The brand whose founder made the first ever chronograph in the history of watchmaking, Louis Moinet, has presented a special piece which commemorates this feat. It is Memoris 200th Anniversary white gold watch launched in a limited edition of 20 pieces. The piece in question is a column-wheel mono-pusher chronograph with its chrono mechanism separated from the rest of the self-winding movement and placed atop of its it can be visible through the skeletonized dial. However, the thing that distinguishes Memoris 200th piece the most is the fact that its exposed main-plate features a fixed graver engraving technique which in combination with the painted background serves as a captivating representation of a starry night. The new commemorative piece is the first model ever to be decorated with the use of said decorative technique.
Since the founder of Louis Moinet (who also gave the name to the brand) stands behind the creation of one of the most important inventions in horology, it is quite logical that the company wished to appropriately mark this achievement. The first step in this direction was the launch of Memoris piece at the previous edition of Baselworld. This piece which serves as the basis for the novelty we are now talking about has been upgraded and made even more distinguishable with the use of lavish decorations. Some of these were used for the first time in the Memoris collection. Others, as it has been mentioned, are introduced for the first time in the entire world of horology.
The greatest novelty visible in the timekeeper is the use of a fixed graver technique which was utlized on the brass plate that was previously coated in a deep blue shade. This process is devised by the craftsmen of the maison and it involves addition of a specially designed lathe to a rose engine in order to create a meld of a power of guillocheuse and the precision of a hand-performed engraving. The mentioned tweak allows that every single star seen on the plate features a different depth and an angle in order to attract the maximal amount of light. It is a very complex process and each of the tiny engraved sections that serve as the stars requires several steps in its creation. However, the intricacy of the procedure is justified with the stunning end-result.
Apart from the novel engraving technique, the appearance of the timekeeper is likewise characterized with the use of a transparent material which was utilized in the creation of the flange and the bridge which is holds its two chrono counters in place. To create it, Louis Moinet actually came up with a new composite material which it still keeps in secret. The material possesses an extraordinary transparency which is the same as the one of crystal. The advantage of the composite material is that, unlike crystal, it is additionally extremely resistant and thus appropriate to be used for these elements in the watch’s structure.
Finally, the off-centered dial on the bottom of the watch’s face is made in blue enamel. It includes two dew-drop shaped hands which are additionally blue-tinted and coated with aluminous material in order to glow in the dark. Louis Moinet Memoris 200th Anniversary is the premier timepiece in the series to be made with an enamel counter.
A Prominent Chronograph
The reason behind placing the hours and minutes counter on the bottom of the dial is the fact that time-keeping is actually a secondary function of the watch, while its chronograph takes the central stage. This was achieved with the special architecture of in-house LM54 caliber which was made specifically for this purpose. It is comprised of 302 components and more than 140 of them were needed in order to enable the chronograph to stand above the main-plate and for it to be visible on the skeletonized blue dial.
Caliber LM54 was both designed and produced inside the manufacturer’s facilities. It is an automatic mechanical movement with 34 jewels which beats at the frequency of 28,800 vph and which includes a Glucydur balance wheel with a certified chronometer precision. It is adjusted to five positions.
Moreover, it is important to note that that the movement incorporates Energie Plus system. The apparatus includes a pawl winding mechanism which features a spring with a crab claw design and a tiny ceramic ball bearing with the minute diameter of just 0.397 mm. This is important since it allows winding in both directions. The supported power reserve of the caliber is two days. Caliber LM54 is 30.4 mm wide (13 ¼ lignes) and 8.9 mm thick.
As for the decorations on the movement (in addition to the fixed graver night sky scene), one can notice the Cotes de Geneve pattern, diamond-cut chamfers, diamond-polished facets and circular gears with 5N color finish. The winding rotor is made in the combination of two materials and it is embellished with the Fleur-de-lis and the concentric Paris striping patterns.
The round 46 mm wide and 15.75 mm thick housing of Louis Moinet Memoris 200th Anniversary piece is also notable. It is another component which is characteristic for the Memoris collection. The case crafted in 18 K white gold and assembled from no less than 52 parts, including a two-part bezel which is fixed with six angled screws. On both its front and back, the watch features convex sapphire crystals with double glare-proof coatings. The case-back (which is screwed-in with seven screws) is engraved and individually numbered in order to designate the place in the 20-piece series.
The Louis Moinet’s novelty is a mono-pusher chronograph, meaning that all of the stop-watch operations (starting, stopping and resetting) are controlled with a single pusher (at the two o’clock position). Apart from the single push-piece which is embellished with the Paris striping motif, there is also a crown with a patented protection. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters.
For the wristlet, the manufacturer selected a black hand-sewn Louisiana alligator leather strap with an alligator lining which connects to lugs with black zircon jewels and screws. The attachment locks with a folding clasp. The buckle is made of combination of 18 k gold and blackened steel and it features the Fleur-de-lis motif as a decoration.
The watch has the serial number LM-54.70.20.