Under the magnifying glass
This heading presents one brand or model in more detail.

At present
: Louis Moinet
Others "Under the magnifying glass"

Already available:
Star Caliber 2000 of Patek Philippe
Langematik-Perpétuelle / Lange & Söhne
Opus V of Harry Winston
Opus 7 of Harry Winston
Opus 9 of Harry Winston
Louis Moinet
Concord C1 Tourbillon
Concord C1 QuantumGravity
Girard Perregaux
Carl F. Bucherer
La Machine à Ecrire le Temps

Gallery-Main page
Louis Moinet page
Louis Moinet

LOUIS MOINET (1768 - 1853)
Excerpt from the Pantheon Universal Biography
Paris 1853

Louis Moinet was born in Bourges in 1768 into a well-to-do family of farmers. During his studies, he quickly distinguished himself for his mastery of classical subjects, and he regularly took first place in academic competitions. While still a student, he was introduced to the world of watch making, and he spent almost all of his free time by the side of a master watchmaker. He was also privately tutored in drawing by an Italian painter.
At the age of twenty, Louis Moinet dreamed only of Italy, that classical land of fine arts. So, he soon left France for Rome where he lived for five years studying architecture, sculpting and painting. There he came into regular contact with members of the French Academy which brought together the most illustrious artists of the time. From Rome, he went on to Florence to perfect the artistic skills he had acquired. As a painter, his legacy includes a number of fine works.

Upon his return to Paris, he was made a Professor of Fine Arts at the Louvre. At this time, he also began his theoretical and practical studies of watch making, an art which he already loved most passionately. He reestablished contact with his former master watchmaker and, within less than ten years, the master was to find himself in the position of student to Moinet. Watch making soon engrossed all of Moinet's time and its tools brought him frequently to Switzerland where he spent extended periods of time.
He became President of the Chronometry Society of Paris, and a member of a number of learned and artistic societies.
When Moinet met Abraham-Louis Breguet, the latter was already quite famous. Breguet recognised Moinet's worth at once, and the two men worked closely together. From 1811 on, Moinet became Breguet's personal adviser.
Abraham-Louis Breguet's son, Antoine-Louis, found it difficult to tolerate the presence of a man who spent far more time with his father than he himself could. When Breguet passed away in 1823, Moinet left the house on the Quai de l'Horloge to live elsewhere.
Among his many technical accomplishments, Moinet re-made a Ferdinand Berthoud regulator almost in its entirety. He also invented a counter that, even today, is unequalled. The same can be said for another regulator and an astronomical watch. In terms of watch making techniques, Moinet was a genius and he improved upon many existing methods.
According to records from an exposition of industry products, a Mr. Francoeur "recognised the usefulness of a new balance-cock which helped with rewinding. The idea belonged to Mr. Moinet".
Louis Moinet undertook to share his extensive knowledge of watch making and, in 1848, he published the Traité d'Horlogerie. Indispensable for anyone in the field, this volume is the most complete and most well written book on watch making in existence.
It is also an everlasting monument to Moinet, establishing for all time his talent and reputation.
He sacrificed everything to art: his time, his fortune and his health. He spent most of his life creating, imbuing materials with a life of their own.
We had the great fortune to live near to him during the last 12 years of his life, and no one can appreciate the many qualities of heart and spirit of this excellent man more so than we can. He was always, in all of his interactions, the man we knew as President of the Chronometry Society: precise, lucid, indulgent, illuminating the weak with support and encouragement, sharing his own light and knowledge without restriction or the slightest hesitation.
Louis Moinet died in Paris on 21 May 1853. We hold him in our memory as one of the most capable watch makers that ever lived.

M. Delmas, Watchmaker
Vice-president of the Chronometry Society of Paris


  • These important clocks were created for Kings and other famous personalities : King George IV of England, Napoleon, and James Monroe, the 5th American President. Crafted in conjunction with the famous bronze sculptor Pierre-Philippe Thomire, these works of art are currently on display in such important Museums as the Louvre in Paris, the Château de Versailles and the Palazzo Pitti in Florence.
  • Horloge Louis Moinet Clock belonging to King George IV of England, in the Empire style, depicting Apollo and the nine Muses. Bronze with marble base. 8-day movement striking the hours and half-hours. Enamelled dial with Roman numerals. 1825-1830. (Courtesy of Richard Redding Antiques, Zurich)
  • Horloge Louis Moinet Superb Restoration style clock featuring an extremely rare design. Patinated bronze and Sienna marble. 8-day mechanism, lever escapement, striking the hours and half-hours. Enamel dial bearing the Louis Moinet signature. 1825-1830. (Courtesy of Richard Redding Antiques, Zurich)


Louis Moinet is the author of the celebrated watchmaking encyclopaedia first published in 1848.
This work consists of two volumes and describes the most sophisticated and ingenious horological techniques.
This masterpiece is enriched by many illustrations and technical drawings, hand-made by Louis Moinet himself. Moinet worked for twenty years on writing this treatise, which became the reference work of the period.

"First published in 1848, this is one of the greatest horological works of the century and contains some of the most clear and concise descriptions of clock-making ever written". Chamberlain

"This book is the most comprehensive, the best written and the most indispensable of all the books that have been written on watchmaking." Panthéon Biographique Universel, Paris, 1853




Gallery-Main page
Louis Moinet page