Moon Rise: Le Rhöne Moonphase CollectionBy Darren Ho
The Moon has always had a dramatic flair in watchmaking, in part because of its historical association with timekeeping, but also because of its depiction in tales. Lately, our obsession with moon phase watches has ranged from focusing on precision to magnification. This started with Piaget from seven years ago, until more recently when everyone from Hermès to Le Rhöne is focused on magnifying its presence on the dial.
Le Rhöne’s MOÖN series of watches is one of these watches, with a Grand Phase de Lune complications that fully adorns the dial with a great moon phase display on the dial, driven by an in-house movement. The brand’s two founders, Loïc Florentin and Timo Rajakoski, take a different view of developing watchmaking, focusing on developing a simultaneous customisation program in their timepieces with a range of popular series productions.
Most moon phase displays are operated through the use of corrector pushers, either extruding on the case or flush with it and adjusted with a pin corrector. Instead, Le Rhöne opted to integrate that control into the crown itself.
The movement is housed in the Hedonia case, a tonneau form with gently angular corners and with two size options at 41mm and 37mm. The latter has a shorter design, compressing the watch and emphasising the octagonal case middle. Both cases are designed with an integrated strap construction with bracelet options as well as alligator leather straps, with Le Rhöne’s strap-changing mechanism in-built. The bracelet comes in a tapered, two-link design that’s carefully curved and angled. Steel and gold options are available for both sizes.
The original MOÖN series was unveiled in 2017 with an aventurine dial to reproduce the feel of the night sky. The stone dial delivered a powerful presence with its midnight blue filled with glistening specks along with a mix of luminous stars, while the oversized Moon was carefully crafted in mother-of-pearl.
A second series of MOÖN watches in 2018 switched to laser-engraved, brushed metal discs to create the textures of the Moon. This sat on a sapphire disc that employed a multi-layer metal deposition to create the effect of a starry night sky.
Furthering this, Le Rhöne has now introduced five sets of fully gemset variants of the Hedönia Grand Moon, the first of which is a sapphire-and-diamond set dial with a diamond set bezel to deliver a sparkling version of the watch from all aspects. On the dial, the moon is fully set in diamonds over a sapphire-covered dial, intermittently mixed with diamonds to represent the stars in the sky. The entire display is delivered in a snow setting. On the bezel, a series of baguette cut diamonds in different sizes are placed in an invisible pressure setting to fit with the bezel’s design around the dial. Four more “Acts” of the gemset editions are being planned, and while Le Rhöne has yet to reveal what they will be, we’re sure it will be as appealing as the first.
Self-winding; hours and minutes; proprietary large moon phase display; bi-directional winding with propellor rotor; 42-hour power reserve
41mm in stainless steel or 18K pink or white gold; also available in 37mm in stainless steel or 18K pink or white gold; snow setting or a single row of diamonds or without gems on bezel; water resistant to 100m
18K pink or white gold bracelet, or stainless steel bracelet; also available with alligator leather strap; strap-change mechanism for easy swapping