Fiona Krüger - Fiona Kruger , VANITAS (Colourful Edition)
Fiona Krüger - Fiona Kruger , VANITAS (Colourful Edition)

Fiona Kruger , VANITAS (Colourful Edition)

Fiona Krüger | 34'300 € Tax inc.

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A killer design !

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Fiona Kruger , VANITAS (Colourful Edition)

The Skull is the ultimate symbol of life, death and human experi- ence – as such it has played a key role in both Horological History and Art History. Through Fiona Krüger’s artistic approach to Haute Horlogerie and L’Epée’s know-how, the Skull has been re-inter- preted into a mechanical Vanitas painting for the 21st Century.
Quick history lesson: A Vanitas is a still life artwork which includes various symbolic objects to remind the viewer of the tran- sience of life. This was an important and popular genre of painting in the 1600’s and include symbols like skulls and extinguished candles.
Vanitas is engineered and crafted by L’Epée 1839, Switzerland’s specialised high-end clock manufacturer, found- ed 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 interna- tional 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 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.
Creativity is at the heart of both L’Epée 1839 and Fiona Krüger Timepieces. The challenge was really to create this modern day Vanitas with a humorous twist. The new “yawning” power reserve indicator required a whole new development and re-engineering of the clock movement. It is a marriage between fantasy and purpose, which is at the core of the collaboration.
The ideas of life, time and mortality are synonymous and even more relevant in mechanical clock-making today than they have ever been. The unique design of the Skull imitating yawning as the power reserve depletes, joined with the ability to bring the clock to life as its wound up, reflects the history of clock making where fantasy, creativity and purpose were all incorporated in equal measure to create designs which made people dream.

Technical specifications

Vanitas is limited to 50 pieces per configuration and is now available in ‘dark’ and colourful editions. 
 : Hours and minutes Power reserve indicator 
 : L’Epée in-house designed and manufactured movement 
Balance frequency Barrels
Power reserve Jewels 18,000 vph / 2.5Hz 5 in series
 35 days
Width 220 mm
Thickness  86mm
Clock Weight Approx. 5 kg.with 2.2 kg just for the movement 
Colored Version 
Mat Housing in Black Anodized Aluminum 
with mineral glass 
Mat Housing in Black Anodized Aluminum with mineral glass 
Double-ended key to set time and wind movement on the skull face 
Mechanism in palladium-coated brass Movement Main plates in black PVD coated brass Multi-layered screenprinted white decoration (gloss ink). 
Mechanism in palladium-coated brass Movement Main plate in brass black PVD coating Multi-coloured screen-printed pattern (gloss ink). Each colour used in the design of the clock was specially selected as it represents a specif- ic meaning pertaining to the Dia de Los Muertos celebration: Blue = Trust, White = Purity, Orange = Sun, Yellow = Death, Pink = Celebration, Red
= Life and Purple = Grief and Black = Mortality (hence the black PVD coating) 
Incabloc shock protection system 

Who's who

Memento Mori: a killer design 


Could Chronopassion be engaging in a bit of playful skull-duggery with us? The Rue St Honoré store now brings a lighter side to the darker side of life – or death. To do so, Laurent Picciotto has invited a new high-class guest to join him – Fiona Krüger.

She may be a new arrival in watchmaking, but not at all in design, where this adventuress of the high seas is in the vanguard – a Scot at heart, South African by adoption, Mexican by inspiration and now, showcaser of Swiss mechanisms!

I’d had her on my radar for a while,” confides Laurent Picciotto. “To begin with, I just put a Like on her Facebook page. Fiona noticed it and approached me at Baselworld, where I saw her work first-hand. That was when we started really getting down to business.” 

Skullfully done

Why so much interest in a new “skull” watch? Simply because in this instance, we’re not just talking about a pattern on the dial: the watch itself is a skull, the shape embodied by the movement in three dimensions. Fiona Krüger has pushed this hallowed deathly design approach to the limits by creating a watch whose entire case and movement are sculpted as a skull.

And so we have a design based on the movement – and vice versa,” concludes Laurent Picciotto. “It’s a completely new idea – the watch is perfectly produced and demonstrates that Fiona’s by no means short of ideas. Her Memento Mori delivers in a way that’s both completely new and very well thought-out.”

Chronopassion has just taken delivery of the first two of these watches. Others will follow – a very limited edition of twelve numbered watches. Come and take a look while you can at Rue St Honoré – you’ll love them to death !

Journalist : Olivier Müller ( june 2014)


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