A limited edition of only 28 pieces, AstroMoon is the latest astral complication by Louis Moinet.
The limited edition AstroMoon reflects the brand Louis Moinet’s prime style statements: an aventurine dial, a column-wheel chronograph, and genuine meteorite fragments. It also has the familiar dew-drop hands, a large tourbillon cage with curved bridges, a chronograph hand tipped by a star, and pushers inspired by Compteur de Tierces, the first chronograph in history, invented by Louis Moinet in 1816. But among all these features, the most captivating part is the expansive moon-phase complication set against the deep blue aventurine backdrop, which looks a lot like the starry sky.
“We started by taking a look at the most common moon-phases and noted one feature they all had in common: a tiny window that was not only small, but also only half-open – with the moon and night sky having to be squeezed into that half,” says Schaller. “Why not open up the heavens? After all, we don’t usually gaze up at a closed roof!” said Jean-Marie Schaller, Ateliers Louis Moinet’s CEO.
The resulting complication, positioned at 6 o’clock, is entirely unique to Louis Moinet. In the centre of the rotating disc, two fragments of lunar meteorite (from the Dhofar 459 meteorite) face one another, symbolising the moon. Around the disc a wide applique ring with curved indentations displays the moon’s phases as the disc turns.
To date, only a hundred or so lunar meteorites like the Dhafar 459 have been identified worldwide. While most such meteorites are in museums, very few are available for artistic use. Louis Moinet is the only watch brand to incorporate meteorites from both the Moon and Mars in its creations. These are extremely rare collector’s items for enthusiasts and experienced connoisseurs.
To preserve the deep tranquillity achieved by the aventurine dial, the four screws on the tourbillon bridges and the chronograph counter are blue-tinted, as are their second and minute markers.
Innovative yet traditional
The case used to house this assembly has many innovative features, which are protected by several patents. Comprising 49 components, the case comes in a 46.5 mm format. The chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock on either side of the Louis Moinet crown, and the impact resistance system are also patented. The Fleur de Lys – emblem of the Ateliers Louis Moinet – is embossed on the surface, as well as features as an applique on the dial at 9 o’clock.
The movement powering the AstroMoon is developed in-house by Louis Moinet. It is founded on the historic Venus caliber, which is a legendary movement acclaimed since the 1960s as a benchmark for chronographs. Its 373 components have an exceptional finish; the surfaces and angles are hand-polished. The gold ruby gears and edging and the steel screws, block polished heads and slots highlight the character of this intricate movement. The tourbillon and chronograph bridges are embellished with an engraving depicting the cosmos. Featuring a 50-hour power reserve, the movement is hand-wound. The movement is visible through the crystal back of the AstroMoon, with the distinctive signs of Louis Moinet arrayed all around.
If you would like to buy one of these limited edition watches, locate a Louis Moinet retailer near you from here.