As I steadily climb the staircase of my 20s, only a few flights away from the next floor, I find myself really thinking about life. About living, creation, why we’re here and what we’re suppose to be doing. What is a life well-lived?
I’ve settled on the idea that it's doing what you love, to the best of your ability, and just accepting the beautiful journey of life. Louis Moinet, born 1768, seemed to have done just that, he did what he loved, and he did it masterfully… so that even 247 years after his birth he lives on.
Louis Moinet is the creator of the chronograph. A chron·o·graph / ˈkränəˌɡraf,ˈkrō-/ noun/ is an instrument for recording time with great accuracy. A stopwatch.
So essentially you can find him, Louis Moinet, on the wrist of every serious timepiece aficionado. Not only that, but throughout the world of astronomy, aviation, deep sea diving, and he was even on the NASA Apollo missions when each astronaut was equipped with a fully functioning chronograph.
On wrist and pocket watches, the chronograph is a stopwatch function that uses sub dials to keep track of seconds, minutes, and hours. Chronograph watches have a long fancy history, dating back to King Louis XVIII of France who had one custom made to better time horse racing — one of his passions. And since then, in these modern times, every major watchmaker has atleast one chronograph style watch in their collection. In fact, Memoris, the first chronograph watch in history was created by, of course, Louis Moinet in 1816.
The Journey to Genius
Genius is a word that came to mind as I began to do my research on Louis Moinet. And so I thought to myself – how does one cultivate a life so rich, in whatever capacity, that genius is created? Steve Jobs genius may have been a cumulation of a Californian bohemian lifestyle mixed with the side effects of your two best friends being engineers. Tupac Shakur’s genius may be directly related to having parents who were active members of the Black Panther Party mixed with being in an environment full of raw creativity and artistry. Genius takes many forms, and the world gives it out generously for those comfortable with taking a journey.
Louis Moinet’s journey began with being born into a wealthy family of French farmers. As a student he spent his free time at the side of a master watchmaker. He moved to Italy in his 20s and studied sculpting, architecture, and painting – the latter of which he mastered. After his studies and the fine tuning of general artistic skills he returned to Paris to become a Professor of Fine Arts at the Lourve. It was during this time that he began to mix his original childhood passion of watchmaking with his skills in art.
During his career Moinet created timepieces for several prominent figures: Napoleon Bonaparte, Tsar Alexander Ist, American Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, King George IV of England, and King of Naples Marshal Murat, just to name a few. So to own a Louis Moinet timepiece, is truly like owning a piece of history.
2016 marks the bicentennial of Memoris – the first chronograph watch in history. When Moinet became engrossed in his passion he spent a lot of time in Switzerland. So in tribute to this 200th year anniversary, Swiss brand Louis Moinet has created a limited edition Memoris watch. 180 watches total – 3 color ways of 60 watches each. The Memoris places the chronograph center stage – creating all new movement built entirely to compliment this 1816 invention. 302 parts total and 28,8000 vibrations per hour — to have such meticulously designed engineering and art on your wrist is pretty amazing.
"Each aspect of the chronograph’s action can be admired in its entirety, as soon as the pusher is pressed. The column wheel orchestrates the graceful ballet of the mechanism of steel and gears, passing information to the hands.” In the words of the iconic brand’s CEO Jean-Marie Schaller, “This is probably the most important launch we’ve ever done.”
So check out this important piece of history, here. And cheers to Louis Moinet and his contribution to men’s style, as we all know how important a watch is for every gentleman, especially The Urban Gentleman.
plces it cetre stage