With its dial layout is similar to that of their gorgeous Geograph watch (it was issued almost three years ago and then reissued almost immediately as Geograph Rainforest limited edition), the new Louis Moinet Stardance (ref. LM-32.20DD.80) offers the same two vertically aligned sub-dials, but delivers different functionality. Instead of a chronograph and a second time zone display, this beautiful watch is focused on its otherworldly (literally so) moonphase indicator.
You see, while many manufacturers that operate within this price range (well, its official pricing is still to be announced, but it is reported that the watch will be offered at pretty much impressive €20,000) usually tend to make their moonphase indicator out of 18-carat gold, Louis Moinet decided to take a different approach and took a lot less common object: a piece of Enstatite EH3 meteorite that circles around its axis on a rich, dark blue background of aventurine mineral.
Although, despite all their talk about billions of years and millions of miles, the stone itself is neither terribly rare, nor it is particularly expensive (it usually sells at $40-$60 per gram depending on the size of the fragment), it is still very unusual: there are not so many watches on the market that bear a piece of a celestial object in them.
The rest is more mundane, but all parts that make this watch are still quite attractive and extremely high-grade. Its body, for example, is crafted from lightweight titanium alloy, while the bezel, which is fixed to the case with six screws topped by six beautifully cut diamonds, is made of polished white ceramics.
Since Louis Moinet doesn’t make its movements, they have to buy them from third-party manufacturers. This one, for example, is made by Concepto Watch Factory: an ebauche maker, which is based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, a mecca of Swiss watchmaking industry. Among others, the relatively young brand sells movements to Linde Werdelin that used Concepto mechanisms to power their recently introduced ultra-luxury chronographs.
As it is often the case with automatic watches designed for women, this timekeeper looks rather chunky, at least when observed at certain angles. The reason for this is simple: while the watch is almost half an inch thick, its diameter is limited to less than 36 millimeters, which makes it look like a little puff-box.
Still, thanks to the chosen color scheme, as well as its exquisitely decorated dial that features their signature Cotes de Jura pattern, the watch makes a very strong impression.
According to their official press release, the ref. LM-32.20DD.80 will be limited to just 365 individually numbered pieces. Although the total production number won’t immediately make the watch a rarity, I would wager that it would significantly increase its collectability, while also helping it to retain its resale value on a used market as soon as the original batch of these beautiful gadgets is totally sold out by official stores.
Photos: Louis Moinet
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Louis Moinet Stardance 36mm Limited Edition (ref. LM-32.20DD.80) watch specification
Price: $23,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Concepto, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Exclusive oscillating weight, perlage, blued screw heads
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, moonphase
Case material: Titanium
Bezel material: Ceramic
Crown material: Titanium with white ceramic insert
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 35.60 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Lug width: 18.00 mm
Dial: White mother-of-pearl
Hour markers: None
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: White alligator leather strap with glazed finish, on titanium buckle
Case back: Sapphire