Part of their Mechanical Wonders collection, the highlight of the new ASTRONEF from Louis Moinet is a dial with two satellite flying tourbillons that rotate in opposite directions, a development that took three years of R&D.
All of this is highlighted in an 18K rose gold case measuring 43.5mm with a curved sapphire crystal that is mounted onto the case. This was chosen so that the movement and rotating tourbillons can be seen from as many angles as possible. The lugs are open-worked, extending the ‘open’ theme of the new watch.
The dial is made from a plate that is 0.6mm thick, from which 0.2 mm is hollowed out for the numerals and a rack. These have a combination of black DLC treatment and rhodium plating, with circular satin-brushed finishing. The inner bezel ring is applied.
The ASTRONEF mechanism is hidden in the base of the 3.75mm thick frame, and has a central column from which it is controlled.
As mentioned, there are two one minute tourbillons (and their 18K gold counterweights, which weigh 0.4g) rotating around the dial in opposite directions. They cross paths 18 times per hour and are built on two different levels. Each tourbillon cage weighs 0.25g. There are five ball-bearing mechanisms with seven ceramic bearings, one ball-bearing mechanism with nin ceramic bearings, one barrel for each of the tourbillons, and all up, 471 components.
Making all this possible is the manually-wound Calibre LM105 which beats at 21,600VPH and has a power reserve of 48 hours.
The selection of whether to change the time or wind is via a selector on the back of the case. The crown is not pulled out when used to set the hands or wind.
Coming on an alligator strap with a folding clasp, the ASTRONEF comes in a special straw marquetry box, with the new owner able to select a design from a number of options.
There will only be eight ASTRONEF pieces made and the price is CHF 360,000.
[Photo credit: Louis Moinet]