In mid-2013 when the oil prices started to rise Derricks were bowing their heads slowly before Louis Moinet’s stand at Baselworld – it reminded me of my time spent in the Middle East. The animation that brought fortune to some, was reproduced on a special tourbillon piece fuelled by the green energies of human winding power. Beyond oil and gas, extraordinary solid materials have also inspired the manufacture. During their history exceeding ten years, the company has produced a number of timekeepers by embedding meteorites and 70-150 million year-old fossils.
The watch-house established in 2004 holds the name of a great Parisian inventor, active at the turn of the 18th-19th centuries. The Age of Enlightenment and the scientific revolution the 18th century institutionalized “curiosity” and opened science up for the public. An increasingly literate population became thirsty for knowledge, scientific books and journals; and spread questions and answers related to nature, philosophy and the authority of people, monarchies and the church. Louis Moinet, as many of his contemporaries, observed his closer and broader environment and his reflections on the world manifested in paintings and sculptures. He travelled to Rome and Florence to refine his arts and upon returning he became a professor at the School of Fine Arts in Louvre. Ha also had a life-long interest in watchmaking and Moinet became friends with Abraham-Louis Breguet – a relationship that was built on mutual respect.
The motion of the planets interested Louis Moinet to the extent that between 1815-1816 he designed a chronograph to aid his observations with accurate time measurements. He called it “compteur de tierces”, which had an incredible 30 Hz regulator allowing the display of a 60th of a second, and three sub-dials that define today’s chronograph designs: elapsed seconds, minutes and hours (24). It was also equipped with a pusher to reset everything to zero. The piece is just unbelievably complete as shown on this video (at 3:15).
Memoris 200th Anniversary
The manufacture commemorated the 200th anniversary of the “compteur de tierces” with a new astronomy-inspired version of the remarkable chronograph watch introduced last year. The primary function of the piece is the chronograph, to which the design of both the dial and the 4 Hz automatic LM54 movement adhere. The 200th anniversary model has a new main-plate, which – instead of the Côtes de Genève of the predecessor – is decorated with a special fixed graving technique to apply shiny stars onto the translucent blue coated brass. Blue resurfaces on the dial too in the form of a nice enamel layer. The night-sky effect is enhanced by the while gold of the case, and the similar colour of the column-wheel and levers, taking a prominent position at 12 o’clock. To guarantee better visibility on this impressive background, the workshop decided to use a translucent flange and counter bridge, made of a new composite by high-temperature vacuum moulding. The 200th anniversary model will be made in a 20-piece limited batch.
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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