From Jules Verne to the Little Prince, and from Georges Méliès to Neil Armstrong, the Moon embodies all the dreams and challenges of humankind. And for its first contribution to Only Watch, Louis Moinet has reached across 250,000 miles to our lunar satellite, so as to offer children a brighter future.
For its first contribution to the Only Watch charity auction, Ateliers Louis Moinet has summoned the very essence of its knowhow. The firm has produced a unique timepiece, “Metropolis for Only Watch” – a most worthy successor to Mr Louis Moinet’s own Compteur de Tierces from 1816, the first chronograph in history, which was also used for observational astronomy.
Louis Moinet’s “Only Watch” offers an artistic vision of our nearest neighbour. The moon’s illuminated face is portrayed on the dial. Its hidden, dark side features on the rear of the watch, on the rotor. The piece sports a gold-plated dial, for which the firm has performed another first in terms of decoration: its face is first gilded – and then hand-punched to form lunar ‘craters’. And to complete the metaphor, Ateliers Louis Moinet has filled these craters with genuine fragments of lunar meteorites. By combining both its artisanal skill with dials and its expertise in the craftsmanship of stones and meteorites – now one of the firm’s hallmarks – Ateliers Louis Moinet has produced a uniquely beautiful sidereal work featuring amazing miniature painting.
This dial is and will remain the only one of its kind in the world. Close to its edge, between 8 o’clock and 11 o’clock, Louis Moinet reveals the piece’s beating heart: an in-house movement, the LM31 caliber. Above the visible escapement, a small seconds hand glides over a sapphire crystal counter, slightly smoked to ensure it is perfectly readable. The hour hands are in steel, in the purest fine watchmaking tradition. Featuring Louis Moinet’s signature “dewdrop” tips, they trace a circle around a powder-coated black flange. The 43.2 mm diameter steel case reveals the entire underside of the movement through a sapphire crystal caseback, around which the words “01/01” are engraved. The watch is wound by means of an oscillating weight decorated with a concentric Clou de Paris pattern and a fragment of lunar meteorite – another finishings first for the Ateliers.
We though long and hard about how best to reach for the moon and help children suffering from Myopathy. Explains Jean- Marie Schallier, Ateliers Louis Moinet´s CEOand Creative Director. TheLegacy left by Mr Louis Moinet himself helped guide us in the creation of this Timepiece. As a watchmaker he was one of the pioneers of Observational Astronomy. This piece demostrates our commitment to Only Watch – And also offers afitting tribute to an outstanding inventor and committed humanist
About Louis Moinet
Ateliers Louis Moinet was founded in Saint-Blaise, Neuchâtel, in 2004. The fully-independent firm was established to honour the memory of Louis Moinet (1768-1853): master watchmaker, inventor of the chronograph in 1816 (certified by Guinness World RecordsTM), and pioneer in the use of very high frequencies (216,000 vibrations per hour). Louis Moinet was a watchmaker, scholar, painter, sculptor, and teacher at the School of Fine Arts – as well as the author of Traité d’Horlogerie, a watchmaking treatise published in 1848 that remained a definitive work of reference for almost a century. Today, Ateliers Louis Moinet is perpetuating this legacy. The firm’s timepieces, produced in limited editions only, have won some of the most coveted honours, including a Red Dot Design Award (Best of the Best category), gold and bronze medals in the Chronometry Competition, a Robb Report “Best of the Best” award, a “Chronograph of the year” distinction from Begin magazine, Japan, and a recent UNESCO Award of Merit. Louis Moinet creations often make use of unusual materials, such as fossils and meteorites, combined with bespoke fine watchmaking complications in a unique creative approach. The brand’s core values are creativity, exclusivity, art and design.