In 1816, legendary master watch maker Louis Moinet (1768-1853) invented the world’s first mechanical chronograph. In 2016, Neuchâtel based Ateliers Louis Moinet, the independent watch making firm named after the certified inventor of chronograph is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the invention.
Louis Moinet presents a white gold limited edition Memoris watch that marks the start of a series of commemorative pieces dedicated to the bicentenary of the invention of the chronograph. The “Memoris 200th Anniversary” watch uses a fixed graver engraving technique that is unprecedented in the history of watch-making. Each star is worked on individually; never before has there been a starry sky with such a natural sparkle.
The “Memoris 200th Anniversary” watch boasts:-
- A new hour dial – made in enamel for the first time in history of the piece
- A new mainplate, painted and decorated with star constellations
- A new translucent flange and counter bridge
The starry back consists of a brass plate coated in a translucent blue. The stars have been created using an entirely new fixed graver process. Devised by one of Louis Moinet’scraftsmen, this involves attaching a specially-made lathe to a traditional rose engine (also known as a guillocheuse).
The idea is to combine the power of the rose engine with the precision of a handheld graver. The result differs from that produced by milling or stamping: while it resembles the effect traditionally associated with a guillocheuse inasmuch as material is removed, here this is focused on a tiny area with varying levels of depth – two characteristics that traditional engine turning seeks to avoid at all costs.
What is more, individual stars are all fashioned to feature different angles and depths, so that each and every one captures as much light as possible. Several fixed graver sessions are required per star. The process used is unprecedented in watchmaking – and the outstanding result gives the novel impression that certain stars really are shining.
For the flange and counter bridge, Ateliers Louis Moinet have used a revolutionary translucent material. Its precise makeup, produced by combining a number of composite materials and high-temperature vacuum moulding, is a closely-guarded secret. It offers a unique advantage that has won over Ateliers Louis Moinet: it is through-coloured – and yet the same time maintains a certain degree of transparency.
Using it in translucent dark blue on the flange of the new Memoris adds an exclusive sense of depth, whereas an opaque flange would have ‘locked down’ the timepiece. In its natural state, this material is as just as pure and translucent as crystal, but nowhere near as fragile, allowing it to be used for the counter bridge, too; and the latter’s ensuing transparency ensures the wearer can admire the night blue sky – without missing a single star.
Features and functions
Monopusher chronograph with column wheel
Chronograph mechanism visible on dial
Hours and Minutes (at 6 o’clock)
Seconds (at 9 o’clock)
60-second chronograph (central hand)
30-minute chronograph counter (at 3 o’clock)
Dial and hands
Chronograph hand, “Monogram” design
Hour & Minute “Gouttes de Rosée”® dew-drop hands, blue-tinted with luminous coating
Rounded enamel dial, diamond cut bead
Hand-painted mainplate, engraved with fixed graver technique
Translucent flange and counter bridge
Movement and finish
Automatic click movement with chronograph function on dial; hours and minutes off-centre at 6 o’clock
302-component LM54 caliber, designed and manufactured by Louis Moinet
Winding: Automatic, bi-directional
Oscillations: 28,800 vibrations per hour
Balance wheel: Glucydur, chronometer quality
5 position settings
Lines: 13 ¼
Power reserve: 48 hours
Diameter: 30.40 mm
Height: 8.90 mm
Decoration: Côtes de Genève, diamond-polished facets, diamond-cut chamfers and circular gears with 5N colour finish and straight-line steel.
“Energie Plus” system
Pawl winding mechanism
Pawl winding system: comprises a baseplate and two jewelled pawls
‘Crab claw’ spring mechanism
Gearing: automatic wolf-teeth gear
Ball bearing: 7Myrox balls (ceramic), diameter: 0.397 mm
Oscillating weight: Dual material, with concentric “Clous de Paris” and “Fleur-de-lis” pattern
Original Louis Moinet®, composed of 52 pieces, design with two-part bezel and 6 screws, assembled at a 17° angle
Monopusher: “Clous de Paris” pattern
Material: 18K gold
Diameter: 46 mm
Thickness: 15.75 mm
Water resistance: 50 meters
Case back: Fitted with 7 screws, engraved with individual number and Louis Moinet symbols
Lugs: Screwed settings (1 black zircon jewel and 3 screws per lug)
Crystals: Two convex sapphire crystals with non-reflective coating on both faces
Crown protection: Patent pending
Distance between lugs: 24 mm
Hand-sewn Louisiana alligator leather with alligator lining
Buckle: 18K gold folding clasp with “Fleur-de-lis” motif, two-strand, black DLC-treated steel
Louis Moinet book
20 watches in 18K white gold