The Louis Moinet Memoris Only watch has a separate chronograph function(Credit: Louis Moinet)
For this year’s Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy annual Only Watch charity auction, Louis Moinet has come up with something completely different – a wristwatch with a completely independent chronograph function. The second consecutive Moinet Only Watch entry for Louis Moinet, the 2019 Memoris Only watch’s separate movements means that the chronograph’s 147 components are displayed front and center on the dial side.
What sets haute chronologie watches apart from the herd is the fact they aren’t just timepieces or bits of functional luxury jewelry, but showpieces of technology and craftsmanship. For this reason, many watchmakers take a very keen interest in not only making their wares aesthetically pleasing and accurate, but also in pushing the envelope just that bit further.
The first chronograph was invented by watchmaker Louis Moinet in 1816 and Longines installed one in a wrist watch in 1913. It’s been a common inclusion in many mechanical watches, including the Rolex Daytona and the Omega Speedmaster, but the chronograph mechanism has remained a secondary function of the main timekeeping caliber.
Now the Louis Moinet company of Switzerland has separated the two functions and installed them together in the Memoris Only watch. According to the company, the purpose of this was to put the chronograph movement in the center position of the dial, fit it with a column wheel featuring a conventional clutch, and operate it with a monopusher in homage to Louis Moinet’s Compteur de Tierces.
The Louis Moinet Memoris Only boasts a contemporary design of 147 components for the chronograph and 155 components for the Swiss-made automatic movement. Displaying hours, minutes, and seconds, as well as the chronograph function, the caliber is based around a two-part column wheel with each part indexed to one another. There are six columns on the top section linked to a cog base on the lower section, which positions the column wheel and controls its rotation. This allows the chronograph movement to use the monopusher and interact with the minutes hammer, blocking lever, and clutch.
Powering the movement is the Energie Plus automatic pawl winding system that uses a crab-claw design to allow the rotor to wind the spring when it is spinning in either direction, giving it 30 percent greater efficiency compared to similar designs.
The movement plates are made of deep blue aventurine with a blue lacquered guilloché dial at six o’clock to display the hours and minutes. Meanwhile, the counters and flanges are translucent to show off the mechanism better,
All this is set inside a round, burnished, 46-mm titanium case water resistant to 5 ATM (50 m, 165 ft) with the Louis Moinet signature on the case band and the series number N°01/01. Both the front and back have sapphire crystals. It’s secured with a hand-sewn Louisiana alligator strap and alligator lining, and a pin-buckle titanium clasp bearing the Louis Moinet fleur de lys emblem.
“To create the first chronograph-watch, we invented a new concept,” says Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO and Creative Director of Louis Monet. “This involved putting the chronograph before the watch. That was something fundamentally different, making Memoris a truly unique, original work. Over 300 components were required for the movement, and more than 50 for the case alone.”
The Only Watch auction is at 2:00 pm on November 9, 2019 local time in Geneva.