The 20-Second Tempograph is one of the most emblematic timepieces by Ateliers Louis Moinet, and the only one to feature a fully-visible 20-second retrograde movement, endowing this historic piece by the Ateliers with technical beauty. Today, the Tempograph returns in a version combining black and rose gold – opening up a whole new perspective for the piece.
The compelling presence of the new Tempograph Black resides in the combination of black and rose gold. One absorbs the light; the other reflects it. One is intentionally modern; the other pays tribute to the noblest days of traditional fine watchmaking. Together, they produce a balanced timepiece that blends diverging styles.
To achieve this balance, Louis Moinet has used various touches of other colours, subtly lending their support to each style. Enhancing the traditional spirit, the gilded hands complement a flange engraved with a Clou de Paris pattern. For the finishing contemporary touch, meanwhile, the seconds are shown at 9 o’clock, in the form of a mobile display divided into three sectors (grey, red, and black).
Beneath this contrasting yet coherent assembly sits an all-black plate adorned with the skeletonised bridges of the in-house caliber, comprising 260 components. It’s been made all in one piece, with no additional module to house the complication: this integrated construction adds to the sense of technical coherence for the piece as a whole. At 8 o’clock, the subtle interplay of the cam and ruby-tipped rack is on display, together with a fully visible balance wheel – an amazing and unique spectacle.
To wind the movement, the Tempograph uses “Energie Plus”, an ingenious, automatic pawl winding system featuring an elegant spring with a ‘crab claw’ design. The final part of this system is a miniature ceramic ball bearing, mounted on the dual-material rotor. The key advantage of “Energie Plus” is that it allows the piece to be wound up in both directions, with a minimum of excess travel. This optimizes each movement of the rotor, harnessing its energy to the maximum, and winding the caliber more effectively.
The new Tempograph sports an hour dial at four o’clock, featuring the rose gold hands with “dewdrop” tips that have become one of the aesthetic hallmarks of Ateliers Louis Moinet, sweeping over Roman numerals and a minute rail designed in the purest watchmaking tradition. In the centre sits the retrograde large hand that has made the Tempograph famous. With a continuous twenty-second sweep, it brings the dial to life in a unique manner – a direct nod to the automatons from the Enlightenment era of watchmaking, when Louis Moinet himself was creating his finest timepieces and grandest clocks.