Watchmaking and the automotive industry? Reinventing the incredible Porsche 356…

Ever loyal to EPHJ, Bureau d’Étude Mécanique (BEMRC) recently obtained approval for its Swiss-made electric vehicle. An original demonstration of the expertise this Sierre-based firm is not allowed to talk about due to non-disclosure agreements…

Suppose Switzerland were to reconnect with its early 20th century automotive industry all because a cutting-edge engineering consultancy in the town of Sierre humbly decided to showcase the scope of its expertise by building something concrete?

A sumptuous case for one of the most beloved cars ever

It turns out that the areas in which this firm excels – watchmaking, pharmaceuticals and all other forms of microtechnology – are inevitably protected by non-disclosure agreements. In other words, the 356RE currently under construction (an electric replica of the celebrated Porsche 356) is first and foremost a ‘playground’ for the expertise typically brought to bear by BEMRC. A real-world embodiment of skills that cannot be explained without revealing the finished object and therefore the names of the backers involved.

An on-site visit to the atelier, just outside the town of Sierre, is bound to pique your curiosity, because it makes you think of all the possibilities for those industries represented at EPHJ. For example, by merely holding in your hand the metal parts used in high-end watch cases you can imagine what Romuald Cappelle and his team are capable of: meticulously polished finishes and a degree of perfection that extends even to the sound the latch makes when you open and close the case.

Suddenly, in the space provided and on-screen, there appears one of the most legendary silhouettes among collectible cars: the celebrated Porsche 356, now more than 50 years old. The chassis of the very first one planned for 2023 has just arrived and its coating, which is ultra-strong – including inside the criss-crossing tubular structure – says a lot about the thought and care that went into it.

Find out more at Palexpo, 6-9 June 2023

Everything in this totally high-tech vehicle will be carefully conceived, designed, machined and assembled in this workshop – because this project could well take off after the first three pre-orders. They say there is even potential to build 50 vehicles a year!

By Joël A. Grandjean / JSH Magazine

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