Around the world in eight days

« Imagine travelling around the world in just eight days to discover the essence of eight of the world’s most beautiful cities. Having returned from this wonderfully long journey, I open my travel diary describing these eight unforgettable stops. What an extraordinary adventure! It starts in Paris, birthplace of that genius, Louis Moinet, and ends in New York, passing through the colourful floating markets of Bangkok, and the avant-garde metropolis of Kuala Lumpur.

I would like to invite you to discover those eight cities I have described, by way of eight works of watchmaking, each celebrating métiers d’art and extraordinary materials… »

Jean-Marie Schaller, Owner & Creative Director

Magnificent metropolises captured in eight horological works of art

AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHT DAYS is a contemporary version of the famous odyssey imagined by Jules Verne, revisited by Jean-Marie Schaller and sublimated by the art and excellence of watchmaking.

Each city is a living canvas limned by thousands of human stories, and each reveals itself to be a place where boundless energy boils a cauldron blending art, culture, architecture, and technology. It is this rich and complex alchemy that inspired Jean-Marie Schaller to create these eight horological masterpieces.

A journey to the beat of métiers d’art

To create the dials, Les Ateliers Louis Moinet tapped the specialised skills of GVA Cadrans. This company’s dial-makers have unique expertise in métiers d’art, be that fine miniature painting, precise hand-engraving, the delicate art of marquetry, or making complex jigsaw puzzle dials.

The exceptional beauty of these eight dials has to do with the originality of the materials chosen, ranging from rock crystal to aventurine, from genuine fragments of history to high-tech materials.  Each of these elements is a genuine treasure that gives these works their unique character.

With the dynamism of the big cities acting as a backdrop, AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHT DAYS invites us to contemplate and celebrate our world’s great metropolises through the art of watchmaking.

PARIS – Fragments of history and jigsaw puzzle dial

“Paris and the Eiffel Tour are inseparable. After intense research, I finally acquired a real fragment of this extraordinary icon. It comes from a beam that had been replaced during the centenary.”

Jean-Marie Schaller, Owner & Creative Director

The Eiffel Tower has been meticulously sculpted by hand from a real piece of this Parisian hallmark and shows phenomenal details. It comes from one of the original beams that had supported the structure for a century before being sampled for a scientific examination.

To make this timepiece, Louis Moinet tapped the great art of hand-engraving. The craftperson’s expertise has made it possible to reproduce the distinctive architecture of this Parisian icon, with its slender silhouette, intertwining metal beams, diagonal arches and cross-bracings.

The Eiffel Tower has been placed on a jigsaw puzzle dial made up of 81 carefully interlocked pieces and seems to rise up out of the city itself. The puzzle actually reproduces the map of Paris including many details, like the Seine River that bifurcates the town as well as the different districts.

The watch embodies all the timeless charm and grandeur of Paris, the City of Lights. This genuine fragment from the Eiffel Tower, a witness to the ambitious project launched by Gustave Eiffel, was given new life in the hands of dial-making artisans. Its journey from powerful steel to horological métiers d’art bridges two eras and two artistic visions to celebrate the eternal essence of Paris.

PARIS – The City of Lights

The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 for the Universal Exhibition and remains the undisputed hallmark of engineering and human genius in Paris.

At the time of its construction, it was the tallest structure ever built and quickly became one of the most recognisable and iconic symbols of the modern world. Today, it dominates the landscape of a vibrant metropolis steeped in history.

ABU DHABI – The purity of rock crystal invites the micro-painted Sheikh Zayed Mosque

“What impressed me most in Abu Dhabi was the beauty and grandeur of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. To express its sheer serenity, limpid rock crystal was the obvious choice.”

Jean-Marie Schaller, Owner & Creative Director

To evoke the majesty of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and pay tribute to its pure lines, the dial-makers worked on a rock crystal base. Each element of this architectural gem, from the majestic domes adorned in white marble to the imposing columns, was meticulously hand-painted. The result is a testimony to their traditional skill in miniature painting, where every fine, exact detail represents a technical and artistic challenge.

They made use of the transparency of the rock to stage a scene on two planes. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque appears on the backdrop of a clear blue sky with a moon crescent. This unique piece offers an enchanting spectacle worthy of One Thousand and One Nights.

ABU DHABI – An oasis of modernity

Abu Dhabi lies in the midst of the desert. This modern city elegantly weaves together traditional elements with innovative ones. The majestic Sheikh Zayed Mosque is an architectural masterpiece that symbolises this combination of past and future. It is recognised as one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world.

This superb construction was built under the visionary leadership of Sheikh Zayed ben Sultan Al Nahyane. It expresses a universal message of tolerance and peace.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a landmark of modern oriental architecture. It draws on the rich cultural heritage of its ancestors, yet also embodies the future-oriented vision of Abu Dhabi.

BANGKOK – Miniature hand-painted glimpse of a floating market

“I emerged from the din of the city with its myriad emanations to find one of the amazing floating markets, a wonderful oasis of peace. This great labyrinth stretching across many canals is a veritable paradise for the senses that thrills the eye with its riot of colours.”

Jean-Marie Schaller, Owner & Creative Director

The exceptional skills of the micro-painter come to full flower in this unique piece, which carries the viewer right to the heart of the bustling, colourful life of Bangkok’s floating market.

This age-old technique brings every detail to life with striking vibrancy. The boats laden with colourful goods, the subtle details of the woven straw hats, and the delicate nuances of the water lilies have all been reproduced with remarkable precision.

To capture the genuine liveliness of the scene, all the decorations have been added to the dial, thus giving the illusion that they are floating on an azure surface.

The blue dial features a circular labyrinth that represents the tangled canals and rivers that crisscross the city. The feeling of movement and animation is enhanced by the contrasting polished and brushed surfaces.

This work of horological art draws us into the heart of the action, where our senses are wide awake, and every minute provides new and wonderful surprises.

BANGKOK – Vibrant, bountiful floating markets

The floating markets on the canals of Bangkok unfold in a whirlwind of colour and movement.

The ebullience is palpable, with busy merchants tending to their business on the waters in wooden boats laden with a vast array of colourful wares. The vegetables, tropical fruits and exotic flowers create a bewitching tableau accompanied by the heady scent of spices and fresh herbs that wafts delicately through the air.

This ancient tradition of river commerce is testimony to the rich history and cultural vivacity of this vibrant, dynamic city.

KUALA LUMPUR – Sculpting the Petronas Towers on ultra-modern material

“For over a quarter-century, the Petronas Towers have dominated the Kuala Lumpur skyline. They are the world’s tallest twin towers. While admiring them, I realized that they stand as a symbol of Malaysia’s global importance as a major producer of microelectronic circuits amongst many other products.”

Jean-Marie Schaller, Owner & Creative Director

The Petronas Towers, carved out of silver, stand proudly on a silicon dial engraved with microelectronic circuits. The masters of the engraving art have meticulously crafted the glorious architecture of these two 88-storey towers, with their prominent M-shaped silhouette. At the centre of the dial is the famous Skybridge that connects these two architectural icons.

The backdrop to the towers is a silicon wafer whose engraved microelectronic circuits form an intricate technological decor. The bold choice of silicon for the dial of the KUALA LUMPUR timepiece underscores the crucial importance of technology for the city. The patterns create a kaleidoscope of dynamic lights and reflections that suggest the city’s dynamic innovative spirit as a thriving technology hub.

En mariant Métiers d’Art et matériaux de pointe, cette œuvre de Louis Moinet célèbre l’harmonie unique d’une ville qui honore ses traditions tout en embrassant l’avenir technologique. Les Tours Petronas, symboles de cette symbiose, incarnent la dynamique d’une métropole toujours en mouvement.

By combining métiers d’art and cutting-edge materials, this work by Louis Moinet celebrates the unique equilibrium of a city that honours its traditions while also embracing a technological future. The Petronas Towers, symbols of this symbiosis, represent the dynamism of a metropolis that is always on the move.

KUALA LUMPUR – The city of technological innovation

Kuala Lumpur stands out as a major hub in a world where information technology reigns suprême, a place that vibrates to the irrepressible rhythm of innovation. The silhouette of the Petronas Towers, great hallmarks of the city, is like two arms beckoning to a resplendent technological future. They echo the famous Multimedia Super Corridor in Malaysia and therefore connect us to the dynamic technological context that has shaped the modern face of the city.

SINGAPORE – Straw marquetry radiating in the heart of the city

“When I think of Singapore, I see an extraordinary blend of ancient and modern. Straw marquetry has a particularly animated look that easily reflects the flamboyance and diversity of this magnificent town.”

Jean-Marie Schaller, Owner & Creative Director

The straw marquetry serves as a sprightly composition for Singapore’s iconic buildings and evokes the city’s liveliness.

This unusual craft is rooted in a long artistic tradition that demands patience, skill, and a lot of care when handling the material. Each stem of rye is dyed red or orange, then cut and carefully applied piece by piece to cover the entire dial. It requires deep knowledge of the craft to place each fiber in such a way as to capitalize on the natural reflections of the straw and create a composition of light.

The emblematic silhouettes of Singapore appear on this artful backdrop, with the Marina Bay Sands complex dominating the tableau surrounded by the sparkling Supertrees. Also on the dial are the architecturally original Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Singapore Flyer Ferris Wheel and, of course, the famous Merlion, the city’s timeless hallmark, half fish, half lion. 

This unique timepiece celebrates Singapore’s exceptional cityscape, which has been driven by an innovative and contemporary spirit.

SINGAPORE – A radiant city

Singapore is a city with a rich and diverse culture. Its skyscrapers exhibit exceptional architecture, blending Chinese, Malay, and Indian influences. Indeed, the city-state has been guided by a visionary approach to urban planning and has courageously invested in ambitious projects that are at the forefront of contemporary architecture.

TOKYO – Real origami

“Travelling to Tokyo was tantamount to total immersion in a culture that blends deep tradition in a very modern and dynamic city. The venerable aura of Mount Fuji and the delicate Origami creations are both perfect symbols of Tokyo’s contrasting aspects.”

Jean-Marie Schaller, Owner & Creative Director

At the heart of this horological masterpiece is an origami made from a piece of metallic paper. It represents a crane, a symbol of longevity and happiness, and illustrates the extraordinary skill of the dial-makers.

The aventurine evokes a starry night and serves as a backdrop to Mount Fuji and the delicate cherry blossoms, all hand-painted with remarkable precision.

This composition captures the very essence of the great city of Tokyo, where time seems suspended in a poetic atmosphere. It incarnates the perfect harmony between the métiers d’art in watchmaking and the timeless treasure of Japanese traditions.

TOKYO – Capital of modernity and guardian of traditions

Time seems to accelerate in Tokyo, a city with a vibrant urban panorama, where skyscrapers sparkle like jewels in the night sky, while its streets brim with incessant energy. At the heart of this turbulence, art, tradition, and nature intermingle to create a scene of mesmerising beauty.

Mount Fuji rises on this canvas full of contrasts, like an eternal and majestic protector guarding the city and its inhabitants. The flowering cherry at its feet add a touch of tenderness and ephemeral beauty to the urban horizon. In the midst of this symphony of city and nature is the origami, the art of folding paper, which epitomizes the traditional and cultural values of Japan.

SAN FRANCISCO – The hand-painted Golden Gate Bridge on a high-tech backdrop

“While observing the classic architectural design of famous American districts, I had a sudden flash: These urban landscapes often have the patchwork regularity of electronic circuit boards. What better way to suggest San Francisco’s proximity to Silicon Valley.”

Jean-Marie Schaller, Owner & Creative Director

Technological innovation, a pillar of San Francisco’s identity, inspired the dial’s unique design.

Its base is a silicon wafer etched with microelectronic circuits, the very symbol of Silicon Valley, but it also reflects the architectural elegance of San Francisco’s urban design. The harmonious, elegant symmetry of the Golden Gate Bridge stands out vividly against this high-tech pattern. The bridge is carefully sculpted and hand-painted in that famous and recognisable “International Orange” and has been skilfully positioned in relief on the dial.

Thanks to the exceptional visual perspective, this iconic monument comes to life, giving the illusion of being very close to the viewer.

SAN FRANCISCO – The epicentre of technological innovation

Its modern skyscrapers gleam like beacons of progress rising out of the urban landscape. They also epitomize San Francisco’s central role in the technological revolution and city’s proximity to Silicon Valley. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge spanning San Francisco Bay reflects the architectural and technical daring of this unique American metropolis.

San Francisco, a city where human genius and digital progress come together in perfect harmony, is the perfect expression of the symbiosis between historical heritage and modernity.

NEW YORK – Holographic technology animating buildings 

“The city that never sleeps, with its soaring skyscrapers that change colour as day turns to night… A breathtaking sight that thrills me every time. A holographic film was used to reproduce this striking effect by playing on the contrasting lights.”

Jean-Marie Schaller, Owner & Creative Director

What better monument to dominate this timepiece, than the Statue of Liberty, engraved and painted by hand. Making it demanded lots of experience and dexterity.

The sapphire crystal substrate of the dial has been carefully painted black to highlight the imposing skyline of the Big Apple. In the back is a holograph film that creates a fascinating play with lights that recalls the typical architecture of the skyscrapers. Depending on the angle of viewing, these buildings light up brightly and emit all the nuances of the rainbow.

The special choice of materials and decorative techniques give this unique piece a bold liveliness, the very essence of New York, the city that never sleeps.

NEW YORK – The city that never sleeps

Sometimes referred to as the City of Cities or the Big Apple, New York is the jewel of the US East Coast.  Its iconic skyscrapers form a breathtaking architectural symphony, offering a glittering spectacle at night thanks to the thousands of lights that bring their façades to life.

The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the United States to celebrate the centenary of the Declaration of Independences, is not only a historic monument, but also a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.

The flying tourbillon, an expression of watchmaking excellence

These eight works feature a flying tourbillon inside an off-centre cage, thus defying gravity in a visually striking manner. The hand-wound movement is equipped with a double barrel. The system is called “volte-face,” or upside-down, with the two barrels arranged “head to tail,” allowing them to release their energy simultaneously and delivering 96 hours of power reserve.

The case is a technical masterpiece.

These eight timepieces are housed in a 40-millimetre, 18-carat red gold case with fluid and well-defined lines. The domed sapphire crystal, which demanded a lot of technical skill to make, reveals the captivating details laid out on the dial. The open-worked horns perfectly underscore the integration of the leather strap.

Unpacking the trunk

“The trunk immediately conjures the fascinating discoveries that travel brings. The world map dates to 1786, the year of Louis Moinet’s birth, and represents a direct link to the past.”

Jean-Marie Schaller, Owner & Creative Director

These eight exceptional creations are presented in a luxurious, leather-covered wooden trunk, where every detail showcases the exceptional skills of the craftsmen.

The trunk’s outer surface features a delicately stencilled fleur-de-lys monogram recalling the heritage and history of Louis Moinet. Opening this trunk is the beginning of a unique adventure, an artistic world tour in eight days.

Inside, elegantly laid out, are the eight timepieces that highlight this journey from Paris to New York. They are accompanied by an old map of the world, drawn by Thomas Jefferys, the famous geographer at the court of King George III. This map, dating from 1786, the year Louis Moinet was born, and is a reminder that the creations of this pioneering watchmaker also crossed the globe to be with the eminent personalities of his time.

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