Available Now: The Fratello × Louis Moinet Memoris Spirit Chronograph
It’s likely that this article isn’t catching you totally unawares. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past week or so, you’ll have spotted our reveal of the Fratello × Louis Moinet Memoris Spirit Chronograph on our socials and here on the pages of Fratello.
Some of our releases take a long time to put together. You can’t rush something like that. Creativity must be allowed to percolate and reveal itself when it’s ready. Rushing things leads to a half-baked idea and a confused final project. That would be far from ideal when Fratello strives to bring our community watches that are perfectly special. Last year’s NOMOS Weltzeit was several years in the making, as it took time to align with the brand and the design to ensure the final product was everything we’d envisioned. But that’s not always how it goes.
An instant friendship
Sometimes when we meet with a brand, things just click from the get-go. We find ourselves on the same page already, and the watch design almost brings itself to life. Without any exaggeration, this is how our collaboration with Louis Moinet came about. Rob and I visited the Louis Moinet atelier in March of this year. The timing of our visit was a couple of weeks before Watches And Wonders, and so Louis Moinet had not announced the Memoris Spirit Chronograph in its smaller 40mm format. We were blown away when Jean-Marie Schaller presented us with the new watches. At that exact moment, we knew that this was the watch we would work together on.
After about five months of development, when I saw the final product in hand, it exceeded all my expectations. Do you know the feeling of anticipation when you expect something to be special? Well, the Fratello × Louis Moinet Memoris Spirit blasted those expectations out of the water, and this is not some kind of lip service. This watch turned out far better in the metal than we had expected. Countless late nights spent in Photoshop mocking up our concept ideas and numerous revisions all manifested into the beautiful watch you see before you today. To say we are chuffed would be an understatement.
Available now in the Fratello Shop!
The watch is available in the Fratello Shop right now, and it’s limited to just 25 pieces. The price is €29,500 excluding VAT (the shop listing will show €35,695 including 21% Dutch VAT, but VAT is automatically recalculated for your shipping location at the point of checkout). If you have not done so already, I suggest you read Rob’s article that tells the story of how this watch came to be in a little more detail. Now, let’s dive into the details and specifications of the incredible Fratello × Louis Moinet Memoris Spirit Chronograph.
The Memoris Spirit case is an architectural wonder
Made of Grade 5 titanium, the Memoris Spirit case is a lightweight work of art on the wrist. We must afford a moment of consideration and appreciation to Louis Moinet’s engineers here. Not only did they downsize the Memoris case from 46mm to 40.7mm, but they also did so to elevate the wearer’s ability to marvel at and appreciate the movement within. The case lost 11.5% of its size while allowing the same LM84 caliber to take center stage with its dial-side chronograph works.
The case and crystal have strong aerodynamic qualities, which feel more modern and sleek than the original Memoris Chronograph. The effect is streamlined and smooth, combined with the crystal’s seamless integration. The beautiful open-worked lugs have a fantastic satin-brushed curve, giving them a contemporary, even technical appearance. It’s tough not to be impressed with the overall visual impact of this watch.
The light is the catalyst that brings the watch to life. While the beautiful box sapphire crystal allows for panoramic views, the flange also allows a cheeky side view. As for the dial, well, there isn’t much of one to speak of. The majority of what we’re looking at from the dial side is part of the LM84 movement. The sub-dials are sapphire, allowing the wearer to view the works beneath.
The dial flange required serious re-engineering to allow for both the minute track and the five-minute numerals. Sure, one could argue that the two could be combined into one solution, but Louis Moinet does not “settle” for second best. Jean Marie tasked his team to find a solution that allowed for both scales in a smaller space without affecting the legibility. The resulting double-edged flange is a wholly elegant solution. The inner edge sports the minute intervals, and the outer edge displays the minute track for the chronograph readings. For the Fratello Edition, we changed the “60” on the minute track to “00” for a more symmetrical look.
As it has become a bit of a signature for our Fratello limited editions, we decided to use our favorite RAL 2005 shade of orange for the flange printing. Orange is a color that’s very close to the Fratello brand thanks to its Dutch connection, but RAL 2005 also fluoresces under UV lighting, adding a whole other character to the watch. We also chose RAL 2005 for the central chronograph seconds hand and the 30-minute sub-dial hand. The going seconds hand at 9 o’clock remains uncolored to help distinguish between the time and chronograph functions.
The gorgeous LM84 caliber is the star of the show
The real beauty of this watch lies in the gorgeous automatic movement that steals the show. This is Calibre LM84, a mono-pusher column-wheel chronograph composed of 311 individual components. There are 147 components for the upper part dedicated to the chronograph and 164 components for the lower part corresponding to the self-winding movement. Alongside a frequency of 28,800vph and a power reserve of 48 hours, the movement delivers all the classic Swiss decorations we’d expect from a Louis Moinet movement. It’s a real smorgasbord of horological decoration with Clous de Paris hobnail patterns, Fleur de Lis engraving, circular satin-finished gear trains, and diamond-polished sinks.
When the brand knows best…
Straps are an essential part of any watch experience. As the final bastion of aesthetical security, straps play an often-under-appreciated role in a watch’s overall look and feel. We explored different options within the possibilities of the Louis Moinet strap repertoire. We experimented with different leathers and different stitching colors. In the end, the matte black rubberized croc-embossed leather with matching black stitching was the best option. It’s not often that we see brands choosing the de facto best strap option from the start. However, when we struggle to improve the brand’s default strap option, I believe that says a lot about how carefully Jean-Marie and his team scrutinized the Memoris Spirit Chronograph during development.
A box worth displaying
We worked with Louis Moinet to develop a special edition of the Memoris Spirit Chronograph packaging for the Fratello Edition. Each of the 25 individually numbered watches is delivered in a book-shaped box. We used the same blue hue for the gorgeous LM84 movement and RAL 2005 for the detailing.
In a world where watch boxes are little more than just boxes, I particularly like that the Louis Moinet box can find a home on a bookshelf among your books and other curios without looking out of place or boring. Then again, knowing Jean-Marie Schaller, “boring” is not in his vocabulary.
Fratello × Louis Moinet Memoris Spirit Chronograph price and availability
The Fratello × Louis Moinet Memoris Spirit Chronograph is available now, exclusively from the Fratello Shop. Priced at €29,500 excluding VAT, we include free worldwide shipping with deliveries expected within three months.