Watches: Louis Moinet 20-Second Tempograph Collection (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on February 20, 2015

The pop-up Watches Art Gallery that opened its doors during the Geneva Week was an extremely nice place to get reacquainted with some small independent brands that were usually present during Baselworld but were not necessarily exhibiting in Geneva in January.

Louis Moinet was among the Swiss luxury brands welcoming visitors in this friendly space and the Watch Agora team did not miss the opportunity to discover the latest creations from this exclusive workshop featuring an extremely distinctive style that successfully blends traditional aesthetic codes with modern watchmaking design elements.

Among the new models, the brand was unveiling the “20-Second Tempograph” collection: a prestigious line of three limited edition models including a 365-piece titanium watch (at a price of CHF 22,000) and two 60-unit timekeepers in white gold or rose gold carrying a price tag of CHF 44,000.

All versions house the new LM39 calibre developed by Louis Moinet in collaboration with Concepto especially for these timepieces. Indeed, this self-winding calibre features a large integrated central seconds hand: no additional module is needed to house the complication which obviously ensures a better technical coherence for this component.

The continuous twenty-second sweep followed by a jump back to the initial position of this long blue-tinted hand surely brings the dial to life and makes you want to glimpse at your wrist more often than you need to read the time. Once your attention has been caught, everything is perfectly orchestrated on the open-worked surface for your eyes to linger…

The right-hand side of the dial is dedicated to the time indications with a beautiful white-coloured sub-dial at 5 o’clock featuring Roman numerals and a railway-style minute track in addition to the brand’s iconic blue-tinted “dewdrop” hands. Just above, a longer hand with the same style moves back and forth on a white graduated arc of a circle. Both elements perfectly stand out on the main plate left deliberately simple with alternating sanded and polished surfaces to emphasise the sense of depth.

In comparison, the left-hand side appears less minimalist and reveals the sophisticated technical parts of the watch. Indeed, the high-end movement has been designed in such a way that all the interesting mechanical components can be admired from the dial side. The balance wheel at 10 o’clock has been positioned closer to the watch centre to become an integral part of the show and the watchmakers were able to highlight the retrograde cam at 8 o’clock. In between these two elements, at the 9 o’clock position, a blue-tinted marker and a seconds disc featuring subtle shades of white, grey, and black help you mark out the three different twenty-second sequences in each minute.

A gorgeous Fleur-de-Lis appliqué at 12 o’clock and a brand new Clou de Paris guilloché decoration on the inner bezel surrounding the dial complete the unique Louis Moinet aesthetics. From the back, these lovely creations are equally appealing with their elegant guilloché rotors rotating on ceramic ball bearing to reveal the circular Côtes de Genève pattern of the base plate also featuring jewels with diamond-cut chamfers and circular satin-finish gears with a 5N gold-toned finish.

The highly complex 44 x 16.10 mm case made of 60 components is clearly worthy of the calibre it houses and will bring a lot of attention to your wrist. All three models are mounted on hand-sewn Louisiana alligator strap with alligator lining. The titanium model is secured by a stainless steel folding buckle and the two gold versions come with a traditional pin buckle in the same colour of gold as the case.

In titanium or in its more luxurious rose gold rendition, the 20-Second Tempograph is an extremely appealing timepiece with a lot of character. It is both faithful to traditional watchmaking and contemporary enough to arouse our interest. Once again this small brand has managed to create an irresistibly appealing timekeeper with the right amount of exclusivity to attract discerning watch enthusiasts.

For more information please visit the Louis Moinet web site.

For a technical description of the timepieces and additional pictures: