THE FIRST CHRONOGRAPH-WATCH
The origins of MEMORIS
« To create the first ever chronograph-watch, we have come up with an entirely new concept. This involved thinking about the chronograph before considering the watch. This new approach is fundamentally different, making MEMORIS a genuinely unique, innovative creation. To bring it to life, we had to create over 300 components for the movement, and over 50 for the case alone. »
Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO & Creative Director
For the first time in the history of watchmaking, MEMORIS displays the whole of the chronograph function on the dial side. The 147 chronograph components have been isolated from the rest of the movement, and mounted on top of the plate. This unlimited view allows users to admire all the life imbued in the chronograph – its column wheel, yokes, pawls and springs.
MEMORIS is a monopusher chronograph featuring a column wheel with a traditional clutch.
Louis Moinet has sought to reconcile three essential factors in MEMORIS:
- location on the upper plate
- a fully integrated chronograph (no add-on modules)
- a very simple, uncluttered design style, revealing every surface in its unsullied glory.
There were simply no prior specifications to go on. Louis Moinet spent twice as long as usual in Design to ensure there would be no risks outstanding by the Pre-Production stage.
Setting the yoke was the most delicate part of the operation. Louis Moinet first reviewed the various shapes of the ends of steel parts that could be used to build the chronograph, one by one, seeking the right one to achieve the desired results: a clean start, a precise reset, and a gentle, linear progression.
Another particular feature of MEMORIS is that due to the chronograph being fully visible, each component had to have an aesthetic appearance wholly in keeping with the required final result – as well as functioning perfectly. To achieve this, Louis Moinet had all the MEMORIS wheels tailor-made; they are absolutely exclusive.
The MEMORIS caliber has 13 1⁄4 lines and is 8.90 mm high, set to oscillate at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), with 34 jewels, 302 components and a 48-hour power reserve. Its balance wheel is made from Glucydur. It is adjusted to 5 positions.
The central MEMORIS parts are its column wheel, traditional clutch, and yoke, which swivels concentrically with the second wheel to improve the engagement of the moving parts.
147 parts have been devised and manufactured in order to allow the chronograph part of MEMORIS to be presented on a dedicated mechanism plate, separating it from the automatic movement, located to the rear.
A unique, contemporary winding system with a difference
Known as “Energie Plus”, when fitted to this movement the system increases the efficiency of the automatic wind by 30%.
The ingenious automatic system is based on a pawl design that allows the watch to be wound up in both directions, providing greater efficiency.
The mechanical unit comprises two jewelled pawls as well as a spring featuring a ‘crab claw’ design. The spring is adjusted by hand to provide optimum torque between the pawls and the automatic wolf-teeth gear, as it passes on the energy produced by the rotor to the drive train.
In addition to the pawl system there is another high-tech feature – a miniature ceramic ball bearing. Mounted on the dual-material rotor, this facilitates winding operations by minimizing friction.
A wholly new approach to the casing
To showcase the chronograph in the style it deserves, Louis Moinet has redeveloped practically every decorative item, with a new case, new hands, a new dial, a new oscillating weight and a new folding clasp.
The complex case is composed of 52 pieces. Inspired by the traditional horology, the crystals are convex and tend to strengthen the identity of MEMORIS.
As a bonus, Louis Moinet has come up with a wholly exclusive use of synthetic gemstones. Usually destined to serve as good pivots and provide proper lubrication of the movement components, gemstones have now found a new purpose elsewhere. Black zircon, in a screwed setting, has been used decoratively – on the case horns.
The final result of all this is MEMORIS: a 46 mm timepiece, available in pink gold or white gold, in three limited editions of just 60 pieces each. Embodying the essence of true commemoration – all the life of the present, rooted in history – it links Louis Moinet’s heritage with the creative vision of the Ateliers that today honour his memory.