Earlier in 2013, the Louis Moinet Nelson Piquet Chronograph launched a new series for Swiss haute horology brand Louis Moinet. The watch was developed by working closely with the former racing star to create an exclusive 365 piece limited edition timepiece of award winning merit.
The Legends Collection by Louis Moinet is a series of exceptional watches for exceptional individuals who have excelled in their own particular field. One such is racing driver Nelson Piquet. Born in 1952, he earned a place in motorsport history due to his remarkable skill, tireless physical stamina and enduring mental strength. In recognition of his immense achievements, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2000.
The Louis Moinet Nelson Piquet Chronograph is a handsome two-pusher automatic chronograph which comes on a practical, supple and comfortable rubber strap; with its easy to read high-visibility hands; a tachymeter scale and a steel and carbon fibre bezel, there is even a racing-inspired engraving of Piquet at his peak on the caseback.
Having worked in close collaboration with Piquet on the dial, it has all the functionality and readability that is specifically of advantage to racing drivers and lovers of motor sport. It is a true watch for drivers.
The bright counters and bold hands and numerals contrast perfectly against the dial’s striking navy blue backdrop. The rhodium-plated central hour and minute hands are coated in Super-LumiNova so as to be easily legible in the dark, while the metallised hour indices and small seconds at 9 o’clock catch the light and can be read at a glance.
The central chronograph hand is accompanied by a seconds chapter ring capable of measuring intervals down to just a quarter of a second. Meanwhile there’s a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a 12-hour counter at located 6 o’clock. Speed or distance can be calculated using the tachymeter scale engraved on the bezel to time laps and consistency of speed.
Special attention was given to the lower half of the watch, rendered in Geneva wave finishing so as to emulate the grill of vintage racing cars. While the Louis Moinet logo is at 12 o’clock Nelson Piquet has proudly signed off on the watch and his signature is located at 5 o’clock.
The blue and white colourway was chosen as these colours represent those of Brabham, for whom Nelson Piquet raced from 1978 to 1985. In his F1 racing days, Nelson was the one of the leading drivers of his generation. He won the Formula One drivers’ championship in both 1981 and 1983.
Like some other high-end motor sports dedicated watches such as the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari series, the Louis Moinet Nelson Piquet Chronograph case takes full advantage of recent developments in motorsport technology. The watch is assembled with a 6-screw stainless steel case that incorporates a high-tech carbon-fibre lower bezel.
Louis Moinet also chose carbon fibre for the inserts on the chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. Thoughtfully, the pushers not only enhance grip, but also portray in engraved form, a chequered motif as a reminder of the familiar F1 finish-line flag. It’s a flag that was waved for Piquet as he crossed the finishing line first on 23 occasions during his illustrious Grand Prix career.
With a delightful added design tweak, the pushers are even rendered in the shape of champagne corks, because lots of bubbly is spilled every time a winner is up on the podium. During Piquet’s 13-year career he spilled magnums of it.
The caseback features a tinted sapphire crystal lens which affords an excellent view of the plates and bridges. There is also open worked artistry to view aplenty, along with a black rhodium-plated, ball bearing-mounted rotor. In keeping with the racing theme, the rotor has been designed to resemble a high-performance car brake disc. All around the edge of the case back is a winner’s wreath, together with an inscription denoting Nelson Piquet’s three championship wins in F1.
Just for good measure, to accompany the watch is a 95mm x 70mm reproduction of a watercolour painting of Piquet in his Brabham and Williams cars by respected motorsport artist Willy Richard. All of the thought and intricacy that went into the design of the watch earned it a Red Dot design award, one of the world’s most prestigious design industry prizes. The Nelson Piquet is the fifth Louis Moinet timepiece to have won such an award.
More resources about the Louis Moinet Nelson Piquet Chronograph on the Official Louis Moinet Website.