The Louis Moinet VERTALOR has just won the International Chronometry Competition in the Tourbillon category. The scientific validity of the Competition is based on five tests, including three measurement cycles, exposure to magnetic fields, and exposure to impacts. These particularly rigorous tests lasted four whole months. To commemorate this First Prize, Louis Moinet has presented its new “Chronometry” Vertalor model.
The Vertalor expresses all the technical and aesthetic quintessence of Ateliers Louis Moinet, and is one of the finest expressions to date of what makes this independent maison based in Neuchâtel so singular. It also marks the first time that a tourbillon cage has hung from a three-armed bridge made from solid gold. The architectural theme of suspension continues with the Vertalor’s barrel, the cover of which also hangs from a gold bridge. Indeed, the gold bridge construction forms the backbone of the Vertalor – and heralds a completely new approach to open-dial watches.
The two series of Vertalors (28 in pink gold, 28 in grey gold) also embody the power of a design that has become the hallmark of Ateliers Louis Moinet: a sculpted case surrounding a dial revealing the technical beauty of the tourbillon. The latter is positioned at 6 o’clock and features a new hand whose tip, in the form of a luminous star, owes nothing to chance: it harks back to Mr Louis Moinet’s very own design for the Julius Caesar clock (1825).
At 12 o’clock these gold bridges make room for a more open, reworked barrel. Its cover features an open-work sun motif. At 6 o’clock, the tourbillon, hanging from the three bridges above, is suffused with light. Between the two, the winding cog can be seen, a witness to the human interaction with the crown and barrel that provides the watch with 72 hours’ power reserve.
The assembly is arrayed in an Ateliers feature that has become legendary: a broad dial embellished with a Côtes du Jura pattern. Two slightly curved open-work hands sweep across it, with the famous “Dew Drop” tips that have also become part of the brand’s aesthetic signature. A fragment of moon meteorite adorns the centre of the dial, at the centre of those distinctive hands.
At 9 o’clock rests the Fleur-de-lis, the emblem of Ateliers Louis Moinet. This completely redesigned, enlarged, mirror-polished applique detail denotes both Louis Moinet’s place in the course of history and his native town of Bourges (which displays the Fleur-de-lis on its coat of arms). The eight curved, diamond-cut hour markers embody both technical prowess and a powerful aesthetic message –arching above the dial, they help to create a distinctive relief effect in this symbiosis of technology and design.
In the very finest watchmaking tradition, the mechanical movement is manual wind. Set at 3 Hz, its generous three-day power reserve makes the Vertalor suitable for busy modern-day life. The assembly is firmly anchored to a distinctive case, designed and patented by Ateliers Louis Moinet that is to be found in each of its collections. The case alone has no fewer than 59 parts. Front and back are made from sapphire glass, providing a breath-taking view of the hand-finished movement.
The 47mm-diameter Vertalor is available in white gold and pink gold versions.