The progress made by this fully-independent firm in ten years has exceeded all expectations. A major milestone came in 2013, when the maison revealed it was heir to the invention of the chronograph – with a watch dating back to 1816. This extremely rare event resulted in accepted history having to be completely rewritten.
The premises of Ateliers Louis Moinet are still located in that traditional birthplace of fine watches, Saint-Blaise, in Neuchâtel. The firm has succeeded in gaining the trust of lovers of fine watches and industry professionals alike.
Recognition by professionals
Professionals have rewarded the brand’s excellence with many different prizes, including five Red Dot Awards – not least, the Best of the Best: an extremely rare distinction in watchmaking design.
More recently, the Ateliers received a Merit for Development award for Watchmaking Arts and Technologies from the International Institute for Promotion and Prestige (IIPP) in cooperation with UNESCO. During its fifty-one years of existence, IIPP has awarded only two other distinctions in the field of watchmaking.
Further recognition has come in the form of a much remarked-on International Chronometry Competition prize in 2013, as well as many other distinctions awarded by the international press and a large number of independent panels.
Acclaim from watch-lovers
Fine watchmaking connoisseurs have been won over, too. With just a few hundred watches manufactured each year – each of them numbered and produced as part of a limited edition or as a unique item – the Ateliers are able to perform meticulous work on every timepiece, and deliver innovative, audacious creations.
These include grand complication timepieces such as Astralis, Magistralis and Meteoris, featuring world firsts such as the use of meteorites from the moon and Mars, as well as stromatolite – the most ancient fossil, dating back several billion years. There’s technology, too, with watches like the Jules Verne and Tempograph, leading to many patent applications and as many mechanical innovations.
A well-established roadmap
The Ateliers will be continuing along their chosen course. “Rebuilding our history even as we look to the future – that’s our unique destiny” explains Jean-Marie Schaller, founding CEO of the Ateliers. “Being worthy of the legacy of Louis Moinet takes nothing short of our best efforts. It calls for a pioneering, innovative spirit, as well as plenty of respect for tradition. As Louis Moinet himself said: ‘invention should be for the sake of Art – nothing more and nothing less’.”
In terms of products, the Ateliers will continue to focus on limited editions, creativity and the brand’s distinctive watchmaking art. From “dewdrop hands” to the daring “Côtes du Jura” dials, not forgetting the iconic Louis Moinet case – protected by a manufacturing patent – the timepieces are redolent with the brand’s personality.
There’s no doubt about it: 2016 will be a banner year, marking the bicentenary of Louis Moinet’s invention of the chronograph. Not only that – the Ateliers are still buzzing with projects that are, as yet, closely guarded secrets. “We’ve barely scratched the surface of Louis Moinet’s creative genius. More than ever, I’m convinced that further exploration of this visionary’s archives will yield still further surprises for us,” says Jean-Marie Schaller.