Louis Moinet’s Tempograph Spirit Emerges As A Champion Of Visual Mechanical Art

THM Desk
28 Mar 2023 |
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Louis Moinet presents an intricate dance of the retrograde mechanism at Watches And Wonders 2023 with the Tempograph Spirit.

The TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT features a complex horological retrograde seconds mechanism. It requires the retrograde seconds hand a) to execute its choreography 4,320 times daily, with an instantaneous reset to zero after each performance. Two ingenious components were required to guarantee the pointer's precise and dependable movement.

Louis Moinet’s Tempograph Spirit Emerges As A Champion Of Visual Mechanical Art
The rake moves the seconds hand and is tipped with a ruby. The hand is reset after twenty seconds thanks to a rake that drops into the notch of a three-legged cam c). For this reason, a hard, durable material like ruby is required for the rake's point. Last but not least, a silicon return spring d) keeps the force and accuracy constant. This material's benefits include resilience to shock and temperature swings and long-term dependability.

Bringing together technical and artistic elements

Two distinct visual zones can be seen in the TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT, a choice that was influenced by the need to showcase a resonant artistic theme. Time is displayed on the dial's right side via a subdial for the hours and minutes and a retrograde hand measuring twenty seconds. The left side provides a close look at the intricate mechanism behind this timepiece. The 18-screw balance reminds us that the watch ticks at a rate of 480 vibrations per minute, or 28,800 per hour, with each oscillation.

Louis Moinet’s Tempograph Spirit Emerges As A Champion Of Visual Mechanical Art

A 20-minute retrospective with original animation

The large retrograde hand dominates the entire image and is positioned dead center. The twenty-second loops that make up the animation are shown on a separate screen. At nine o'clock, there's a second animation that complements the first choreography with more nuance. Each minute is divided into three twenty-second intervals, which are indicated by a red, black, and blue counter. An additional time display, located at four o'clock, rounds out the whole.

Louis Moinet’s Tempograph Spirit Emerges As A Champion Of Visual Mechanical Art

Why 20 seconds?

"Some people prefer to watch time passing, others take advantage of every second. The
TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT offers a new perception of time, whether it be as a measuring instrument or the magic of the moment. The fact that the twenty seconds are displayed on a segment and not a circle underscores the importance of each passing second and awakens the senses," says Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO, and Creative Director.

TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT, an animated creation

The TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT is an expression of modern power and confidence. It combines two historical firsts with a completely new spin in the present day:

  1. Emphasizing the backward mechanism
    The development of a more refined aesthetic concept is predicated on the incorporation of stylistic elements that highlight the benefits of the technical approaches taken in the name of usability and minimalism.

This is why the rhodium-plated, raised bridges feature chamfered and snailed embellishments. As a result, there is room for creative use of space and the possibility of three distinct vantage points from which to interpret clues. The mechanism's raw power is now more apparent.

  1. The case – less volume, more spectacle
    The mechanism of the TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT can be seen clearly despite the small size of the device (only 40.7 millimeters in diameter). The upper bridges, retrograde area, and hour dial all play a role in this. These three components are perfectly flush with one another and appear to rise from the mechanism to draw nearer to the viewer.

The sapphire crystal was curved so that viewers could see the intricate design from all angles while still getting a good look at the model's sleek profile and enjoying the best possible ergonomics.

Louis Moinet’s Tempograph Spirit Emerges As A Champion Of Visual Mechanical Art
New, more fluid crown support was the first step in TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT's careful aerodynamic treatment. The bracelet's seamless incorporation into the open-worked lugs is emphasized by the latter's subtle arch and satin finish.

The housing is constructed from 18K 5N rose gold. To guarantee optimal ease of use, a high-performance rubber strap is seamlessly integrated into the design. The TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT has a commanding presence thanks to the way the light reflects off of its unique mechanism and finishes, and the case is just as innovative.

Internal Quality Revealed

The quality of this model alone makes it rare. It has 254 individual parts and was developed by the Ateliers Louis Moinet. The complication is built right into the movement, so there's no need for a separate module, and the whole thing was designed to show off the watch's ingenuity.

Louis Moinet’s Tempograph Spirit Emerges As A Champion Of Visual Mechanical Art
In the back of the TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT, you can see the movement, which is decorated with côtes de Genève, diamond-polished sinks, and gears with a 5N color finish that is all circular-grained. The battery can last for up to two days. The reimagined clous de Paris pattern in concentric circles on the rotor is a show-stopper.

Truly a visual work of mechanical art!