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A new mechanical masterpiece presented by Louis Moinet at DWW

Louis Moinet announced the launch of its new mechanical masterpiece, Astronef, an exclusive and uncompromising marvel of modern watchmaking at the Dubai Watch Week (DWW) which opened at the Dubai International Financial Centre on 24 November. It is heir to both ancestral know-how and an unyielding desire to create the design of tomorrow. Its character combines adrenaline and contemporary art. Astronef adopts the technology developed for space revolution, yet only the tourbillon specifically recalls their kinship.

A new mechanical masterpiece presented by Louis Moinet at DWW

"Producing an excellent and curious effect” - this maxim upheld by Louis Moinet (1848) is the starting point for designing Astronef. The idea is to push back known limits, just as Louis Moinet did in his time - notably by inventing the chronograph in 1816.  The Astronef mechanism required more than three years of research. Given its totally innovative character, its development was even considered impossible at various stages of research and almost discontinued. The fact that Astronef was finally able to see the light of day was due to the concerted efforts of the finest watchmakers and engineers. 

Today, one can safely state that Astronef is one of the most important super watches. The dial is made from a plate measuring just 0.6 mm thick, from which 0.2 mm is then hollowed out to reveal the numerals and a rack, in order to create a depth effect facilitating readings. The ensuing deep black DLC treatment creates a striking contrast with the rhodium plating and endows it with a two-tone hue. Finally, a circular satin-brushed finish is applied to instil it with undeniable strength of character.

The curved crystal of Astronef reveals the powerful mechanism and its power is accentuated by the lightness of its gold frame and sapphire container. This maximum transparency enables observers to admire a unique sight. The technical construction of the case is unusual - a sapphire container mounted on an 18K gold frame open-worked lugs and case middle with a sapphire dome and its applied inner bezel ring.

Astronef showcases recently introduced technology involving two tourbillons rotating in opposite directions at high speed. They cross paths 18 times per hour (every 3 minutes and 20 seconds) and are built on two different levels. This gives life to a captivating animation, which unfolds before the wondering gaze. In all, six distinct elements are in motion: two satellite tourbillons rotating around the dial, as well as their two cages and their two counterweights.

Astronef has been designed to instil a sense of movement, whatever the angle from which it is viewed. Fluid on the outside, original on the inside, it features an absolutely unique and distinctive aesthetic. The mechanism is hidden in the base of the frame, which is only 3.75 mm thick. The advantage of this construction is that it clears the stage to enhance the magic of the show being staged.

The spectacular design linked to the complexity of the mechanism is marked by its control tower – or central column – which transmits the orders to the tourbillons and hands. Finally, the mechanical part is ennobled by a powerful and modern engine that endows it with a very high level of performance, making it even more efficient than a single tourbillon.

The timepiece features a double tourbillon, five ball-bearing mechanisms with seven ceramic bearings, one ball-bearing mechanism with nine ceramic bearings, two barrels supplying energy to the tourbillon and the mechanism is made up of 470 components. 


The tourbillon cages are geometrically shaped. The weight of a cage is only 0.24 grams, in order to guarantee the correct speed through fine poising. Each cage rotates in 60 seconds and requires perfect poising, which also relies on an 18K gold counterweight weighing 0.45 grams. Placing the selector on the back of the case enabled a gain in volume and this device plays two distinct roles: time-setting or winding. The crown is no longer pulled out; it is used to set the hands or to wind the mechanism.

Like every detail of Astronef, this function expresses technicality, elegance and exclusivity based on of a unique mechanism stemming from extensive research experience. A presentation box is specially made for each Astronef. Finely crafted by an artisan, it notably features a straw marquetry motif in various shades and the buyer can choose from several different graphic design alternatives. Only eight Astronef watches will emerge from Ateliers Louis Moinet in Saint-Blaise, a number meaning that only eight owners will enviously safeguard this elite embodiment of contemporary watchmaking technology.
A new mechanical masterpiece presented by Louis Moinet at DWW Reviewed by Editor on November 24, 2021 Rating: 5
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