Watches: Louis Moinet AstroMoon (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on May 14, 2015
This year, the Ateliers Louis Moinet are celebrating their tenth anniversary in the pure watchmaking tradition: by presenting exclusive timepieces featuring sought-after complications, outstanding design and impeccable finish! One such stunning creation is the new AstroMoon available in two white gold or rose gold limited editions of 28 pieces each.
From a mechanical viewpoint, this high-end model is powered by the complex 379-part LM 29 calibre manufactured on the basis of a historic Venus movement. This manually-wound marvel combines a chronograph function for which Venus calibres are considered a benchmark since the 1960s with a splendid tourbillon escapement and a moon phase complication.
The sapphire crystal on the back of the watch will allow you to assess its exceptional quality of finish. Not only have all the surfaces and angles been hand-polished in the finest watchmaking tradition but the tourbillon and chronograph bridges have also been engraved with a depiction of the cosmos. No detail has been overlooked and connoisseurs will undoubtedly appreciate the gold ruby gears or the block polished heads of the screws as well as the perlage on the plate and circular satin-brushed finish of the 2N-coloured gears to name but a few.
The aesthetic research is also visible from the dial side with an extremely refined overall layout featuring the brand’s main style codes. The large tourbillon cage held by a curved bridge is off-centred at 11 o’clock while the chronograph register (appearing in the form of a disc held by a similarly-shaped bridge) occupies the 3 o’clock position. This leaves a large space at 6 o’clock for the extremely elegant rendition of the moon phase complication.
Indeed, the general idea is to allow the owner of the watch an unobstructed view of the different components of this function. This is achieved by presenting a large disc made from aventurine with two small discs crafted from the Dhofar 459 meteorite facing one another. The entire disc is apparent at all times and the moon phases are indicated thanks to a beautifully curved bridge that is part of the appliqué ring surrounding the complication.
To enhance even further this open-work impression, the bridges held by flame-blued steel screws are also hollowed-out and the brand’s famous dew-drop hours and minutes hands are skeletonised. As per usual, the designers used a star-tipped hand for the chronograph function and a beautiful “Fleur de Lys” appliqué (Louis Moinet’s emblem) in the same colour as the case appears at 9 o’clock above the brand’s name.
The dial of the AstroMoon is crafted in the same aventurine as the moon disc for an absolutely stunning sky-like effect: the little shiny inclusions of this deep-blue stone beautifully symbolise the starry night sky and make perfect sense with the presence of lunar meteorite on the dial.
Whether in white gold or rose gold, the 46.5 mm case of this AstroMoon is absolutely exquisite and also extremely characteristic of the brand’s aesthetic. Comprising 49 components it is as intricate to produce as the rest of the watch and visually striking with its chronograph pushers inspired by the “Compteur de Tierces”, the first chronograph in history invented by Louis Moinet in 1816. Both versions come on a splendid alligator strap secured by the new folding buckle featuring a “Fleur de Lys” decoration and crafted in the same colour of gold as the case.
The AstroMoon is obviously a fine piece of Haute Horlogerie but importantly one that dares to be different and asserts its unmistakable style. It is the perfect acquisition for the watch collector in search of a high-end mechanical model with a strong identity and a true exclusivity attached to it.
For more information please visit the Louis Moinet web site.