Welcome to the Baroque universe of Louis Moinet watches where Jules Verne steampunk aesthetics are combined with elaborate mechanical movements and out-of-this-world materials like meteorite from Mars and 70-million-year-old fossilised palm wood. Made in exclusive, limited editions, the galaxy is a recurrent theme at Louis Moinet. Just ahead of Baselworld 2018, Louis Moinet launches Skydance, a 36mm ladies’ watch designed to celebrate the beauty of our celestial canopy offering hours, minutes and small seconds.
A porthole from Captain Nemo’s Nautilus
A sequel to Louis Moinet’s other ladies’ Stardance watch, the 36mm case of the Skydance is made from a mixture of grade 5 titanium and stainless steel. When viewed from the profile, you can appreciate the pronounced curve of the case and its thick, sturdy girth. It is no secret that Louis Moinet is a fan of Jules Verne’s fiction and certain features of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine turn up from time to time in its collections. The porthole-shape of the case captures the spirit of Verne’s underwater vessel, and even the traditional bolts you would find on a real porthole are interpreted here on the wide polished bezel with its six diamond-covered screws.
Sliding down from the round polished sides of the bezel porthole to the case, you will notice that the case band is engraved with a succession of floral motifs – the first time this has been executed on a women’s watch – and that the lugs are set with ceramic. Given the practical nature of this watch, with its robust bolted-down case construction and sturdy materials, I wonder why the water-resistance was not increased from its current 50-metre threshold to 100 metres, making it a truly land, sea and sky companion?
The cosmos in colour
The striking dial of the Skydance watch, presented in Magic blue, Magic green and Magic red tonalities, draws the eye to its unusual and uneven surface. Although Louis Moinet will not divulge the technique employed, it reminds me of paillonné enamel that involves placing a leaf of foil beneath the enamel to obtain reliefs.
Whatever the secret technique might be, the effect is reminiscent of the surface of the Moon with its bumps and craters. Eleven brilliant-cut diamonds double up as hour indices with the stones at 3, 9 and 12 o’clock slightly larger in diameter. The small seconds counter, placed at 6 o’clock features a sun-shaped hand and the hour and minute hands with dewdrop tips are filled with luminescence.
Machine below deck
Fitted with an automatic movement made by Concepto for Louis Moinet, the watch has a power reserve of 42 hours and beats at a frequency of 28,800vph. Visible through the sapphire crystal glass, the oscillating weight is decorated with a golden Sun and Moon motif revealing the hand-finishes of the movement.
The Skydance watch comes on matching alligator straps with a steel folding clasp, is produced in limited edition of 28 pieces per colour and will retail for CHF 10,900. More details on www.louismoinet.com.