Louis Moinet Metropolis

The Louis Moinet Metropolis is a contemporary timepiece displaying hours, minutes and seconds with stylish hands and distinctive openworked hour markers. Angus Davies gets ‘hands-on’ with both the steel and 18-carat rose gold versions, each version limited to a mere 60 examples.

This detailed review of the Louis Moinet Metropolis includes live images, specification details and pricing.

Image of Louis Moinet Metropolis

Living in an urban landscape can be challenging. Roads are often congested. Public transport, especially in London, can result in a level of imposed intimacy with fellow passengers that borders on the uncomfortable. Smog and other pollutants provide environmental hazards which can be injurious to health.

Nevertheless, there are many benefits of city life. Invariably, there are lots of opportunities to buy fashionable clothes, consume a multitude of different foods and to attend concerts and plays. It is not all bad. Indeed, it is the urban architecture of city living which has provided the inspiration for Louis Moinet, the high-end Swiss watch brand which has recently released a new timepiece, the Metropolis.

Available in both steel and 18-carat rose gold, the Metropolis is said to be a ‘city watch’. Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO of Ateliers Louis Moinet says of the Metropolis, ‘It combines ergonomics with design, and function with style. We’ve broken free of neoclassical conventions and adopted a committed, contemporary approach that’s unlike anything we’ve done before.’ Certainly, the Metropolis looks significantly different to other Louis Moinet timepieces courtesy of its aesthetics brimming with notable modernity.

The dial

The first aspect of the dial which makes its presence known is the hour markers. They are diamond-cut and feature satin-finished Roman numerals. Moreover, they are open-worked, lacquer-coated, outlined in gleaming gold (on the gold version) and suspended above a broad black circlet. These hour markers usurp the ordinary and feel very special.

Image of Louis Moinet Metropolis

Louis Moinet has not abandoned its preferred hand style, ‘Gouettes de Rosée’ dewdrop hands. They impart time efficiently without eschewing style. Indeed, they evince a high quotient of grace and beauty.

At 9 o’clock, a small running seconds is presented. A golden ring is suspended on high, openworked and floating above the escapement. The golden ring is marked with Arabic numerals and subtle strokes, proving simple to interpret. The exposed section of the mainplate is adorned with Côtes de Genève motif.

The chapter ring is presented in white and is of the railroad track variety. Each 5-minute integer is marked in Arabic numerals, a design element consistent with other areas of the dial.

While the dial is stylish and suffused with a neoteric air, it remains highly practical and proves to be an exemplar of clarity.

The case

The 43.2mm diameter case is described by Louis Moinet as ‘Neo’, reaffirming my description of the watch as neoteric or contemporary. The caseband is curved and mounted behind two beams which span the sides of the case forming vertical flanks. The sides of the case are open worked, extending to the lugs which reveal large apertures allowing light to pass through. This element of the design confers a delightful lightness which is difficult to dislike. Indeed, the delicacy of the design language is truly exquisite and bewitching.

Image of Louis Moinet Metropolis

Steel version

The dorsal flank of the case is equipped with a sapphire crystal according sight of the self-winding movement, the LM45 Caliber.

Image of Louis Moinet Metropolis

The complexity of the case should not be overlooked. Louis Moinet states, ‘no fewer than 55 different parts all contribute to the creation of a unique visual effect’. Certainly, the case is beautiful and its complex construction becomes obvious with the briefest association.

The movement

The LM45 Caliber is automatic and beautifully adorned with Côtes de Genève motif, perlage, circular grained wheels and diamond-cut angles. The frequency of the balance is 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 22 jewels.

Image of Louis Moinet Metropolis

Steel version

The oscillating mass is adorned with a ‘new, concentric version of the Clou de Paris’ pattern. It is mounted on ball bearings and revolves with a notable smoothness and amazing alacrity.

There is no doubt about it, Louis Moinet has equipped this watch with an incredibly beautiful movement.

Closing remarks

Louis Moinet, under the guiding control of its CEO, Jean-Marie Schaller, is most adept at penning designs which are both beautiful and unique. The company has won an array of prestigious awards for its timepieces over the years and seeing the Metropolis reminded me that this brand has an amazing capacity to seduce with each contour of its creations.

The Louis Moinet Metropolis is available in a limited series of steel models costing CHF 10,500, however, unsurprisingly I personally favour the costlier 18-carat gold version costing CHF 29,500.

Technical specification

  • Model: Louis Moinet Metropolis
  • Case: 316L stainless steel & 18 carat rose gold; diameter 43.2mm; height 14.80mm; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and rear
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds
  • Movement: Automatic movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 22 jewels
  • Strap: Crocodile leather strap presented on a stainless steel / 18-carat rose gold folding clasp
  • Limited Edition: 60 pieces in steel / 60 pieces in 18-carat rose gold
  • Price: CHF 10,500 (steel) / CHF 29,500 (RRP as at 23.1.2016)

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