Around the World: Louis Moinet Creates an Eight Day Watch Adventure

The new Around the World in Eight Days collection of luxury timepieces by Swiss manufacturer Louis Moinet is a jet-setter’s dream. Starting in Paris and ending in New York, each watch is inspired by a stamp on owner and creative director Jean-Marie Schaller’s passport, as well as the adventurous spirit of French writer Jules Verne, who famously wrote ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ in 1872. Air travel has certainly accelerated things since then, so let’s open Schaller’s journal and discover the sights, sounds and colours that inspired this unique watch series…

The team hails from across the globe, so a selection of luxury, beautifully crafted watches inspired by international destinations is right up our street! The Louis Moinet Around the World in Eight Days collection is all about distilling the essence of a city and immortalizing it on the wrist through enamel, marquetry, miniature painting, and engraving.

Trunk displaysing the 8 Louis Moinet Around the World in 8 Days timepieces

“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,” Louis Moinet. 

As one might expect, this fantastical journey of métiers d'art begins in Paris, which was the birthplace of Louis Moinet in 1768. The wrought iron lattice of the Eiffel Tower extends from the base of the dial, set against a topographical map of sorts that echoes the arrondissements of the French capital. Look a little closer, however, and you’ll spot two remarkable details. The first is that this map is crafted from individual jigsaw puzzle pieces – 81 to be exact – and features some quintessentially Parisian details, like the Seine River that bifurcates the city of lights. The green pockets on the map denote Paris’ natural spaces, which are complemented by a green leather strap and the warm tones of red gold, creating a surprising springtime aesthetic.

Louis Moinet Around the World Paris watch dial made from 81 interlocking pieces reproducing the map of Paris and a hand carved Eiffel Tower made from a fragment of an original beam

Secondly, the three-dimensional and hand-engraved Eifel Tower is actually made from an original beam (dated 1889) that once formed part of the landmark’s structure. Jean-Marie Schaller explains: “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.”

Making of the Louis Moinet Around the World Paris watch dial

Louis Moinet’s reimagining of Jules Verne’s odyssey continues in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Here, we find a miniature version of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque that’s crisply hand-painted atop rock crystal. The artist capitalized on the transparency of the crystal to stage a scene on two planes, allowing the Mosque to appear in the foreground against a cloudless sky and a reflective body of water at the base of the dial. This “oasis of modernity,” as Louis Moinet describes the timepiece, is finished in a masculine pairing of red gold and inky black leather.

Next, we take a bird’s eye view of Bangkok’s floating market, with colourful, handmade boats, hats and water lilies recreated through miniature painting. The use of electric blue is striking here, as is the labyrinth pattern that sweeps across the dial to evoke the city’s crisscrossing network of rivers and canals. Even the food produce piled into the boats has been drawn in almost impossible detail with contrasting polished and brushed surfaces, which is a real testament to the skills of the painters.

Louis Moinet Around the World Bangkok watch dial displaying a bird’s eye view labyrinth design of Bangkok’s floating market, with colourful, handmade boats, hats, and water lilies

The next stop of the journey – Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia – is a real step-change that radiates a modern, technical, almost robotic look and feel. The stars of the show are the Petronas Towers, an interlinked pair of 88-story supertall skyscrapers that are a must-visit landmark. Schaller saw these towers as “a symbol of Malaysia's global importance as a major producer of microelectronic circuits,” and so decided to craft his miniature versions in silver over a silicon wafer dial, engraved with holographic circuitry. The placement of the buildings on the dial makes the watch hands appear like they are bursting from the Petronas Towers’ famous sky bridge, which is 170 metres from the ground.

Louis Moinet Around the World Kuala Lumpur watch dial featuring the Petronas Towers crafted from silver on a silicon base engraved with microelectronic circuits

More famous architectural gems appear in the Singapore timepiece, this time crafted with beautiful straw marquetry in sunset shades of orange and red. Incredibly, each stem of rye is dyed and carefully applied, piece by piece, to cover the dial in what is a meticulous and painstaking design process. The result captures the buzzing energy of the city with multiple skyline icons emerging from the flying tourbillion at the south of the dial, highlighted by a denim-hued leather strap.

Louis Moinet Around the World Singapore watch dial featuring straw marquetry of Singapore’s iconic buildings

The jet-setting continues in the sixth watch, which is dedicated to the Japanese capital, Tokyo. The central focus is a deep purple origami crane crafted from a piece of metallic paper (yes, really!) and set amongst hand-painted cherry blossoms atop Mount Fuji on a star-spangled aventurine base. “Travelling to Tokyo was tantamount to total immersion in a culture that blends deep tradition in a very modern and dynamic city, “Schaller explains. “The venerable aura of Mount Fuji and the delicate Origami creations are both perfect symbols of Tokyo’s contrasting aspects.” The midnight depths of the dial are perfectly offset by the snow-capped mountain at its heart and the brightness of the white leather strap.

Louis Moinet Around the World Tokyo watch dial featuring an origami crane made from a piece of metallic paper, hand-painted cherry blossoms and Mount Fuji, against a starry-spangled aventurine backdrop

The penultimate stop is San Francisco, which warrants a watch that blends the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in hand-painted form with a silicon wafer dial etched with microelectronic circuits. This is a nod to San-Fran’s tech prowess, including the world-renowned Silicon Valley that’s birthed the likes of Facebook, Tesla, Apple, and Google. Finally, our tour ends in New York – the city that never sleeps – with Lady Liberty overlooking a multi-coloured cityscape, where lights shine from high-rise windows in the darkness. This particular Louis Moinet creation features a holographic film on a sapphire crystal base, which changes colour depending on the wearer’s viewing angle. Plus, there’s the Statue of Liberty, artfully engraved and hand-painted to keep a watchful eye.

While you’re considering which city is your favourite on this epic horological adventure, it’s worth noting that beneath the 40.7mm dial is a flying tourbillon complication, a double barrel hand-wound movement and a 96-power reserve for good measure. And all this Swiss-made prowess can be owned by one individual with the Around the World in Eight Days trunk – a leather-covered wooden display case stencilled with fleur-de-lys monograms. The trunk arrives complete with an old map of the world, dating from 1786 – the year Louis Moinet was born.

Louis Moinet Around the World New York watch dial displaying a holographic film on a sapphire crystal base illuminates the buildings, which change colours depending on the viewing angle, as well as an engraved and hand-painted The Statue of Liberty

We will admit that the Paris timepiece is calling to us with its lush green hues, but there’s something about that paper origami crane, frozen in miniature, that inspires us too. Tell us, which one makes you want to book a flight?

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