The Saint-Blaise based Swiss watchmaker Louis Moinet has launched another high-end timekeeper with astronomical theme. This time, it is new Astrolabe Tourbillon timekeeper inspired by the invention of Arabic scholar Ibn al-Sarraj whose astrolabe made about seven centuries ago is considered to be the most intricate of the era. To honor the astronomer, Louis Moinet has opted to present a watch which will replicate details of Ibn al-Sarraj’s contraption on its dial. The otherwise very complex and finely finished timepiece with a tourbillon complication and a power reserve of three days is launched in an exclusive edition which consists of just a dozen of pieces. When it comes to the price, the Lois Moinet’s newcomer is available for $280,000.
Lois Moinet has panache for creating timekeepers with stellar inspiration. Recently, we have reviewed the brand’s Stardance timekeeper which includes pieces of meteorites that fell on the Earth from outer space. Its new watch is in a way reversed when compared to that one, since it is dedicated to an astrolabe – a devise used to give information about celestial bodies. This intricate inclinometer was likewise used to determine local time via latitude, triangulation and for making horoscopes during the olden days. More accurately, the watch is dedicated to the specific and the most famous astrolabe which was designed by Ahmad Ibn al-Sarraj, an Arabic astronomer who lived in the 14th century. His astrolabe was the most intricate at the time and retained this title for a few following centuries. Even to this day, it is hailed as the most sophisticated astronomical instrument of both medieval period and Renaissance.
For this homage piece that celebrates the intricate instrument of the Arabic scholar, the Swiss watchmaker made the red gold-colored dial that recreates some of the visual elements of the astrolabe. The multi-layered dial with a curved grid and engraved Arabic numeral on the flange features central hands for hours and minutes, as well as seconds indication executed via its one-minute tourbillon. Furthermore, the watch’s face has another skeletonized section at the top which is counterpoised to the tourbillon carriage.
Transparent Case-Back Reveals Octopus Spring Winding Mechanism
Louis Moinet Astrolabe Tourbillon watch is fitted into a round 18 K white gold housing with the brand’s specific design which includes a stepped bezel which is fixed with the use of eight screws. The housing which consists of 59 components features quite a substantial size and has the width of 47 mm. On the front side, there is a glare-proofed sapphire crystal. The same material (sans the anti-reflective coating) is featured on the back which also includes engraving that designates the place of the particular model in this 12-piece series. Thanks to the construction, the circular case is water resistant to 30 meters.
Inside the housing there is a tourbillon mechanical movement with a lateral lever escapement which features the operating frequency of 21,600 vph. It is a manually-wound caliber with a specific octopus spring winding mechanism which the manufacturer tends to use in its watches and which can be seen through the transparent case-back. Its supported power reserve lasts for around 72 hours. Regarding the decorations of the movement, one can notice Cotes de Jura motif and blued screws.
Fragments of Meteorite from the Moon & a Replica of the Ibn al-Sarraj’s Astrolabe
For the wristlet, Louis Moinet chose a black hand-stitched Louisiana alligator leather strap which fastens with a folding clasp that is constructed from 18 K white gold and black PVD-coated titanium. The watch is delivered in a stylish wooden box which has a really cool feature – it integrates a meteorite fragment from the moon which will certainly make the watch additionally appealing to all astronomy enthusiasts and star gazers. As if all of this was not enough, it likewise includes an accurate and faithful replica of the 14th century astrolabe by Ahmad Ibn al-Sarraj which was crafted by Martin Brunold who is probably the only remaining enthusiast capable of crafting these intricate instruments. The watch is launched in a restricted edition of 12 pieces which will all be sold at the price of $280,000.