What is a Lépine Watch Movement?

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What is a Lépine Watch Movement?

Post by koimaster » May 4th 2022, 12:07pm

Today, a “Lépine” movement is one with small seconds opposite the crown. But this is not one of the many innovations we should associate with Jean-Antoine Lépine, one of the greatest watchmakers of all time. Watchmaker to King Louis XV and George Washington, Lépine changed the course of watchmaking forever, with his plate-and-bridges movement design still used today. So why do we contrast “Lépine” movements with “savonnette” or “hunter” and what’s all this about small seconds?

Lépine, Savonnette, and Hunter

It is commonly assumed today that a Lépine watch or movement has the stem opposite the small seconds subdial and a savonnette or hunter movement has the subdial 90º off-axis. If the crown is at 3:00 (as is common on wristwatches), this places the small seconds subdial at 9:00 for Lépine watches and at 6:00 for savonnette or hunter watches.

But as we shall see, this is by no means universal and has almost nothing to do with the origin of these terms. Indeed, Jean-Antoine Lépine’s movement had no stem and could be oriented in any direction, and the terms savonnette and hunter could apply to any movement as well. But the above definition is most widespread in modern times, if it is known at all.

https://grail-watch.com/2022/05/03/what ... h-movement

What is a Lepine Watch Movement.pdf

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