In some of my previous articles I have already mentioned the brand I am going to talk to you about. That is because I truly believe it deserves much more recognition in today’s horology world than it gets. Louis Moinet is one of those manufacturers who most interested in watches (or luxury) people have seen almost certainly, but again – most of them would ignore even approaching it in the stores, why? Simply because 90% of the articles and posts about Louis Moinet are written about their tourbillon pieces. Well, what’s so bad about it? You might ask. The thing about Louis Moinet tourbillons is that all of them have either extremely rare meteorites or precious stones used as part of the dial (and I am talking big quantities of them) – that pumps the price range from around 60-80 thousand dollars up to about 200-300’000$! And the most famous piece from the brand is the Meteoris Tourbillon (actually a set of 4 watches – sold out) priced at almost 5 million $.
Now, of course after these figures most regular or even very well paid people would turn away from the brand (in terms of actually considering the purchase); and that is where we make a mistake. Just like other brands (like Jaeger-LeCoultre or Audemars Piguet) Louis Moinet has an extreme price range, and here I would like to introduce you to a couple of models that would not cost you your house mortgage. To start off is a piece I actually own myself (bought it a year ago), a watch that I discovered by actually exploring the brand’s collections – the ‘Mecanograph’.
Mecanograph is not one of the high-end tourbillon pieces, but it still has a lot to offer. First of all it is a certified chronometer (which you don’t see every day now), and the movement of the watch is not just a regular one – it uses an in-house developed mechanism that has a bidirectional winding system, allowing the automatic movement to wind more efficiently. Apart from that I had to admire the design, partially skeletonized watch with an exposed balance wheel really makes the whole dial look more interesting, and it goes perfect together with the elegant hands created by LM and the leather strap (with a deployment buckle).
There are different versions of this watch (I have the titanium with a black dial) varying in the use of material and color of the dial. A new version just released is the Titanium grade 5 with a really nice blue colored dial; and each of the versions is a limited edition of 365 pieces. The price is much more within one’s reach when thinking about a luxury watch – that is 12’000 CHF with tax for the titanium version.
Now a second watch I will take a look at is called the ‘Geograph’ and it is quite a bit more complex than the previous timepiece, yet still sits comfortably in the 10-20k price range ?
Geograph is a watch made for the people who like to travel; it might not necessarily be the perfect mountain climbing (although I did do climbing wearing another LM piece) simply because you wouldn’t want to scratch it, but it can definitely survive different traveling conditions and even help you out a bit, as it is equipped with a chronograph function (with the main dial seconds hand, and 2 subdials at 12 and 6 o’clock for minutes and hours) as well as a separate indication of 24 hours (going on the separate circle after the hour markers).
And speaking of the tough conditions Louis Moinet watches are definitely waterproof, I know as I was pushed into a deep swimming pool wearing the Mecanograph and came out just fine (though try this at your own risk) ?
Getting back to the timepiece – as most of Louis Moinet creations it also has that distinctive ‘Cotes Du Jura’ dial decoration (that looks like really beautiful waves) as well as the ‘Gouttes de Roses’ hands finishing the look. Apart from that there’s another cool feature I noticed – that is the disk for the indication of the regular seconds – at 9 o’clock, just next to the date window you can see a little star, and one of its ‘hands’ is longer than the others – that is the indication of the seconds!
The back of the watch is also something worth taking a look at – it has a see-through movement with an automatic rotor for the winding, as well as a really cool engraving around the case back, where you can see a sailing ship that displays Captain Cook on his nautical journey, as well as a hot air balloon paying homage to the Montgolfer brothers. Everything about the look of this watch suggests adventure and it would really be a pity if the people who buy the Geograph don’t later on have an interesting story to tell and associate with the watch.
Just like the Mecanograph it exists in different dial and material variations and the price ranging from 13 to around 22 thousand dollars. Finally, there are some versions in limited editions of 60 and some in 365. Now I thank you all for tuning in and reading about these 2 very different pieces, and I would suggest you to go and explore the watch world of Louis Moinet on your own. (www.louismoinet.com)