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Famous watchmakers

Augustin Michel Henry-Lepaute

1800 - 1885

French watchmaker, nephew of Jean-André and Jean-Baptiste Lepaute.

Clockmaker to Louis-Philippe of France and Emperor Napoleon III, who in 1854 authorised him to take Lepaute as his second surname.

The Lepaute family was an important watchmaking dynasty throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and Henry-Lepaute assisted with the construction of certain of their monumental clocks..

Key dates

1823

He made the acquaintance of Augustin Fresnel, who was in charge of France's lighthouses and beacons. This would prove a decisive meeting as Lepaute's company, which made monumental clocks, diversified into the production of mechanisms to rotate lighthouse lenses.

1837

He set up a new business, manufacturing these lenses.

1838 to 1930

His company had supplied lenses to more than 1,300 lighthouses around the world, mainly in the United States, England and Spain. 

At the same time, Henry-Lepaute continued to be the exclusive supplier of clocks to the North, Orleans, East and West railways in France.