A stunning piece of contemporary watchmaking from Swiss independent company Louis Moinet, the Tempograph Chrome Purple is a striking watch with a flamboyant character, which features the delightful novelty of a retrograde twenty-second display, as well as off-centre hours and minutes, on a vibrantly colourful purple dial, in a limited edition of only twelve beautiful pieces.
Recognised as the inventor of the chronograph, a complication which has become in modern times probably the most popular horologic function after hours, minutes, seconds and date, the name of Louis Moinet is ingrained in the history books of watchmaking, and over two hundred years later, the company which bears his name continues to perpetuate that legacy with a dna which is unconventional, innovative and highly independent.
The Tempograph Chrome is a piece which boasts a wonderful function which serves no practical application, but which is designed and created purely for the pleasure of the eye, and as a showcase for the technical complexity which lies behind such a novelty as a retrograde twenty second indication.
Comprising no fewer than 52 components, the elaborate case of the Tempograph Chrome measures 44mm across and is produced in 316L stainless steel, with a sapphire crystal and a static bezel which is attached to the body of the watch by the six screws and lobes which are a signature of the brand. It is presented on a purple alligator leather strap which complements the colour of the dial.
Beneath the sapphire glass the three dimensional dial is quite spectacular, with the broad inner rehaut around the dial decorated with prominent Clous de Paris guilloché. Screwed onto a rhodium plated dial plate, the diamond polished skeletonised purple filets are pared back and sculpted around a cutaway which reveals the balance and gears below. The hours and minutes are indicated by lovely dewdrop hands on a domed dial with a rich purple lacquer, which is offset at the five o’clock position and features a Clous de Paris decoration.
The Tempograph Chrome features not one, but two separate second indications which break the minute down into three twenty-second segments. At the nine o’clock position a constantly rotating small seconds wheel is segmented into red, black and grey sectors, and it goes around once a minute. But the most eye catching feature of this magnificent piece is the red central hand of the retrograde seconds, which sweeps downwards over the marked arc at the two, before flicking back every twenty seconds and starting over again, repeating this cycle three times every minute.
On the underside, a sapphire caseback reveals the superb guilloché Clous de Paris finishing of the the 18Kt gold oscillating weight, and the circular Côtes de Genève decoration on the plates of the self winding movement within. Fully manufactured in house by Louis Moinet, the Calibre LM50 beats at a brisk 28’800vph, and will run for 48 hours before requiring rewinding.
The Louis Moinet Tempograph Chrome Purple edition is a truly magnificent piece which celebrates the beauty and complexity of the chronograph. As with every watch which bears this famous name it is manufactured entirely in house, using traditional hand operated machinery to achieve an astonishing degree of craftsmanship throughout. With only twelve examples being produced it is a wonderful piece of horologic novelty.