Louis Moinet introduces a 3 hand HMS watch, but as is typical fashion for Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO and Creative Director, comes with an interesting character twist – the dial not only depicts the extra-terrestial view of the moon as seen by Apollo 8, but actually contains a lunar meteorite fragment. Details here.
New: Louis Moinet Super Moon
The retail price for the Louis Moinet Super Moinet is CHF 17,000 before taxes.
We would expect a watch which bears the name Super Moon to be able to display the phases or age of the moon. But the Louis Moinet Super Moon does not. It is a three hand Hour/Minute/Seconds only watch. What it lacks in movement complication, it makes up for the unique styling and aesthetics of the maison. With the added flair of a métiers d’art work on the dial as well as the curiosity of an object d’art. A distinct and perhaps whimsical and fantastical style we have come to associate with the flamboyance of the CEO and Creative Director Jean-Marie Schaller. And the Super Moon does not disappoint in this regard.
The Super Moon
The watch is named Super Moon, and though a catchy sounding name, as mentioned, there is no other reference to it from the design or execution of the novelty.
The supermoon is a full or new moon phenomena corresponding to the moment when the orbit of the Moon is closest to Earth. Supermoon is not an official astronomical term. It was first coined by an astrologer, Richard Nolle, in 1979. He defined it as ‘a New or a Full Moon that occurs when the Moon is at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in its orbit’. It is not clear why he chose the 90% cut off in his definition.
Typically this phenomena occurs 4 times every year. There are two Super Full Moons in 2022: the Super Strawberry Moon on June 14 and the Super Buck Moon on July 13. There are also two Super New Moons in 2022. The first took place on January 2, and the other will happen on December 23 (the date may vary depending on your time zone). The Super New Moons, like any other New Moon, will not be visible from Earth.
On 14 November 2016, the Moon was 356,511 km from the centre of the Earth, the closest occurrence since 1948. It will not be closer until 2034.
View of the moon as seen on board Apollo 8 in 1968
Jean-Marie also chose to include a métier d’art dial using hand hammering as the technique to create a view of the Moon as seen on board Apollo 9 in 1968 when it approached the Moon’s surface. The surface texture is engraved by the hammering process to look like the Apollo 8 photographs. Light and dark tones are created by brushing which is performed after nickel plating the engraved dial. And the textured dial is remarkably similar.
An opening at 8 to 12 shows the subsidiary seconds hand subdial which is pierced to provide a peek into the escapement.
On the right side of the dial, framed by an anodised capsule is a real lunar meteorite fragment. This fragment is rare, and is one of 371 known lunar meteorites which have landed on Earth. This particular fragment is crafted by Daniel Haas into an object d’art, and is made from a meteorite which landed on the Dhofar Desert in Oman. The material is a highly textured disc which is very dark, almost black hue, and appears to be suspended above the moonscape of the dial.
The appliqué index design
Also usual for Louis Noinet watches, the. Super Moon features a specially designed appliqué indices for the hour markers. These are faceted, with diamond polished and satin finished surfaces in juxtaposition, giving the indices and the dial an accentuated sense of three dimensionality, especially so as it is suspended by the black PVD base.
The case design
The case is also a complicated design creating a rather interesting silhouette. The bezel is attached by 6 screws and is in the shape of a 5 tooth cog. This receives a matte, dull grey finish, and contrasts to the polished case body. Construction of the case is built around two vertical bridges that cross the piece to accommodate the strap at each end of their open worked lugs. These bridges enclose the movement container, which is dominated by the six-screw bezel, one of Louis Moinet’s trademarks.
The movement is the Louis Moinet LM45, which is three hand automatic movement. Movement finishing is at a typical high level that we know from Louis Moinet. The finissage is de rigeur for a haute horlogerie movement, and includes all the important elements like Côtes de Genève, diamond-polished chamfers, circular satin-finished wheels, circular graining.
The sapphire caseback reveals the movement’s rotor mounted on ball bearings. The Clous de Paris motif is engine turned on the rotor, but reinterpreted in a concentric version, giving an impression of motion.
The watch looks very good. The aesthetics are well thought through, and the impression of the indices floating over the surface of the moon is visually compelling. The watch is rather large, though not unusual for Louis Moinet, measuring some 45.5mm in diameter. Movement layout is very beautiful and finishing looks excellent. We have yet to examine the watch in person, but have requested Jean-Marie to send a loaner when possible. We will update with a full hands on review with our own photography when we do.
Louis Moinet Super Moon Technical information
|316L stainless steel
|Sapphire | Glareproofed on both sides
|Depiction of the lunar surface
|Hammering | Nickel-plating | Brushing
|Capsule at 3 o’clock
|Lunar meteorite fragment | Blue anodised aluminium
|Suspended above the dial | Rhodium-plated, diamond-polished and satin-brushed flanks
|Hours | Minutes | Seconds
|Self-winding mechanism | Balance with screws
|Bi-material | 6 ball bearings | Adorned with concentric “Clous de Paris” hobnail pattern and “Fleur de Lys”
|Mainplate: circular “Côtes de Genève” hobnail pattern,circular satin-finished and circular-grained Self-winding bridge: circular graining, diamond-polished chamfers, engraved and gilded Louis Moinet symbols Gear trains: circular satin-finished
|Louisiana alligator leather| Alligator lining, hand-sewn
|Triple-blade folding clasp | Steel with black PVD finish | Fine adjustment | Curved “Fleur de Lys”