The Louis Moinet Watchmaking company has been in business since 1806. The independent brand is based in Saint-Blaise, Switzerland and they excel in providing high-end luxury timepieces with a solid and long-standing reputation for quality. They're known throughout the world for their innovative use of some of the most exotic materials on earth, and beyond for that matter, along with advanced technology in the production of highly prized limited editions, nested within familial collections which umbrella the variants within. The Louis Moinet Meteoris is one such watch which sold for an astounding $4.6 million. There are a few very compelling factors which escalated the value to a moderate fortune but to truly grasp the concept, one must give the watch a much closer look.
The Louis Moinet Meteoris is a set of four watches which are sold together as a set. Each is a different depiction of the solar system and contains a fragment of a meteorite. The estimated age of the piece used in the making of the Rosetta Stone Tourbillon is around 4.6 billion years old and it is believed to have fallen from the planet Mercury to the earth. It's a coincidence that the selling price was also $4.6 million. The other three watches in the set also contain materials from asteroids and meteorites. We see them displayed in the photo above, in a configuration that places them in a mock-up display of what is assumed to be their origins, somewhere from deep in outer space as visitors from other worlds, including the moon, Mars, and from an asteroid in addition to the small remnant from Mercury. The planetarium seen above comes with the set.
What makes these watches so valuable?
Of course, we've heard of watches made from small pieces of meteorite before, but these examples have a lot going for them with regard to their high valuation. The first being that they are extremely rare. These timepieces are not items that you can just go out and buy locally, nor are they easily recreated, even if you can get your hands on the ultra-rare materials. In deconstructing the factors contributing to the value of this collection, which is a four in one with a bonus display that is out of this world in creativity and whimsy, the unique materials used to create the watch, the innovative technology behind the timepieces, including the workmanship, and also the brand name.
Each dial is made of a piece of meteorite, moon rock or asteroid. We viewed the Rosetta Stone example and noticed that the name of the model is smartly engraved on the right arc of the circular hours' reserve indicator which is centered directly below the 12 o clock position with an openwork pattern that allows observance of the mechanical workings beneath with a power reserve of 72 hours. Directly beneath, just above the 6 o'clock position, sits the slightly larger circular escapement which reveals the rotating tourbillon cage, proudly displaying the complications of this magnificent piece. The treatment with regard to each of the four examples is similar, yet they are uniquely different.
Identification of the materials and their extreme valuation
We see each of the meteorite fragments displayed through the openwork architecture of the dial. Materials for the Tourbillon Mars were retrieved from the Jiddat al Harasis 479 meteorite, which was once a part of the Red Planet, Mars, which made its way to the Earth. The piece has been hand crafted and it is believed that the material for this watch is about 180 million years in age. These are exquisitely rare materials with a cost that is 15 times more costly than gold, coming in at $1,000 per gram. The meteorite for this, and the other three have all been carefully handcrafted and set in place with the openwork escapement, in the case of the Tourbillon Mars with silvered minute and hour hands. The Meteoris Tourbillon wristwatch is comprised of 50 separate components and also includes an open display back for a breathtaking view of the mechanism from either point of view. The Tourbillon Moon is made of authentic meteorite fragments originating from the Moon. The Tourbillon Asteroid has a dial that is crafted of an asteroid that scientists believe developed close to our Sun.
Uniqueness and exclusivity
Each of the four examples within this collection is made of asteroid/meteor materials with different origins. Few watchmakers are known for maintaining such a philosophy of exclusivity as Louis Moinet. These are not watches that were mass-produced in large quantities for distribution to the public. Each has been painstakingly handcrafted and their numbers are strictly limited. Next, we consider the brand behind the creation. The name happens to be that of the master watchmaker who is hailed as "one of the greatest horologists of all time". It was his creative genius that aided the founder, creative director and CEO of Louis Moinet, Jean-Marie Schaller to create one of the most highly regarded watch brands of all time. This very special collection is likened unto fine art and the stunning timepieces are among the rarest on planet earth.
With careful consideration of the brilliance and innovation that has gone into the creation of this collection, it is no small wonder that these four unique timepieces have commanded such a high selling price. When we heard that a Pakistani official was seen wearing one in public it was a bit surprising as one would expect such a valuable piece to be preserved in a museum or in a highly protected display case. Although they're each worth a fortune, they are after all some of the finest precision timepieces in the world today.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson