Every industry has its game-changers.
In the world of horology, that man was Louis Moinet. It was recently discovered that the Paris-born watchmaker had crafted the world’s first-ever chronograph in 1816 — a stunning work bearing an astronomically fast 30 Hertz movement frosted in gold. Now, 200 years later, independent Swiss atelier Louis Moinet bears the pioneer’s name in tribute.
The inception of the chronograph revolutionized timekeeping with its ability to act as a stopwatch — it can be started, stopped and subsequently reset— making it an indispensable tool for gents in astronomy, automobile racing, the military and beyond. In modern times, the chronograph is one of the world’s most popular watch complications and frequently appears alongside traditional time-telling functions, as well as more interesting features such as a multiple second hands, date timers and moon phase displays.
To celebrate the bicentennial of Moinet’s momentous breakthrough and the 10th anniversary of its brand, atelier Louis Moinet is launching the new Memoris chronograph. Much in the tradition of its forebear, this timepiece also has the potential to alter history by bearing the distinction of being the first chronograph-watch. Not to my surprise, the Memoris has been nominated to the prestigious Gran Prix d’Horlogerie of Geneva.
Rather than attempting to merely improve on the original concept, the Memoris’ design looks back to Moinet’s compteur de tierces as a starting point and presents an entirely new timepiece with the chronograph as its primary focus. The entire 147-component chronograph has been isolated from the rest of the movement on a dedicated Côtes de Genève mechanism plate fully visible through the dual convex sapphire crystal face — column wheel, yokes, pawls, springs and all. This radical departure from the familiar required Louis Moinet to re-engineer nearly every one of the watch’s 302 components, from the tailor-made wheels to the oscillating weight heaving at its heart.
The apparatus is cradled within a 46-millimetre original case consisting of 52 components and finished in white or pink 18-karat gold. As a final touch, the monopusher is decorated with a Clous de Paris.
Chief among the Memoris’ technical innovations is the “Energie Plus” automatic pawl winding system that animates the LM54 calibre beating at four Hertz beneath the case. It comes fitted with a crab-claw spring mechanism that impressively allows the watch to be wound both ways to power the 48-hour reserve with unprecedented efficiency.
Like time itself, availability of the Memoris is fleeting. Louis Moinet will only offer the unique timepiece in three limited-edition sets of 60 individually numbered copies.
Don’t wait two centuries to discover it.
This post was sponsored by Louis Moinet.
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