With its dial layout similar to that of their limited edition 2011 “Geograph” (it was issued almost three years ago and then reissued almost immediately as Geograph Rainforest limited edition), the Louis Moinet Stardance (ref. LM-32.20DD.80) offers the same layout with two vertically-aligned sub-dials but delivers a different functionality. Instead of a chronograph and a second time-zone display, this beautiful watch is focused on its otherworldly (literally so) moon phase indicator.
The article was updated with pricing information
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 Stardance will bear an impressive price tag close to €20,000 without VAT and other taxes*) usually tend to make indicators for their “Moon Phase” watches out of 18-karat gold (or even platinum,) Louis Moinet decided to take a different approach and took a lot less common object that came out of this world. The disk that the moon is depicted on is crafted from a small piece of Enstatite EH3 meteorite that circles around its axis on a rich, dark blue background of blue aventurine: a translucent variety of quartz that is known for its “glistening” effect thanks to inclusions of other metals in its structure.
Although, despite all their PR department’s talk about billions of years and millions of miles, the Enstatite EH3 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, basically the same price as gold), it is rarely used in making jewelry: the number of trinkets that bear a piece of a celestial object in them is infinitesimally small (well, Badollet used a piece of meteorite in their La Stellaire Tourbillon to make a whole baseplate of their in-house Caliber BAD1630 movement, but that one was even more expensive.
Thanks to the chosen color scheme (as well as its exquisitely decorated dial that features their signature Cotes de Jura pattern,) the Stardance makes a strong impression.
The rest is more mundane in the sense that the rest of the Stardance 36mm was crafted from more down-to-earth elements. Yet, all parts that this wristwatch is assembled from are attractive and high-grade. Its miniature 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.
The market demands oversized watches these days, even when it comes to timekeepers designed for ladies, but Louis Moinet refuses to give in. This model measures just 35.6 millimeters in diameter (the stubby crown is not included, but it doesn’t add much) and is just 12 millimeters thick, which makes it both lightweight and comfortable.
As 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 common for all compact watches powered by a mass-produced self-winding caliber: proportions. Well, at least the shape of lugs successfully makes the gadget look more elegant, less like a little puff-box.
Since Louis Moinet doesn’t make their movements, they have to buy the engines from third-party manufacturers. This one, for example, is made by Concepto Watch Factory: a maker of made-to-order blank movements from La Chaux-de-Fonds. Located in the canton of Neuchatel near the French border, it is a mecca of the Swiss watchmaking industry. Among others, the relatively young brand sells movements to Linde Werdelin that used Concepto mechanisms to power their recently introduced bunch of ultra-luxury chronographs.
Price & Availability
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 it a rarity, I would wager that it would significantly increase its collectability, while also helping the watch 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.
*The Stardance 36mm will be offered at a price of $23,500 (MSRP.)
Photos: Louis Moinet / Wikimedia
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Louis Moinet Stardance (ref. LM-32.20DD.80) 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, circular-graining, blued screw heads
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, moon-phase
Crown: Titanium with white ceramic insert
Size: 35.60 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Lug width: 18.00 mm
Dial: White mother-of-pearl
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: White alligator leather strap with a glazed finish, on titanium buckle