I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it once again today: Louis Moinet is a brand that’s not afraid to reach the highest summits of innovation and creativity. When it comes to the highest form of watchmaking, few brands dare to be as bold as Louis Moinet. The latest release of the ASTRONEF shows that the brand is also not afraid to strike a more classic chord within the wild watchmaking realm in which it operates. Upholding the brand’s maxim to“produce an excellent and curious effect” was Louis Moinet’s mission. Even today, it is something the brand aspires to do with every single one of its releases. The ASTRONEF is no exception.

You might remember a few weeks ago when our very own Lex Stolk showcased the Louis Moinet Space Revolution Watch. Well, the ASTRONEF takes the concept presented in the Space Revolution model and gives it a classic makeover. The sci-fi theme is replaced with the sheer mechanical beauty of the incredible movement. Spaceship counterweights give way to 0.4g blocks of 18K gold. The starry black void of the space-inspired dial trades places with a wonderful two-tone backdrop with traditional hour and minute indications. This is a watch that rides the line between functional design and the artistic peak of watchmaking technology.

The Louis Moinet ASTRONEF

The twin tourbillons fly over the beautiful dial, crossing paths every three minutes and twenty seconds. That’s 18 times every hour. This adds an incomparable spectacle or horological dynamism to the face of the watch. There is no such thing as a dull moment when the ASTRONEF is on your wrist. It’s a hypnotic dance, a rhythmic time-telling display to keep you staring down at your wrist in awe. Visibility is a top priority, as is keeping the weight as light as possible. An 18K gold frame with open-worked lugs and a central case band allows the wearer to admire the caliber inside. The domed sapphire encompasses the mechanism and features an applied inner bezel.

Through its layered design, the ASTRONEF displays incredible depth. The bezel inside the sapphire dome floats above the twin tourbillons, which operate on different planes below the hands. Below, the 0.6mm thick dial plate is carved away by a further 0.2mm, leaving the numbers to reveal the hour and minute tracks. Towering in the center is a column inside of which lies the mechanism responsible for providing the power of two barrels to the tourbillons. This 471-component marvel is not just a sight to behold and a horological masterpiece, it is also a high-performance timekeeper. Only eight of these will be produced, each taking an entire month to be crafted and assembled by hand.

Inspiring curiosity for the Haute Horology side of life

Personally, I admire haute horology from afar. It’s undeniably impressive, yet sometimes more conceptual than practical. We can all admire a concept hypercar, but most of us will drive something more suitable for everyday life. However, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that the undeniable charisma of Louis Moinet’s designs captures the eye as well as the imagination. Watches like this make me want to delve deeper into the world of contemporary watchmaking and learn more about how these mechanical marvels come to be. Even the winding and time-setting mechanism on the back of the watch is an elegant expression of innovative watchmaking design.

The latest creation, ASTRONEF, certainly achieves this, creating the sense of awe that we can only compare to our first steps into the world of mechanical watches. All eight watches produced will be sold in a specially themed presentation box. These are made by artisans and can be customized by the buyer — a worthy way of housing these unique pieces of modern haute horology. For more information, check out the Louis Moinet website here.

What do you think of this stunning piece of mechanical art from Louis Moinet? Does it capture your imagination? Let me know in the comments below.