, round, 12 hours, two hands. The Fiona Kruger Vanitas defies convention, the clock is itself a Skull, with mechanical eyes, a moving mouth and a distinctive case shape which frames the skull-shaped movement inside.
The multi-layered bridges each have a specifically chosen finishing and décor, bringing depth to this sculptural skull. The hands bring a sense of familiarity to this innovative design which defies convention and brings together the worlds of Fine Art and Haute Horlogerie.
Fiona Kruger Vanitas looks best when the piece is hung on the wall. Just imagine entering a dark room with the ticking sound of the movement lightly echoing inside, the distinctive outlines of the skull coming into focus before you look into the skull’s mechanical eyes… Flick the lights up, and you’ll dare to walk closer, if you do, you’ll get the chance to appreciate the complexity of the L’Epée Movement, this Approx. 400-component timepiece.
An out of this world display
Next to all known contemporary Wall clocks, Fiona Kruger Vanitas stands out like a bold brush stroke on a blank canvas. This new co-creation features a frontal escapement, 2 barrel arbors as “pupils”, all designed to sculpt the mechanical skull’s face. Fiona Kruger Vanitas indicates the time by way of two hands which are centrally mounted on the nose.
These hand-polished hands indicate the hours and minutes, hiding and revealing the skull’s eyes as if it was playing hide-and-seek.
Power reserve indicator
An indicator framed by two rows of teeth opens up as time passes, providing an intuitive view of remaining energy. When the mouth is completely opened (18.5mm a part from each other) the clock looks like it is “yawning” as a warning to its owner that it will go to sleep if some energy is not provided.
Wall clocks, just like big watches?
Fiona Kruger Vanitas is a luxury one-of-a-kind wall clock, featuring essentially the same mechanisms as a wristwatch, only larger: gear train, main-spring barrels (well, five in series), balance wheel, escape wheel and anchor. L’Epée’s regulator also features an Incabloc shock protection system, something generally only seen in wristwatches, which minimises the risk of damage when the clock is being transported.
Larger components, however, make finely finishing the movement much more challenging than finishing a wristwatch, because of the bigger surface areas. L’Epée CEO Arnaud Nicolas explains: “It’s not just a case of double the size of the components, double the time it takes to finish them.
The complexity increases exponentially. For polishing you need to apply the same pressure as you would finishing a watch movement, but on a bigger surface, and that’s more challenging. It’s thanks to the experience and dexterity of our clockmakers that the Vanitas clock can feature such superlative fine-finishing.”
Form follows function
Form follows function is a principle associated with modernist architecture and industrial design in the 20th century. The principle is that the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose. When it is reinterpreted by L’Epée 1839, the movement and the shape of the clock become one.
The clock is no longer made of a movement and a housing which gives the shape of the clock. The movement itself defines the shape of the clock and the design cannot be recognized without the movement. The eyes are the barrels (two of them), the mouth is the power reserve, the philtra is the differential allowing the teeth to open up.
Fiona Kruger Vanitas is a limited edition of 50 pieces per configuration (5o pieces of the Dark Version and 50 pieces of the Colorful Version). Retail Price: 30.000 Swiss Francs (approx. $30,800 usd) ex. taxes and shipping. For more info. on Fiona Kruger, Click Here. For more info. on L´Epée, Click Here.