Louis Moinet may have originally invented the chronograph, but the Memoris changes things up a bit.
This timepiece is a hybrid mix of a classic chronograph functionality, with modern colour, design and execution.
To showcase the piece, Louis Moinet have redeveloped almost everything for the Memoris; from case to dial, hands and folding clasp, right down to the movement itself – a new oscillating weight has been introduced (amongst other things).
Louis Moinet explain the idea behind the Memoris:
Memoris is the first watch in which, rather than being an additional function, the chronograph really is the primary function. As such, the mechanism is fully visible on the dial side. Memoris’ manual caliber is designed to show off the chronograph’s action in full as soon as the pusher is engaged. The column wheel orchestrates a graceful ballet of gears, passing information to the hands.
Face & case
The 46mm case is made from grade 5 titanium and made up of 52 pieces, featuring a 2 part bezel with 6 screws visible at the front.
A navy blue outer ring sits inside the bezel, which shown second markers in the form of a white “chemin de fer”, inside of which 5 second markers are identified, as well as “Louis Moinet” clearly in orange, on either side of the 60 second marker at 12 o’clock. A thin chronograph seconds hand with red tip, flies over this and points almost all the way out to the bezel.
Moving inwards, there is a lot going on inside the face of the Memoris. At 6 o’clock and cutting into the outer ring, a blue round lacquered dial, with discrete diamond cut bead shows the time. Hours are in Roman numerals for 3, 6, 9 and 12, the other 5 minute intervals are marked simply with a line. The hour and minute hands are “Gouttes de Rosée”® dew-drop style, with a luminous coating on the “dew drops”.
Highly polished plates can be seen on either side of the time dial, almost framing the dial in a similar style to an antique mantelpiece clock.
What is happening above this is really what the watch is all about. The entire chronograph mechanism is on show above and behind 2 small transparent chronograph dials. Again, “chemin de fer” circle the dials in white, with 6 identified numeric markers on each. The 30-minute chronograph counter sites at 3 o’clock and seconds at 9 o’clock.
Various finishes can be seen, including Côtes de Genève, diamond-polished facets, diamond-cut chamfers and circular gears with 5N colour finish and straight-line steel.
Behind it all, the main plate is in bright orange in this version shown, however there is also a more conservative blue version.
Looking at the side of the watch, the main crown (of which the crown protection is patent pending) is quite big, but flat, featuring the familiar “Fleur-de-lis” logo on the end. The chronograph monopusher button sits at 2 o’clock and is about the same size, but protrudes slightly further out than the main crown and has a rough diamond finish.
On the reverse, the case back is secured with 7 screws and features various engravings, such as Memoris, Swiss Made, Louis Moinet symbols and the individual number of the piece.
A sapphire crystal exhibition window allows more of the internal workigs to be seen, such as the balance wheel spinning away and various cogs and plates can be seen in different metal finishes and designs.
The bi-directional automatic rotor spins above it all, which features an intricate guilloche centre section; the Louis Moinet Brand and logo are clearly visible too.
There are 5 position settings, 34 jewels and expect 48 hours power reserve once fully wound.
The 24 mm hand-sewn Louisiana alligator strap is in a bright electric blue and features a quick release pin to easily change the strap. The lining is also alligator leather, but in black.
The buckle is a steel folding clasp with a large oval shape to the exterior, housing a “Fleur-de-lis” motif in the centre..
Did you know that Louis Moinet (1768-1853) was a master watchmaker and invented the first chronograph in 1816? The first chronograph was a pocket watch, which was invented for use with astrological equipment and could measure time accurate to 1/60th of a second.
Moinet’s watch may be considered the earliest chronograph, however the first timepiece to be publicly marketed as a chronograph was invented by Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec, watchmaker of the French King Louis XVII, who commissioned him to create a timepiece which he could use to record horse racing in 1821.
A bit of a fan of both skeleton watches and eccentric colours and designs, the Memoris ticks quite a few boxes for me – I do like it and would be proud to have one in my collection.
On first appearance, at 46mm it looks like a big watch, but on the wrist less so. The fact it is made from titanium gives a much lighter feeling than expected too.
At a thickness of almost 16mm, I do think it is thick enough to cause some issues with certain cuffs, but I’m pretty sure that if it didn’t quite fit under a cuff, I’d be quite happy if it was out on show.
Only 28 pieces are being made of each colour face (available with either orange or blue plates), so the likelihood of seeing one out and about is unfortunately probably quite slim.
Although middle of the road in the Louis Moinet range at 26,000 CHF, it does probably have a smaller market due to it’s eccentric looks.
It would be nice to see more chronographs with their movements so clearly on exhibition view though.