Ultravox – The first ever hour strike watch from Louis Moinet


Louis Moinet Ultravox 4

The year 2018 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Louis Moinet, the inventor of the chronograph. In honor of this special occasion, the Louis Moinet brand is releasing a very special watch – the Ultravox. With its very first hour strike timepiece, the Swiss brand is paying tribute to the legendary French watchmaker and his striking clocks and pocket watches that chimed the hours for leading figures of the era. During his lifetime, Louis Moinet made numerous striking clocks, many of which adorned the drawing rooms of the world’s greatest leaders including Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander I of Russia, Thomas Jefferson and many others.

Louis Moinet Ultravox 2

On June 21, 2018, the French City of Bourges named one of its streets after Louis Moinet

 

The new Ultravox watch creates a link between a heritage and the future; between Louis Moinet himself and the brand that is now preserving his legacy. The watch takes its name from the Latin word “Ultravox” (strong voice), a reference to both the sound of the strike mechanism and to the neoclassical influences on the French watchmaker, whose striking clocks portrayed figures like Minerva, Cicero and Julius Caesar. Many of these clocks are still in working order today. Some of them are at the brand’s atelier in Saint-Blaise, Neuchâtel, while others are still in or near the corridors of power they originally graced, for instance at the White House and the Hermitage Museum. According to the Swiss brand’s CEO Jean-Marie Schaller, having these historical masterpieces in possession helped them to design a hour strike watch that draws inspiration from Louis Moinet whilst also being firmly rooted in the twenty-first century.

Louis Moinet Ultravox 1

The watch takes its name from the Latin word “Ultravox” (strong voice)

 

The Louis Moinet Ultravox was designed in collaboration with master watchmaker Eric Coudray and his team. Together with Jean-Marie Schaller, they decided to completely reveal the watch’s mechanism on the dial side. In order to create such a unique “dial”, they first needed to design a special plate with over 50 jewels for engaging the chime mechanism’s various elements whose arrangement is highly complex. The plate itself features a “Moinet blue” finish that is designed to reflect the light and offset the block polished and chamfered screws above it, showcasing the acoustic mechanism. The Ultravox strikes every hour with the appropriate number of chimes. The pusher at 8 o’clock silences the chiming mechanism while the one at 10 o’clock allows striking the hours on demand.

Louis Moinet Ultravox 3

The main plate is coated in “Moinet blue”, a finish designed to reflect the light

 

The latest Louis Moinet masterpiece is housed in a fairly large 46.5mm rose gold case. The case is water resistant to 30 meters and features a transparent sapphire case back. The latter reveals the movement’s two micro-rotors: one for generating the energy for the hours and minutes mechanism (38-hour power reserve) and the other for the striking mechanism (90-hour power reserve). The new Ultravox is delivered on a stylish dark blue alligator leather strap secured with a pink gold folding buckle in the shape of the brand’s lily logo. The timepiece will be available from this autumn in a limited edition of only 28 pieces. It will retail at a price of CHF 130,000.

 

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