Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Louis Moinet and the Red Planet

This just in from Louis Moinet -

With the spotlight pointed on Mars thanks to the recent historic landing of the space rover Curiosity, Astralis is still the only wristwatch to contain a piece of the Red Planet – a fragment of Martian meteorite that travelled over 55 million kilometers before reaching the Earth !

To date, only 63 meteorite rocks found on Earth have been identified as being from Mars.


Courtesy of Louis Moinet


Courtesy of Louis Moinet

                                                                       THE MOON

Courtesy of Louis Moinet

                                                                         THE SUN
Courtesy of Louis Moinet
The unique universe of Astralis

A 24-hour planetarium

Astralis boasts a planetarium at 6 o’clock containing not one but four highly-polished rare meteorites – Dhofar 459, Itqiy, Sahara 99555 and Jiddat al Harasis 479 – respectively denoting the Moon, the Sun and the planets Mercury and Mars. Sahara 99555 it is the oldest known rock in the entire Solar System, estimated at 4 billion 566 million years, earning it the nickname the "Rosetta Stone" of our Solar System (though we are not certain it originates from Mecury). The Sun is symbolised in the planetarium by a sliver of Itqiy, a beautiful meteorite whose origins remain mysterious. All four of these fragments of extra-terrestrial rocks are unique and mounted on a finely-cut aventurine disk, evoking a starry sky making a one revolution per day.

Four unique timepieces

To celebrate the exploits of Curiosity, Louis Moinet has decided to present a unique set of four unique Astralis timepieces, with the dark brown, silver, dark blue and diamond-speckled black dials. The presentation case for each watch is a work of art in itself: A planetoidal sphere 21 cm in diameter created by sculptor Jean-Yves Kervevan, representing Mars, the Moon, Mercury and the Sun.

A combination of 3 complications

These four collection watches have a combination of complications never seen before: In addition to the 24-hour planetarium there is an astral tourbillon and split-second, column-wheel chronograph. Signature Louis Moinet “Côtes du Jura” engraving embellishes the dial and “Gouttes de Rosée” hands accompany the split-second chronograph hand decorated with a shooting star, which activate by pushing the pusher carefully integrated into the crown.

A sapphire glass caseback enables the viewer to admire the exclusive movement LM27, fully redeveloped based on a vintage Venus calibre. The chronograph column wheel and split-second ‘scorpion’ clamps provide ultra-smooth functionality and can be glimpsed through the display back along with a plate engraved with planets which, together with the gold chaton and blued screws, evoke a beautiful night sky.

Technical specifications

Astralis Unique Pieces are a quartet of split-second chronographs, each named after an important celestial body in our solar system: Mars, Mercury, the Moon and the Sun. All four timepieces feature a 24-hour planetarium with authentic meteorite fragments representing the same four planetoids.

Features and functions:

Hours, minutes and seconds

Split-second, column-wheel chronograph with seconds, split seconds and 30-minute counter

24-hour planetarium

Astral tourbillon


Planetarium containing fragments of exclusive meteorites: Dhofar 459 (symbolising the Moon), Itqiy (symbolising the Sun), Sahara 99555 (symbolising the Sun), and Jiddat al Harasis 479 (symbolising Mars)

Côtes du Jura guilloche

Colours: Moon – black; Mercury – silver; Sun - midnight blue; Mars - Havana

Facetted applied hour-markers/hour indices


Gouttes de Rosée hour and minute hands

'shooting star' split-second chronograph hand

Movement and finishing

Louis Moinet Calibre LM27

Tourbillon cage: 1 turn/minute

Jewels: 31

Winding: Hand-winding

Oscillations: 21,600vph

Frequency: 3 Hz

Lines: 14.5

Power reserve: 48 hours

Escapement: Side lever

Oscillator: CuBe two-arm balance wheel, moment of inertia: 10.5 mg/cm2, lever angle 52°

Split-second mechanism: Blued steel column-wheel with monobloc split-second ‘scorpion’ clamps

Hand-engraved plate

Polished jewel sinks

Grained brass

Blued steel screws


Diameter: 46.50mm

Height: 17.62mm

Material: 18K rose gold (Mars and Mercury), 18K white gold (Sun), 18K white gold and 66 Top Wesselton baguette diamonds (3.38 cts) (Moon)

Comprising 50 elements that are meticulously assembled

Facets softened by the work of the master polisher

Sapphire crystals with anti-reflective treatment

Case diameter: 46.50mm

Case thickness: 17.62mm

Water resistance: 50m

Caseback: Secured with 7 screws, engraved with the individual number and Louis Moinet symbols

Crown guard: patent pending

Pusher inside crown activates split-second chronograph

Champagne cork chronograph pushers with compass rose motif


Louisiana alligator leather, hand-stitched

Colours: Moon – black; Mercury - Havana brown; Sun - midnight blue; Mars – Havana brown

Buckle: 18k gold and black titanium double folding clasp

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