Swiss luxury watch atelier Louis Moinet is continuing to plough the same creative furrow by unveiling Derrick Gaz, a brand new complication timepiece that incorporates high precision techniques, traditional watchmaking art and the great tradition of automatons. The piece is intended to be both technical and fun. Based on an attentive observation of the traditional gas extraction systems of the nineteenth century, it is fitted with an expansive tourbillon, one of Louis Moinet Derrick Gaz distinctive hallmarks.
The gas derrick rises up majestically on the left-hand side of the timepiece. This large openwork structure is made from 18-carat gold, a perfect reproduction in every detail of the derricks dedicated to underground exploration. Similarly, in the middle there is a replica of a drill – an endless screw that is also in endless movement on the Derrick Gaz, rotating about its axis once every 2.5 seconds. And so the gas begins its journey along the pipeline, symbolized by the Tourbillon Bridge, suitably curved in exactly the right tubular shape to maintain the distinctive aesthetic appearance of the timepiece. The same type of bridge is also to be found beneath the regulator system for the hours and minutes.
The gas pipeline leads to the valve handle. Obviously, this is what controls the flow of fuel on a real-life gas network. With the same desire for consistency, Louis Moinet has connected it directly to the crown: when the timepiece is wound by hand, the valve handle turns too, as if it were regulating the supply of energy to the Derrick Gaz.
The pipeline continues its path to a white dial: the gas derrick’s manometer serves as the Power Reserve indicator for the Derrick Gaz. Everything on it – down to the tiniest details, including the shape, type, proportions and design of the hand –is a faithful reproduction of the real manometers to be found on gas networks. The journey comes to a natural close at 3 o’clock, where the gas is stored in a tank made from fully polished 316L steel.
The Derrick Gaz will feature many of Louis Moinet’s distinctive style marks: luminous Dewdrop hands, a 255-part Louis Moinet LM42 movement decorated with wave-pattern Geneva Stripes, sunray brushing and pearling, a Fleur-de-Lys applique, and a patented 47mm Louis Moinet case. The dial will also be decorated with a coloured, lacquered Clou de Paris concentric pattern – a first in Louis Moinet collections.
The timepiece boasts a three-day power reserve and will be available in two exclusive limited editions of 28 pieces each, in 5N 18-carat rose gold with a black dial, and PD150 18-carat white gold with a blue dial.
The New Derrick by Louis Moinet Derrick Gaz is yet another timepiece from the high-end watch brand equipped with an automaton. This latest model eschews the tourbillon seen on its older siblings, providing more room for the headline act to showcase its talents. Angus Davies looks closely at this fascinating timepiece conceived by the super-creative Jean-Marie Schaller and his talented team.