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Ten new watches that shoot for the moon
Trend Forecaster

Ten new watches that shoot for the moon

Friday, 15 March 2019
By Marie de Pimodan
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Marie de Pimodan

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7 min read

Could it be the fiftieth anniversary of Man’s first steps on the moon that has so inspired watchmakers? This year, brands are pulling out all the stops with a host of watches dedicated to the moon-phase complication. Because what could be lovelier than a moon-struck mechanism?

In his three-volume sci-fi novel, 1Q84, Haruki Murakami describes the emergence of a parallel world whose nights are bathed in the light of two moons. The hypnotic and no less unsettling vision of a magical sky. Watchmakers, meanwhile, prefer to keep their feet on solid ground and find inventive ways to portray the phases of a single moon – the very one that gave our ancestors an understanding of temporal cycles. Theirs is a rationalist approach that admits only precision. In an age when few things appear as futile as a watch that follows the waxing and waning of the moon, this complication continues to reign on numerous dials. In two or three dimensions, a tiny moon captured in the smallest of spaces – a watch case – offers an alternative way of telling the time. They are mechanical poetry.

Bovet 1822 Récital 23

Bovet takes aficionadas of fine mechanics on a journey to the moon, with its first lady’s timepiece to be given an oval “writing slope” case. Studded with diamonds, its inclined form is ideally suited to the three-dimensional arrangements in which Bovet excels. The moon-phase display appears as a hemispherical dome, engraved with a faithful reproduction of the lunar surface then finished with lume. Behind this brilliant rendition is a precision mechanism that will require a single correction of one day every 122 years.
For more information.

Bovet 1822 Récital 23
Bovet 1822 Récital 23
Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune

Not a trick of the imagination: there are indeed two moons on the dial of this new Arceau watch, appearing and disappearing from behind two moving subdials: one to show hours and minutes, the other for the date. Uppermost on the dial, the mother-of-pearl moon for the Southern hemisphere reveals a Pegasus winged horse, drawn by Dimitri Rybaltchenko. Opposite, at 6 o’clock, the second moon gives a realistic depiction of the lunar surface as viewed in the Northern hemisphere. It is poetry in motion against a meteorite sky, brought to life by the Hermès H1837 mechanical movement combined with a module by Chronode. What lovelier way to spend one’s time, head in the stars…
For more information.

Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune
Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition "Le Petit Prince"

While he may not be the main attraction here – that honour goes to the first occurrence in IWC’s Pilot’s Watch line of a constant-force tourbillon – his frail silhouette adds a welcome touch of poetry to this exceptionally precise timepiece. Ruffled hair, scarf flying behind him, the Little Prince surveys his kingdom, a solitary figure perched atop the moon. A delightful nod to Saint-Exupéry’s classic story, crafted as a ten-piece limited edition.
For more information.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition "Le Petit Prince"
Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Moon

The ultimate feminine complication, the moon is once again the centre of attention at Jaeger-LeCoultre, which returns to the Rendez-Vous watch with an ever more refined aesthetic. Surrounded by a silvered guilloché dial, the beautiful, polished round moon drifts across a lacquered blue starry sky. A classic and precious interpretation of a truly, madly romantic moon in a frame of pink gold and diamonds.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Moon
Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Moon
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite

The precision of a large seconds hand combined with the poetry of a moon-phase display, plus a fragment of Switzerland’s most iconic mountain adds up to the Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite by Jaquet Droz. Meticulously cut out of brittle rock taken from the jagged slopes of the Matterhorn, from a spot near the legendary Hörnli Hut, the serpentinite dial welcomes an “astronomical” moon that will continue to track our silvery satellite’s movements without adjustment for 122 years. This is an 88-piece limited edition, available only in Switzerland.

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Swiss Serpentinite
Louis Moinet Moon

No need for a telescope to admire the Gassendi, Tycho and Cassini craters: their contours are reproduced with astounding precision on the brass dial of the Louis Moinet Moon watch. Its inspiration comes from Around the Moon, Jules Verne’s visionary tale of space travel, published 150 years ago. Sealed inside a capsule on the dial is a fragment of a genuine lunar meteorite. To the moon and back to the wrist for this limited edition of 12 pieces in pink gold and 60 pieces in steel.

Louis Moinet Moon
Louis Moinet Moon
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8

Our nearest neighbour is, of course, at the heart of this new Speedmaster, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the moon – and see its dark side. This time though, we’re not talking about a complication. Instead, the moon is represented by a skeletonised dial that opens onto the movement below, revealing components that have been laser-ablated to produce a realistic image of the lunar surface. On the near side, we are treated to a landscape covered with craters representing our view of the moon from Earth. Turning it over, we discover the famous dark side. An invitation to travel through space, chrono in hand, without ever leaving terra firma.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8
RJ Arraw 6919 Ceramic

For its first in-house movement, RJ reaches for the stars, or rather the moon by taking inspiration from the fabulous adventure of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, whose module made history when it landed on the lunar surface on July 20th 1969. Inside the case, crowned by a bezel that fuses a composite material with actual parts from the module, the eye is irresistibly drawn to the sight of a three-dimensional moon as it rotates once around the dial in 29.5 days. A mesmerising spectacle, limited to 100 pieces.
For more information.

RJ Arraw 6919 Ceramic
RJ Arraw 6919 Ceramic
Speake-Marin One&Two Academic Full Moon

Orange or white? Speake-Marin explores the many shades of moon with this new One&Two; the first time a moon-phase module has been added to Calibre SMA03. The originality of the display lies with the transition between a white moon and an orange moon, between 7 and 8 o’clock, across from the unusually positioned small seconds subdial between 1 and 2 o’clock. This romantic watch, in gold, comes as 38mm and 42mm diameters, each limited to 20 pieces.
For more information.

Speake-Marin One&Two Academic Pleine Lune
Speake-Marin One & Two Academic Full Moon
Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht

Ulysse Nardin hoists the sail on grand complications with the Marine Mega Yacht in platinum. This 30-piece limited edition lines up a flying tourbillon, a power-reserve indicator that takes the original shape of an anchor and winch, another indicator for the height of the tide and seasonal coefficients, and a three-dimensional moon phase. This latter comprises two laser-engraved half-spheres: one treated with blue PVD for the period of the new moon, the other rhodium-plated to simulate the illuminating effect of the sun. The Calibre UN-631 movement guarantees precision, although the luxury yacht owners who are the intended clientele for this timepiece are advised to turn on the sat-nav before setting sail.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht
Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht
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