Louis MoinetBy Israel Ortega
The charming atelier Louis Moinet presents at Watches and Wonders 2022 a new emblematic timepiece: Astronef. The complex and rich piece adds to the critical collection of high mechanics that make up its Mechanical Wonders collection and is, at the same time, a new original proposal, both in terms of its watchmaking and art.
Following in the footsteps of the Space Revolution watch presented a couple of years ago, the Astronef takes advantage of the same caliber, the LM105, and its distinctive double orbital tourbillon architecture that also offers high-design possibilities. If the Space Revolution is a mini work of science fiction and cosmic adventure, the Astronef is its reflection in a parallel universe of modern aesthetics and bold art.
The Astronef features an elaborate design worthy of a museum, consisting of a complex dial and its transparent case that houses the unusual animation of its two 60-second tourbillons — with their respective counterweights — that rotate around the dial at high speed in opposite directions, and meet 18 times per hour (every three minutes and 20 seconds). The dial has a total thickness of 0.6mm, of which 0.2mm is hollowed to reveal the numerals. The deep-black DLC treatment contrasts with the rhodium plating and gives it a two-tone hue. An 18K gold frame supports the sapphire case while the open-worked lugs and transparent walls lighten the aesthetics, thus favoring the path of light to the movement and its indications.
The 471-component LM105 caliber required more than three years of research where doubts and stumbling blocks abounded, according to the brand. The result is an innovative and fun watch that invites one to celebrate its magic and art. The mechanism hides under the 3.75mm-thick bottom plate and still houses a pair of barrels that power the wandering regulators. The advantage of this construction is that it clears the upper stage to enhance the show’s magic. At the back, a selector for setting and winding functions facilitates the manipulation of the watch without affecting its artistic zeal.
Louis Moinet Astronef Reference LM-105.50.60
Movement: Manual-winding caliber LM105; 48 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, dual orbital tourbillons
Case: 43.5mm; 18K rose gold and sapphire; water-resistant to 10m
Strap: Alligator leather with rose gold folding clasp
Availability: Limited to eight pieces