Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties. Before we get to dive deep into them, here’s our preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Louis Moinet ASTRONEF. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
The New Louis Moinet ASTRONEF In A Nutshell
My first reaction to the new Louis Moinet ASTRONEF was to wonder what the heck is that? This is no ordinary timepiece. And it’s no ordinary tourbillon timepiece either. Built after more than three years of research, the new Louis Moinet ASTRONEF is an impressive timepiece that marries mechanical engineering with architecture by trapping the wearer’s attention with two tourbillons that rotate at high speeds in opposite directions.
But that’s not it. The two tourbillons also cross paths a whopping 18 times per hour (every 3 minutes and 20 seconds) and are built on two different levels. This mechanical wizard creates an animation of six distinct elements: two satellite tourbillons rotating around the dial, two geometrically shaped 0.25 grams cages spinning on their axes, and also two 0.4 grams 18K gold counterweights are thrown in the mix just for the spinning fun of it.
Sheer genius though motion.
The stage for this performance is a hand-crafted black DLC treated, two-tone dial with circular satin-brushed finishings made from a “plate measuring a total 0.6 mm thick, from which 0.2 mm is then hollowed out to reveal the numerals and a ring bearing a rack-and-pinion pattern, in order to create a depth effect facilitating readings”. Overall, the dial is 1.5mm thick and features four levels of different heights and guilloché in parts.
The new Louis Moinet ASTRONEF features a 43.5mm diameter and 18.3mm thick polished and satin-brushed 18K rose gold case (including a huge sapphire crystal container mounted on top).
Inside this behemoth of wonder is ticks the manual-winding LM105. The 38.5 x 13.6mm movement beats at the low frequency of 3Hz, comprises 471 components and 56 jewels, features six ceramic ball bearings, and provides with a 48-hour power reserve. There are of course the two tourbillons with reversed rotation direction.
Given it’s all for display, the movement is also generously finished: sandblasted tourbillon bridges with polished chamfers; circular satin-finished cage upper bridges; sandblasted, mirror-polished, and diamond-polished balances, and 18K rose gold counterweights that are again sandblasted and feature circular satin-finish. This is just what you can see from top.
On the underside, all the steel parts feature polished chamfers and straight graining, the gear trains bear circular satin-brushing, and the mainplate features vertical “Côtes de Genève” hobnail pattern.
This limited to 8-pieces only new Louis Moinet ASTRONEF is announced as part of the Watches & Wonders 2022 March 30 to April 5 (both online and at the Salon).
“ASTRONEF can be regarded as one of the most important superwatches of the decade”.Jean-Marie Schaller, Founder Les Ateliers Louis Moinet
To find out more about the new Louis Moinet ASTRONEF and their other watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy are © 2022 LES ATELIERS LOUIS MOINET. Make sure to check out our reviews of other Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties here.