The new limited edition Louis Moinet Geograph (ref. LM-24.10.60) offers a durable and dependable work-horse movement in an exquisitely designed and flawlessly steel executed case. Although the recommended street price for this timekeeper is a bit too steep (to a degree when you should rightfully expect an in-house mechanism beating inside its stainless steel case,) it still looks extremely elegant and eye-watering refined. If the price wasn’t an issue, I think I would be throwing cash right into my monitor instead of writing this brief review.
When you first hear about an automatic chronograph powered by the omnipresent ETA Valjoux 7750 movement, you -often rightfully- expect to see yet another dull and not particularly inspiring luxury product that sports a “tried and true” (i.e. decades-old, but still selling like hot pancakes) design of its dial. Some of these mass-produced timekeepers are stylized as pilot’s watches, others pose as divers or sport more elegant, even classic appearance, but what unites them is that they look like basically the same unimaginative bunch of generic “Swiss Made” accessories for an average office-dweller: in both cases you rarely can tell one from another if you don’t see the corporate logo on the dial or on the crown, or on a breast pocket.
The new Louis Moinet Geograph could be one of these unimaginative generic watches, only it isn’t. While offering the same tri-compax dial layout with an inevitable extra hour hand indicating the 24-hour second time-zone with day/night indication, the ref. LM-24.10.60 definitely stands out from the rest of the crowd thanks to its exquisite exterior and painstaking attention to even minute details.
Every detail –the white dial with its Cotes du Jura guilloche pattern, the “atlas” chronograph push-pieces, the fluted crown, even the shape of hands and the way they treated the small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock– quietly whispers two words: “originality” and “quality.” Yes, I understand that the finish has probably been done by an automated tool in a clean room, not by a skilled hand of a bearded and half-blind artisan, yet the Geograph still looks almost like it was hand-crafted!
Speaking a design language of their own, Louis Moinet doesn’t try to make its products “look like that IWC, but better.” Louis Moinet doesn’t degrade to epigonism. It simply creates timepieces that look as unique as economically possible.
This particular model is delivered in a large 45.50 mm stainless steel case. Definitely oversized by any standards and, with its thickness of more than 17 millimeters, it is far away from the classic golden ratio of 38 mm in diameter by 10 mm in thickness that many “true” dress watches try to stay within. Still, if your hand is large enough to accommodate one of these little monsters, it will look great with almost any formal attire thanks not only to its classic shape but also to its neutral color scheme.
Availability & Price
According to the brand’s press release, the Geograph is going to be presented during the Baselworld 2011 show and will arrive at a boutique near you bearing a “recommended” price tag of $10,000 USD. The price is way too much than a normal person would be willing to pay for an ETA 7750-powered chronograph, even despite all the enhancements and the exquisite exterior, hence the unusually low quantity of timekeepers that Louis Moinet is planning to make. The model’s total production run will be limited to only 60 individually numbered pieces although there will be three or four other versions in different colors and materials.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Louis Moinet
Louis Moinet Geograph (ref. LM-24.10.60) specification
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph, Glucidur balance, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Open-worked oscillating weight, anthracite treatment and Louis Moinet logo, diagonal Geneva stripes on bridges, perlage on mainplate, polished screw-heads
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, second time zone (GMT)
Power reserve: 48 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 45.50 mm
Lug width: 24.00 mm
Case height: 17.07 mm
Hands: Steel, blued, dewdrop design
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black leather
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Engraved bezel, sapphire with antireflective coating