Maybe you’ve heard of it, but Kapton is not a material I’m familiar with. Before being introduced to the Louis Moinet Moon Tech during last month’s Watches and Wonders, I did not know the material existed, let alone its different purposes, such as insulation, chemical resistance, and heat control. It’s used by NASA too, you know? And in the case of the yellow slice of this polyamide film under the dial of the new Louis Moinet, it’s from the Apollo 11 mission. The Kapton in the watch served as thermal protection for the astronauts in the Command Module. Apollo 11 was the mission that put the first people on the Moon, and its crew consisted of astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins. It was no ordinary mission with no ordinary men, and the Moon Tech is no ordinary watch.

The crew members didn’t wear the Louis Moinet Moon Tech watch. No, wore a different kind of Moon watch, as you very well know. Plus, wearing a Louis Moinet wristwatch in 1969 would have been chronologically impossible since the brand was launched in 2004. But the Moon Tech lets you wear the legendary Apollo 11 mission in a Louis Moinet timepiece. The brand, captained by the flamboyant, star-gazing Jean-Marie Schaller, has been putting out quite a few astonishing and original timepieces over the last couple of years. Several have a theme linked to the heavens above, be it in the shape of the complicated Astronef Techno or the world-record-setting Cosmopolis with its 12 outer-worldly stones on the dial. The Moon Tech is an astronomical watch with a twist.

Louis Moinet Moon Tech

Louis Moinet Moon Tech: a poetic kind of Moon watch

Let’s finish the story-telling part of the Moon Tech first and get to the technical specs right after. At 3 o’clock is an index filled with a small sample of Kapton, the polyamide film that went to the Moon and back. Why so small? Because it is taken from the Command Module of Apollo 11, the first mission that put men on the Moon. The “CM” is the spacecraft capsule designed to transport and protect astronauts during their journey to their destination and return to Earth. There must have been quite a bit of Kapton inside that spacecraft, but I guess NASA isn’t exactly putting it on eBay to get rid of the stuff. This is historic polyamide!

Moon Tech

The tiny fragment gets visual and thematic support from a dial made from a yellow silicon wafer engraved with microelectronic circuits. There are also two fragments of the lunar meteorites Dhofar 457 and Gadamis 005 placed on a vaulted central disc that showcases the full moon and new moon. Louis Moinet claims this is a first in watchmaking, and I can’t prove the brand wrong. Anyway, there’s plenty of lunar matter for a good story.

Moon Tech

The tech part of the Moon Tech

We talked about the Moon, so now it’s time for the tech part of the watch. And that brings us back to the index at 3 o’clock that’s filled with Kapton. This key index indicates the state of the Moon. It indicates the full moon when the meteorite surrounded by a thin golden circle aligns with the fragment of Kapton leaf.

Inside the 50m-water-resistant 40.7mm titanium case beats a 4Hz automatic movement with 38 hours of power reserve. And it’s outfitted with a highly precise complication. It ensures that the lunar indication deviates just one day in 122 years.

Louis Moinet developed the complication together with the movement-making experts from Concepto. At the 9 o’clock position, the small seconds are displayed in a compass-pointer design. Even a mundane seconds display is a little different with Louis Moinet.

Louis Moinet Moon Tech

Final countdown, sorry words on the LM Moon Tech

Louis Moinet is, as usual, in a universe of its own. And in the LM realm, a watch like the new Moon Tech makes sense. It’s poetic, technical, and, as always, very original. There’s a price to pay for technicality, originality, and lunar stones. The Moon Tech has a price of CHF 31,400.

Is it a watch for you? I can tell you that the lightweight 40.7mm titanium case poses no problem to wear; it’s not an oversized spacecraft. Sure, the styling might be an acquired taste, but it’s also subtle enough not to constantly remind you of the piece of the Apollo 11 mission on your wrist. I guess even that gets old after a while.

Would it be a watch for the late Louis Moinet himself? That’s a good question. Well, not only was French-born monsieur Moinet a gifted watchmaker who, long after his death, was awarded for having conceived the “First Chronograph” by the Guinness World Record organization, but the man was also an artist. Moinet took private drawing lessons with an Italian painter, for instance, to perfect the art of drawing movement parts. He also trained as a sculptor, painter, and architect. So yes, I think the name-giver of today’s watch brand would have approved. And the Moon Tech would have been a watch for him. You can find more info about the watch on Louis Moinet’s official website.