Watches: Louis Moinet Vertalor Tourbillon
By Thierry Ané on November 18, 2014
At Watch Agora, we really like Louis Moinet! From a pure watchmaking standpoint, the Ateliers Louis Moinet produce exquisite manually-wound calibres with tourbillon escapement as a standalone complication like for the recently unveiled Qatar Tourbillon and sometimes paired with a column-wheel split-seconds chronograph and 24-hour planetarium like for the Astralis or even presented in a more playful way with an animated oil derrick on the rightfully named Derrick Tourbillon.
But the quality I appreciate most about this small independent brand based in Neuchâtel is something that also applies to the more technically “modest” creations like the Mecanograph or the Geograph: a unique aesthetic from case, to dial, and to movement decorations with a true attention to detail and always an impeccable finish. With these laudable assets a Louis Moinet timepiece stands out from the crowd and can be recognised a mile away. Isn’t that what we expect from a luxury item: singularity?
Not surprisingly, my statement holds true with the newly unveiled “Vertalor Tourbillon” model available in rose gold or white gold: the timepiece houses a prestigious and high-end tourbillon movement and showcases all the aesthetic details that make it so irresistibly “Louis Moinet”. But to our delight, it also features some new and exciting design touches that set this model apart within the brand’s collections.
The dial of both versions boasts the gorgeous black “Côtes du Jura” decoration and the “Gouttes de Rosée” (dew drops) hours and minutes hands the brand is known for. A three-armed bridge holds the tourbillon cage in place just like for the Qatar Tourbillon or the amazing Treasures of the World Vertalis Tourbillon but we are told that for the first time it is crafted in solid gold, rose or white depending on the version. Although no changes have been made on the one-minute tourbillon aperture at 6 o’clock where the small seconds can be read, the design of the open-worked barrel has been revisited to allow a better view of the spring barrel. Lastly, the emblem of the brand, the Fleur-de-Lis appliqué at 9 o’clock has been completely redesigned and enlarged.
The mechanism visible through the case-back still features the “octopus” spring, blued screws and, I am sure, a pristine finish. In the press release we are told that the cover of the barrel also hangs from a gold bridge but we have no official pictures whatsoever of the back of the watch or the movement alone to show you... This high-end movement is housed in the brand’s usual and quite complex case. Built from no fewer than 59 parts, this extremely sophisticated frame commands respect with its generous 47 mm diameter, a feature that the Watch Agora team also enormously appreciates.
The Vertalor Toubillon Rose Gold and the Vertalor Toubillon White Gold will each be produced in a limited run of 28 pieces. They are mounted on hand-sewn black Louisiana alligator leather secured by a folding buckle in the same gold as the case adorned with the Louis Moinet symbol. Two well-executed timepieces ready to join an already impressive lineup…
For more information please visit the Louis Moinet web site.