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Louis Moinet - A trio of watches for a double anniversary

Louis Moinet A trio of watches for a double anniversary

Can anything stop Louis Moinet? The Ateliers celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2015; 2016 marks the 200th anniversary of the invention of the chronograph, and Louis Moinet introduces a stunning sidereal tourbillon.

1816–2016: this year, Baselworld is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the invention of the chronograph by one Louis Moinet. The eponymous brand, the Ateliers Louis Moinet, kicked off the festivities last year when the company celebrated its own 10th birthday. This double anniversary, stretched over two years, is being celebrated with suitable pomp by Louis Moinet, harnessing all the advantages of its complete independence and apparently limitless creativity in the heart of Baselworld’s Palace.
Nevertheless, it’s tricky this year to pick that one iconic “talking piece” that most observers are looking for. Why? Well, there isn’t just one; there are two.

Sideralis: art for art’s sake
The most spectacular is called Sideralis. The timepiece features an oversized dual tourbillon, with two cages each measuring 1.49 cm, rotating in opposite directions. This hypnotic dance drives the continuous rotation of the hour dial at 12 o’clock, decorated by hand with a micro-painting of the universe. Beneath this disc is a second that, through an aperture at 12 o’clock, reveals three hand-painted planets: Mars, Mercury and the Moon, decorated with actual moon dust.

Sideralis is a pure watchmaking objet d’art. It is a work of stunning creativity and blinding technical virtuosity, its only goal to be a piece of horological poetry. Which other 100% independent watchmaker is investing – particularly in today’s climate – in such demanding and exclusive movements, with the sole aim of bringing a little more beauty to the lives of haute horlogerie enthusiasts?

A trio of watches for a double anniversary

Celestial Memoris
The second major launch is the Memoris, the first models of which were unveiled in 2015. This is the first watch-chronograph in history; the chronograph complication was designed to be completely visible on the dial side, while the hour module is on the back.
A limited edition of just 20 pieces will be produced for Baselworld 2016. Memoris comes in a 46 mm pink gold case comprising 52 elements, fitted together by six functional screws visible on the bezel. The decoration is focused around a new chronograph mainplate in midnight blue that reflects the hues of the night sky.
Each star is individually hand-engraved by means of an unusual tool: the fixed burin lathe. The technique combines the power of a rose-engine lathe with the precision of a manual chisel. They are all executed at different angles and different depths, allowing them to catch the light individually.

A trio of watches for a double anniversary

Animated oil wells
The third of Louis Moinet’s most striking new watches is the Black Gold Derrick. The Derrick is not a new concept. As Jean-Marie Schaller says, with a gleam of satisfaction: “When it was launched, everyone told us it would never catch on. Three years later, it’s still one of our best-sellers!”

The new Black Gold Derrick is built on the model’s usual movement (Concepto), skeletonised with a tourbillon. The crude oil extraction process is illustrated on the dial, beginning with a drive shaft on the right, between 2 and 4 o’clock, which drives a long articulated arm between 10 and 2 o’clock. At the left-hand side is the “horsehead”, whose oblong shape gives the oil derrick its distinctive profile. At the end of the extraction path is – what else? – a barrel, which indicates the seconds as it rotates. The scene is set by a new white gold case that Louis Moinet unveiled in Geneva: a technical tour de force comprising more than 45 parts.

A trio of watches for a double anniversary

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Ateliers Louis Moinet was born out of the passion of one man, and this is clearly to be seen in each of its creations. The Maison takes the concept of exclusivity to its height, producing only limited editions.

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