The retrograde mechanism: a precise ballet
The TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT’s retrograde seconds mechanism is a highly technical horological complication. It involves the retrograde seconds hand a) to perform its choreography 4,320 times a day, returning instantly to the zero point. To ensure the precise and reliable movement of the pointer, two ingenious elements had to be developed. Firstly, there is the rake b), which drives the seconds hand and has a ruby tip. Every twenty seconds, this rake falls into the notch of a three-armed cam c), returning the hand to its initial position. It is therefore essential that the tip of the rake be made of a wear-resistant material like ruby.
Finally, a silicon return spring d) ensures constant force and precision. This material has many advantages, including resistance to shock and temperature variations as well as stability over time.
Merging the technical with the aesthetic
The TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT features two distinct visual zones, a creative decision clearly dictated by the desire to exhibit a dominant visual concept. The right side of the dial is devoted to time indications, with the twenty-second retrograde hand and a subdial for the hours and minutes. The left side offers a deep view of the mechanism needed for this horological creation.
As for the 18-screw balance, its oscillations are a reminder that the timepiece operates at a rate of 480 vibrations per minute, which corresponds to 28,800 per hour.
Twenty-minute retrograde as exclusive animation
Dominating the entire picture from the centre is the large retrograde hand. Its repeating twenty-second sequences are displayed on a dedicated segment, thus producing a unique animation. This first choreography is complemented by a second, more subtle animation, located at 9 o’clock. A red, black, and blue counter marks the three twenty-second sequences that make up each minute. The whole is completed by a subdial at four o’clock that gives the time.
Why 20 seconds?
“Some people prefer to watch time passing, others take advantage of every second. The TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT offers a new perception of time, whether it be as a measuring instrument or the magic of the moment. The fact that the twenty seconds are displayed on a segment and not a circle underscores the importance of each passing second and awakens the senses,” says Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO and Creative Director.
TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT, an animated creation
The TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT is a reflection of force and modernism. It unites two great firsts and takes an unprecedented contemporary twist:
1) Highlighting the retrograde mechanism
The evolution of the aesthetic concept rests mainly on the use of stylistic elements that reveal the value of the technical solutions adopted in the service of ergonomics and the search for purity.
It is the reason for the raised, rhodium-plated bridges, which are chamfered and then decorated with snailing. This allows for play with space and the opportunity for three different levels for reading indications. The sheer force of the mechanism appears in a new light.
2) The case – less volume, more spectacle
Although the diameter of TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT is only 40.7 millimetres, it does allow for excellent visual appreciation of the mechanism. This is in part due to the design of the upper bridges, the retrograde zone, and the hour dial. These three elements are flush with each other and seem to rise up from the mechanism to be closer to the viewer.
To increase visual accessibility to this spectacle, the sapphire crystal was domed so the technical details could be admired from the front as well as from the side, while at the same time defining the model’s silhouette and guaranteeing optimal ergonomics.
The care given to the aerodynamic treatment of the TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT lines began with the integration of a new, more fluid crown support. The lugs have been openworked and are subtly arched and satin-finished, highlighting the integration of the bracelet.
The case is made of 18 K 5N rose gold. The high-performance rubber strap is perfectly integrated to ensure maximum comfort. Thanks to the magical play of light on the finishings, the TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT has forceful character, with a unique mechanism whose functions are further enhanced by a highly original case.
An in-house calibre laid bare
This model’s calibre is in itself an exclusive element. Designed and developed by the Ateliers Louis Moinet, it is made up of 254 components. It was designed as a single mechanism without the need for an additional module for the complication, which is integrated into the movement to accentuate the watch’s mechanical beauty.
On the case back, TEMPOGRAPH SPIRIT reveals a movement decorated with circular-grained côtes de Genève, diamond-polished sinks, and circular-grained gears with a 5N colour finish. The power reserve is 48 hours. The rotor features a reinterpreted clous de Paris pattern in concentric circles that really lights up the room.