Louis Moinet (1768–1853) was the inventor of the chronograph, so it’s always intriguing to examine the newest releases from the brand that bears his name. Today, we’ll look into the Impulsion Onyx, the latest variant within a line that debuted in 2023. This is an elegant watch with a sporty twist and a serious dose of technical chops. Best of all, the inner workings are on full display.

It was back in 2020 that I visited the Louis Moinet booth during Geneva Watch Days. I was able to meet the owner and creative director of the brand, Jean-Marie Schaller, and was impressed with how he made high-end watchmaking audacious. That may sound odd, but the space the brand rented was outfitted like a Victorian museum of oddities complete with all sorts of movie props. It was the highlight of the event for me. The watches were also impressive because of their creativity and focus on unique displays and materials. Therefore, whenever something new comes from Louis Moinet, I spend more time reading about these highly exclusive watches than I would otherwise. Today’s Impulsion Onyx brings a new colorway that works very well on this attractive timepiece.

Louis Moinet Impulsion Onyx

The Louis Moinet Impulsion Onyx

During last year’s Watches and Wonders event in Geneva, my colleague Lex had the chance to see the first Impulsion chronograph in blue and aventurine as well as one of the three Epreuve d’Artiste (artist’s proof) examples in blue and orange. The Impulsion made headlines due to its combination of a hand-wound tourbillon with a monopusher chronograph. The inspiration for this fusion is based on a historic friendship between Louis-Abraham Breguet and Louis Moinet. The former created the tourbillon, while the latter invented the chronograph.

The new Impulsion Onyx now brings a slightly more serious tone with its black details. Like the first Impulsion, the Onyx is a 30m-water-resistant chronograph with a 42.5mm 5N red gold outer case and a Grade 5 titanium mid-case. Instead of the original blue mid-case, the newest creation shifts to black. This tone is repeated on the main minute track, specific movement components, and detailing on the crown and pusher. The most notable usage of black, and the spirit behind the name, is hand-cut onyx behind and flanking the tourbillon cage. Onyx, if you’re unfamiliar, is a semiprecious member of the quartz family and often appears in jewelry.

Aside from black and red gold, the Impulsion Onyx features red on the chronograph hands, running seconds hand, and outer track. This provides a noticeable but understated contrast. Luminous tips on the main hands provide a level of legibility in low light, and a curved sapphire crystal allows the wearer an unfettered view of the impressive movement while optimizing the reading of the elapsed seconds at the outer edge.

The Memoris movement is on full display

One of the highlights of a watch like the Impulsion Onyx is its movement. Here, it is on full display via both the front and back. At the heart of the Impulsion beats the exclusive Memoris LM114 caliber created in partnership with Concepto of Switzerland. It’s a 36-jewel hand winding movement that beats at 28,800vph. On the front, the tourbillon cage lies at 6 o’clock and rotates once per minute. At 12 o’clock on the front, the column wheel is visible, which is an uncommon characteristic indeed as we normally find this feature on the reverse side.

Once we turn the watch around, through the sapphire display back, we can see the double spring barrels proudly on display. Louis Moinet calls this barrel system “volte-face” because the two barrels are arranged upside down in series. Joining forces, they provide 96 hours of power reserve. Functionally, the caliber also provides sub-dials for the running seconds and a 30-minute counter.

Louis Moinet Impulsion Onyx

Final thoughts and availability

The Louis Moinet Impulsion Onyx is a striking timepiece that truly benefits from this latest colorway. It is at once elegant and slightly sporty. The watch also provides a complete view of the movement, which is not something I always favor. Here, though, it blends with a bold skeletonized case design but doesn’t exude excess. Louis Moinet is making 28 individually numbered editions of the Impulsion Onyx. Pricing is available upon request. For more information, please visit the official Louis Moinet website.

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Watch specifications

Impulsion Onyx
Open-worked with an onyx cage bridge
Case Material
18K 5N rose gold with a Grade 5 titanium mid-case
Case Dimensions
42.5mm (diameter)
Domed sapphire
Case Back
18K 5N rose gold with sapphire display
Louis Moinet Memoris LM114 — hand-winding monopusher tourbillon chronograph, 28,800vph frequency, 96-hour power reserve, 36 jewels, double spring barrels
Water Resistance
Black alligator
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds) and chronograph (30-minute counter and central seconds)
On request
Two years
Special Note(s)
Limited edition of 28 numbered pieces