Watches: Louis Moinet Mecanograph City Limited Editions: New York and Doha (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on May 2, 2014

Introduced at Baselworld 2012, Louis Moinet’s Mecanograph is an absolutely stunning watch with a beautifully designed 43.5 mm case and a very distinctive dial, cut in half vertically. Openworked on the left-hand side, it reveals the secrets of the self-winding LM 31 calibre developed and produced by Concepto for the brand. Creating a fine contrast, the artistic part of the watch, namely its right-hand side, is covered with the brand’s iconic “Côtes du Jura” decoration and very stylised “Gouttes de Rosée” (or dewdrop) hands sweep across this refined ensemble.

The back of the watch offers an equally tasteful show with a highly decorated movement and a unique oscillating weigh engraved with the brand’s name and logo as well as its beloved “Côtes du Jura” motif. This original model is available in limited runs of 365 in Titanium, Titanium and Rose Gold or in Rose Gold, all with either black or silver “Côtes du Jura” dials and also with a Havana brown dial for the two-tone model.

It thus seemed like the brand had a version for every possible taste and that no new versions were to be expected in the near future, except perhaps a blue dial to cover the entire traditional palette. The duality of this watch’s dial, however, with a technical side and a huge free space to the right, makes it ideal to create decorative models and the brand unveiled the first two pieces of its very first artistic run of the Mecanograph at Baselworld this year: the Mecanograph City collection.

The first model honours the self-proclaimed “capital of the world”, also known as New York City. Hand-engraved with a method that combines line engraving and a secret technique to produce clearly pronounced embossing is the Big Apple’s iconic skyline with its most famous skyscrapers. The building that symbolises New York’s revival, One World Trade Center appears in the foreground, followed by other prominent buildings like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building all the way to Brooklyn Bridge on the horizon.

In the blue-coloured, star-studded New York City skyline, the brand included a fragment of the New York meteorite. Bought in 1965 in the port of New York from the captain of a fishing boat who supposedly obtained it from an Inuit, it remains the only meteorite to have been officially named after this wonderful city.

After this symbol of the Western world, Louis Moinet went East for the second model and chose one of the emerging capitals of the Gulf region, namely Doha for its second model of the collection. The capital of Qatar easily bears comparison with New York City in terms of breathtaking skyline, and, using the same hand-engraving techniques and some twenty hours of work per dial, the artist wonderfully captured the atmosphere of this vibrant city with the high towers of WestBay. The Doha Media Center, the Burj Qatar, the Navigation Tower or the Palm Towers to name but a few all compete for your attention on this lively dial.

Filled with stars, the night sky also incorporates a fragment of the legendary Qatar 001 meteorite that the brand also used for the Qatar TourbillonWatches: Louis Moinet Qatar Tourbillon I presented earlier this year. It originated from the asteroid belt situated between the Mars and Jupiter orbits and is one of the three meteorites ever found in Qatar.

The Mecanograph City New York and the Mecanograph City Doha are both available in titanium or rose gold and are limited to 60 pieces per version. To match the colour of the sky, the Doha edition comes with a hand-sewn black Louisiana alligator strap whereas the New York model is mounted on a hand-sewn blue Louisiana alligator strap. Titanium renditions retail for CHF 25,000 and gold interpretations carry a CHF 50,000 price tag.

I think that the theme chosen by Louis Moinet is appropriate for this watch as the industrial, urban side of a big megalopolis complements perfectly the raw, technical elements visible from the other art of the dial. Both models are absolutely gorgeous and highly collectible in my opinion. I really can’t wait to discover the third model of this great collection…

For a technical description of the timepieces and additional pictures: