September 28, 2016
The nomination of a timepiece for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie of Geneva is anything but a fluke, it’s the tangible fruit of combined wisdom: that of a group of renowned experts. Each will have had their own, private reasons, but at the end of the day the objective qualities of Memoris commanded a majority of votes. Here are six keys to understanding this unashamedly different watch.
Memoris is not just the latest reinterpretation of a chronograph – an exercise that has been done to death. Memoris is the first ‘chronograph watch’ in history: a timepiece that has been developed entirely with the ‘chronograph’ complication uppermost in mind, especially designed for the piece and in full view on the dial. In an unprecedented move, the time display thereby becomes secondary, offset here to six o’clock.
The Memoris LM54 caliber, is wholly exclusive to the piece. With a rhythm of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz), it boasts 302 components – and a 48-hour power reserve. Over sixty parts have been designed and manufactured to allow the chronograph to be presented atop a dedicated movement plate, separating it from the automatic movement beneath.
Watchmakers often consider the chronograph to be the finest of watch complications. Comprising a total of over 300 parts, Memoris is perhaps the most spectacular chronograph made to date: its entire function – over 60 parts – is fully visible on the dial side. The three functions of the column wheel, operated by its monopusher, can be seen. The assembly includes two separate hammers, another rare feature. And the swivel of the yoke is aligned along the same axis as the second wheel, further ensuring quality.
For the past few years, Louis Moinet has been developing and perfecting a completely new winding system, named Energie Plus – and Memoris benefits from the most advanced version. The process relies on a pawl system, featuring a spring with a ‘crab claw’ design, along with a ceramic ball bearing mounted on the dual-material rotor.
The advantage of “Energie Plus” is that it allows the piece to be wound up in both directions, with a minimum of excess travel. This optimizes each movement of the rotor, recovering its energy, and winding the movement more effectively. This particular invention has already earned the Mecanograph a prize in the Chronometry Competition.