March 21, 2013 (first posted). Incredible! Imagine if a video was released of a man walking on the moon ten years before Neil Armstrong and that the scientists of Houston were on these images talking to each other through iPhones! The news would be quite disturbing. The revelation made today in Neuchâtel is shaking up the entire watchmaking industry in equal measure. Ten years before the invention of Nicolas Rieussec, officially considered until today as the father of the first chronograph, the watchmaker Louis Moinet (1768-1853) made in 1816, for his needs as an astronomer, an instrument that counted time intervals and that literally dethroned the work of Nicolas Rieussec as well as the evolutions made on this invention by other famous watchmakers of the past. The historians and experts in charge of validating this news, after having had the opportunity to observe the piece, are formal. Among them Dominique Fléchon or Arnaud Tellier. All of them confirm unequivocally, with amazement and in the course of a substantiated speech, that the piece raised to the surface is really the first chronograph. The invention of Rieussec and his inking system, designed for horse racing, suddenly appears rustic. It is relegated to the origin of the usual terminology (chronos for time and graphie for writing) and no longer to the functions induced in the word chronograph. It is to the tenacity of Jean-Marie Schaller, history enthusiast and founder of the current Louis Moinet brand, that we owe this astonishing discovery, the first step towards future revelations. Watchmaking historian Bernard Vuilliomenet sums it up: “Louis Moinet was such an inventor and avant-gardist that he blew everyone away with a century’s advance. He talks about the reset mechanism, a high frequency allowing the measurement of 1/60° of a second (30 Hertz, 216,000 vibrations per hour) and a degree of aesthetic finishing that is fundamentally horological. Engineer and ingenious, artist and craftsman, this is what he was” concludes the expert about this 18th century watchmaker, modest and discreet, for whom Abraham-Louis Breguet had the most sincere respect. Watch the whole story.
Le cadran, par le Dr. Helmut CROTT
The work of a lifetime, the book “Le Cadran” by Dr. Helmut Crott (edited by Joël A. Grandjean), the history of the dial in the 20th century, the prestigious history of the Stern dials and of a family that took over the Patek Philippe brand