Louis Moinet Sundance
The Louis Moinet Sundance is the latest feminine timepiece from the Swiss company based in Saint-Blaise. This new watch is endowed with a fascinating dial, produced by one artisan and employing a technique the brand will not divulge. Angus Davies embraces his feminine side and looks closely at this magnificent timepiece.
This detailed review of the Louis Moinet Sundance includes live images and specification details.
My children are now grown-up. They both study at university and have ‘flown the nest’. Despite their maturity, they remain my babies. Like each adult, they have their own, distinct personalities and unique facial features. As a parent, I still experience pangs of fear at the prospect of any harm coming to them. I could never replicate their individual appearance or traits.
The rationale for my introductory paragraph is that each human is unique. Conversely, many of the products we purchase are mass produced, created to be uniform and devoid of variance. In some respects they seem inert and can sometimes lack charm.
Louis Moinet, the high-end, Swiss watch company from Saint-Blaise, recently launched a new timepiece for ladies, the Louis Moinet Sundance. Unlike most watches, the dial of each watch is unique. It may be predominantly red or blue, but close examination reveals a myriad of additional shades dancing with light.
Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO & Creative Director of Louis Moinet, together with his team, have repeatedly shown their capacity to conceive thought-provoking and highly distinctive designs. Renowned for inventing the chronograph in 1816, the eponymous company has produced a plethora of men’s watches, but it hasn’t created as many ladies’ models. This is somewhat surprising as Louis Moinet has repeatedly shown it possesses an incredible prowess for design. Indeed, Louis Moinet has won several ‘Red Dot Awards’ for its men’s watches and more recently, the Swiss brand won two ‘Good Design Awards’. Such artistic capabilities could easily be applied to women’s watches.
In January 2018, Louis Moinet unveiled the Skydance, an automatic watch aimed at a female clientele. At the time of launch, the Skydance was offered with distinctive ‘Magic’ dials. Each dial variant had a mottled and beguiling appearance. Hours were denoted with diamond indexes and the cases were a modest 36mm, constructed of grade 5 titanium and stainless steel. I seldom write about ladies’ watches but occasionally there are moments when I feel compelled to convey my thoughts. Indeed, earlier this year, I ‘put pen to paper’ in order to convey the many attributes of the Skydance model.
During Baselworld 2018, Louis Moinet unveiled several men’s models, but, once again, it was a ladies’ watch that garnered my interest, the aforementioned Louis Moinet Sundance. I looked at two versions, one endowed with a predominantly blue dial and a second with a red dial.
Both dial variants of the Louis Moinet Sundance are fascinating to behold. Close examination reveals a multitude of shades. Moreover, the dial exhibits a fluid-like appearance with ripples emanating towards the hour markers. The brand explains that a lone craftsman is authorised to produce the mix and application, arranging his composition by hand, resulting in a different effect each time.
Scrutinising the press release from Louis Moinet, I noted the comment, ‘one master craftsman authorised..’. Louis Moinet has always been tight-lipped about the dial treatments it employs. It has never divulged many details about its ‘Magic’ dials and with this latest dial, it has shown its secretive side once more.
The appearance of the dials proves fascinating. They have depth and twinkle with the merest hint of light. The hour and minutes are proclaimed with ‘Dewdrop hands’. At the fulcrum of the dial is a small seconds indication, presented as a depiction of the sun. Each hour marker is set with a diamond, adding to the brilliant allure of the dial area.
Despite the numerous dial details, nothing detracts from the task of imparting the time. Readability is excellent.
The 18-carat gold case of the Louis Moinet Sundance is slightly larger than its sibling, the Skydance. Measuring 38mm in diameter, the Sundance appears stylish and, owing to the expansive dial area, simple to read.
Louis Moinet first used its ‘Neo’ case design on the highly successful Metropolis model. This intricately contoured case makes a return with the Sundance. The case-band arcs sharply, tapering inwards as it approaches the case-back. The lugs are openworked and span the width of the case. The brand describes them as ‘bridges’ and, in my opinion, this is an apt description. The design of the ‘bridges’ proves striking and helps differentiate this watch from the majority of ladies’ timepieces. The vertical flank of the lugs are adorned with circlets of translucent blue composite.
The bezel is festooned with three rows of twinkling diamonds, reinforcing the watch’s feminine mien. An exhibition case-back allows the wearer to view the automatic movement within.
Research has shown that female watch buyers seek convenience when selecting a timepiece. It is for this reason that quartz models often prove popular. However, I suggest that an automatic watch also proves very practical while conferring greater allure than a sterile battery-powered offering.
The Louis Moinet Sundance is equipped with an automatic movement, proffering practicality and, most pertinently, an inner beauty which only a mechanical watch can provide. The oscillating weight is open-worked and presented in ‘translucent blue-coloured neoralithe’. It is one more example of the Swiss luxury brand differentiating this model from competitors’ watches.
The bridges are adorned with circular Côtes de Genève motif. The frequency of the balance is 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 25 jewels. The sole barrel provides 42 hours of autonomy.
I often fall in love with timepieces from major watch brands, however, my greatest passion is for those timepieces produced by independent brands. It is the small watch companies where creativity flourishes without restraint. Board meetings and shareholder returns take a backseat as inventiveness and originality come to the fore.
Part of the charm of independent watch brands is the figurehead of each firm who has orchestrated the company’s creations. It is their character and skills which influence the resultant watch. I have known Jean-Marie Schaller for a number of years and he always impresses me with his capacity to deliver something new and stimulating.
The Louis Moinet Sundance is the embodiment of beauty and function. Furthermore, each dial is unique and special, important attributes of this timepiece that illustrate the rationale for independent watchmaking.
- Model: Louis Moinet Sundance with diamond bezel
- Case: 18-carat gold; diameter 38mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistant to 5 atm (50 metres)
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds
- Movement: Caliber LM58; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve 42 hours
- Strap: Alligator strap with gold pin buckle
- Price: Price on application
- Limited Edition: 60 pieces