A very unusual table clock with a striking mechanism and a lovely chetah automaton celebrates horology at its finest.
John-M Flaux Le Guépard
John-Mikael Flaux is a French independent watchmaker and an AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants) candidate, with a special interest in tabletop objects of art as well as automatons. He is probably best known for peculiar mechanical marvels in a form of an insect or a retro-car, all hand-made, meticulously finished, and of course, ticking and moving. Bearing in mind the level of engineering and artistic contribution involved, it’s easy to understand why Flaux generally tends to remove the obstacles like a conventional dial or case to reveal mechanical magic in all its glory. The new desk clock Le Guépard also stands to this aesthetic credo, being basically just a combination of a beautiful movement and a starry acrylic background painted on brass by artist Line Descombes.
John-Mikael Flaux at the bench
The piece measuring 30x10x10 centimeters mostly utilizes tempered steel and golden brass. Nearly all the wheels, snails, springs and bridges are visible straight from the front. The right side is reserved for hours and minutes, while the chetah automaton dominates the center. When the passing striking mechanism activates – it can be also operated on demand via the cheetah's tail – the animal starts to move. The gong is located at the rear side, and the complication is independently wound with a key. The timekeeping part of the movement featuring 45 hours of power reserve is wound and set via the traditional crown. It takes John-Mikael Flaux a whole month to build one instance of Le Guépard, and the overall production will be limited to 5 pieces. Of course, each can be personalized to the client’s liking.