Founded in 2019 in Switzerland, The Unnamed Society is a team of passionate inventors, designers and artisans committed to “creating the impossible that cannot be imagined”: hyper-exclusive items offering an experience that transcends the object, made with the highest quality materials and techniques steeped in tradition, for collectors who are part of its covert circle.
The Unnamed Society unveiled the first object of art imagined for those who set the bar for the art of gifting ever higher, for appreciators of the finer things, and for visionary collectors.
True to its noble ambition of “creating the impossible that cannot be imagined”, The Unnamed Society reinterprets the timekeeper from a radical perspective: as a revolver. It is an intricate work of artistry and precision that engages the imagination and the senses on many levels, offering a unique perspective and appreciation of time. True to the spirit of The Unnamed Society, it is timeless in its purity of intent and execution.
But why the revolver? And why a clock?
What Samuel Colt revolutionised is the impact of time when using a firearm: The revolver conferred the power to stop time cold by eliminating the manual reloading process – and the potentially fatal vulnerability that came with it. The purity of purpose inherent in the revolver makes it a compelling platform for telling time: it aptly symbolises the preciousness of every moment, the speed at which it can be stolen and the complexity of what is, ultimately, a simple proposition.
And it reminds us, more vividly no doubt than a conventional clockface can, of the priceless value there is in heeding the simple words, “carpe diem”. How could the gift of time be more unique or richer with meaning?
Breathing life into art: the movement
“We knew from the outset that we were working on something truly special. Translating the vision of the team into a unique clock calibre has been the challenge of a lifetime and all of us here at L’Épée are very proud of the result. Working with time from all its angles, historical, mechanical and aesthetic, has rarely been so rewarding,” says Arnaud Nicolas, CEO of L’Épée.
From concept to reality: the grip
“The first time I really discovered wood, it was in a carpenter’s workshop. I was 14. I will never forget the different scents as various types of wood would be worked on with the lathe, and how the material somehow came alive as I ran my fingers over its textured surface. It was the beginning of my passion to create something with my own hands”, remembers Cédric Vichard, a master cabinetmaker. He has long since made a name for himself with bespoke joinery, including the finest pistol and rifle grips made from olive, pear and palm tree wood as well as rosewood. Yet this sensibility for the material of which revolver grips are made is only part of what drew The Unnamed Society to Switzerland, closed to l’Épée’s home, and enlist Cédric. “Vichard” is also synonymous with excellence in the rare art of shagreen, the use of decorative ray skin in cabinetmaking. And in the application of other similarly exotic skins. Though the suggestion of lizard skin for the grip might not have fazed Samuel Colt, surely, he would never have dreamed of something as impossible as a grip for his revolver finished in toad skin, let alone ray skin. But that is what The Unnamed Society is about.
Closer to Colt Country, in Tennessee, Mike Dorris makes custom pistol grips made of completely different materials for the discerning aficionado. Mike specialises in elk antler, sheep horn and giraffe bone grips. Whilst the former two remain genuine classics, the latter turns out to be a highquality natural substitute for ivory that isn’t “faux ivory” or composite.
Extremely dense and ranging in colour from solid white to a creamy yellow, it makes for a very strong, long-lasting material for pistol grips. Also, giraffe bone can be large enough to produce most styles of grips, so the bespoke possibilities are endless.
With this first creation, The Unnamed Society presents that rarest of constellations in the world of collectible art: when beauty and fascination shine through in the history, authenticity and artisanship that have been so mindfully interwoven to “create the impossible that cannot be imagined”.
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