When one thinks of high-end timepieces, tradition and craftsmanship often spring to mind. Yet, as the boundaries between technology and horology blur, a new era of innovative watchmaking is dawned. At the intersection of time-honored skills and modern microelectronics stands a unique creation: the Only Watch 2023 by Louis Moinet, embodying the ART-TECH ideology. This timepiece isn’t merely a watch; it’s a conversation between epochs, a fusion of contrasts that encapsulates human ingenuity through time.
Delving into the Louis Moinet ART-TECH, the first thing that strikes the beholder is its unique dial, a canvas of silicon wafer adorned with intricately etched microelectronic circuits. The dial doesn’t just tell time; it tells a story of evolution, mirroring the circuitry that pulses within the core of today’s digital age. Jean-Marie Schaller, the CEO and owner of Les Ateliers Louis Moinet, astutely observed the resonance between microelectronics aiding medical advancements – the heart of Only Watch‘s mission – and the grandeur of haute horlogerie. “I felt it was relevant to establish a connection between innovative technology and high watchmaking in order to fully embrace Only Watch’s mission,” remarked Schaller.
The aesthetic allure of this timepiece is not solely confined to its innovative dial. As light dances across the geometric microcircuits, it creates a dynamic visual saga. Every angle unveils a different narrative, making each glance a unique experience. It’s a vibrant display of how the silicon surface interacts with light, creating reflections, flashes, and captivating plays of light, bringing the watch to life.
Silicon, an element entrenched in modern-day technology and one of earth’s most abundant elements, finds itself at home in a domain revered for its artisanal craftsmanship. This juxtaposition is what sets the ART-TECH timepiece apart. The marriage of silicon with the traditional tourbillon, a sophisticated complication heralding from the early 19th century, exemplifies a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.
The technical prowess of the Only Watch doesn’t end with its dial. Housed within a 40-millimeter case of polished and satinated grade 5 titanium, the hand-wound mechanism is a marvel. It boasts a double barrel system known as “volteface,” where one barrel is placed upside-down over the other, orchestrating a simultaneous delivery of energy that empowers a remarkable ninety-six-hour power reserve.
The sapphire crystal dome is another testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and technical ingenuity embodied in this timepiece. Its curves accentuate the geometric motifs of the dial while the openworked lugs ensure a seamless integration with the bracelet, an ode to both aesthetic appeal and functional design.
Silicon’s application extends far beyond aesthetics; its integration is emblematic of the broader trend of technological innovations in horology. The microchips, an epitome of microelectronic advancements, are central to most electronic devices today, propelling various fields, notably medical research which is the cornerstone of Only Watch’s mission. The watch signifies the boundless potential of intertwining horological artistry with modern technology, each complementing the other, leading to a product that’s as meaningful as it is beautiful.
ART-TECH is not just a term; it’s a narrative of human genius traversing through time. From the age-old mechanism of tourbillon to the modern-day microprocessors, this watch is a testament to our relentless quest for innovation while cherishing the essence of tradition. Schaller encapsulated this sentiment perfectly, “This watch is the embodiment of human genius through time, from the creation of a mechanism that is over 200 years old and still with us today, to the microprocessors that are shaping the future.”
© Photos: Louis Moinet
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