Metropolis, the inaugural piece in a new collection from the Ateliers Louis Moinet, is a union of the visionary talent of the inventor of the chronograph and high frequency with a contemporary work of architecture.
The Metropolis features three different sets of openwork – on the hour markers, on the dial, and on the lugs and vertical bridges – giving the timepiece a uniquely three-dimensional aspect. The first openwork feature is on the Roman numeral hour markers, themselves a first for a Louis Moinet timepiece.
The manufacture has therefore taken extra special care with them in order to ensure a completely new, ultra-modern result that can be summed up in two key points:-
- Light dances off each hour marker’s three differently-shaped faces: Each side sports a diamond-cut, satin-finish section that reflects light deep, deep into the dial, setting the timepiece sparkling with life. The colour contrast is enhanced by each hour marker being lacquer-coated – in white for watches with a rose gold case, and in blue for watches with a steel case.
- The hour markers are suspended in mid-air, adding a further sense of depth: In a rare feat of craftsmanship, each marker is linked to a central ring and a dark grey flange made from neoralithe, an innovative material chosen by Louis Moinet for its transparency and purity. This produces an effect of depth, with the numerals raised above a sand-blasted black base.
The new timepiece bears all the distinctive hallmarks of a Louis Moinet. The LM45 caliber, boasting a 48-hour power reserve, is completely new. It was designed and assembled in accordance with the firm’s most stringent chronometric requirements.
The dial features the second openwork aspect of the Metropolis, between 8 o’clock and 12 o’clock, revealing each and every beat of its exclusive caliber. The escapement (beating at a rhythm of 28,800 vibrations per hour) and the offset seconds hand are displayed in all their glory – and carefully arranged to ensure an unobstructed view of every detail of the Metropolis’ workings.
The movement’s finishes embody all the noble traditions of fine watchmaking: Côtes de Genève, diamond-cut angles, circular-grained wheels, and pearling. The sapphire caseback, meanwhile, reveals the movement of the rotor, mounted on a ball bearing. There’s a new, concentric version of the Clou de Paris pattern, much beloved of Louis Moinet in the nineteenth century, conveying a striking impression of motion. The hours, minutes, and seconds are read off by Louis Moinet’s iconic double-lined “Gouttes de Rosée” dewdrop hands.
The 43.2 mm-diameter Metropolis case has been dubbed Neo: its new technical solutions have led to the creation of an all-new shape of watch. Everything is built around two vertical bridges running through the timepiece, securing the strap at each end of their lugs – the latter incorporating the third and final openwork finish on the watch. The bridges hold the movement’s housing, topped by the bezel and its six screws – another of Louis Moinet’s hallmarks.
The crocodile strap comes with a folding clasp decorated with still another Louis Moinet symbol, the Fleur de Lys. Metropolis will be available in spring 2017, in two initial limited editions of 60, in steel and 18K rose gold, with prices starting at CHF 10,500.