Switzerland Wins a Good Design Award for the First Chronograph-Watch in History
November 24, 2017
“Winning a Good Design Award alongside firms like Apple is recognition indeed. This prize honours the memory of Louis Moinet, thus restoring the watchmaking genius who invented the chronograph to the pantheon of universally acclaimed artists.” JMS
Memoris has just received the distinction of winning a prize in the international Good Design Awards, one of the most highly-renowned competitions in the world. For 67 years now, the Good Design Awards have assessed the extent to which creative designs enrich the contemporary world. Some 1,000 applications were submitted by companies and independent designers in 2016, from 46 different countries.
As well as Memoris, Apple’s iPad also received an award. The design of both items surpasses the merely utilitarian; they are the stuff of dreams, adding a touch of soul, and offering a coherent aesthetic vision of what beauty is – even when the object in question is intended to serve a useful purpose.
“No true artist can ever be behind their own times” – Louis Moinet (1768-1853)
Louis Moinet was an artist, a watchmaker, and a humanist, and is famous for having invented the chronograph – back in 1816. Two hundred years on, to pay tribute to his legacy, the Ateliers named after him felt it was appropriate to come up with something new: Memoris, for which the chronograph is not an additional function, but rather the focal point in terms of style and technique.
Its action can be admired in its entirety by activating the pusher. The column wheel orchestrates the graceful ballet of the gears, passing information to the hands. The chronograph sits proudly alone on the dial side.
A complete redefinition of watchmaking aesthetics
The starry base of Memoris consists of a brass plate coated in a translucent blue. The stars themselves have been created using an entirely new fixed graver process. This involves attaching a specially-made lathe to a traditional rose engine (also known as a guillocheuse).
Individual stars are all fashioned to feature different angles and depths, so that each and every one captures as much light as possible. The process used is unprecedented in watchmaking – and the outstanding result gives the novel impression of stars that really are shining.
Louis Moinet has also come up with a wholly exclusive use of synthetic gemstones. Usually destined to serve as good pivots and provide proper lubrication of the movement components, gemstones have now found a new purpose elsewhere: black zircon, in a screwed setting, takes on a decorative function here – on the Memoris case horns.
For the flange and counter bridge, Ateliers Louis Moinet have used a revolutionary translucent material. Its precise makeup, produced by combining a number of composite materials and using high-temperature vacuum moulding, is a closely-guarded secret. It offers a unique advantage: it is through-coloured – and yet the same time maintains a certain degree of transparency.
Using it in translucent dark blue on the flange of the Memoris adds an exclusive sense of depth, whereas an opaque flange would have ‘locked down’ the timepiece. Thanks to this material, the counter bridge is transparent, too, ensuring the wearer can admire the night blue sky – without missing a single star.