Ateliers Louis Moinet CEO Jean-Marie Schaller is having a good year - understatement.
Earlier this year a timepiece bearing the name Louis Moinet was revealed to be the first chronograph ever - fact.
It has a movement which beats at an astounding 216,000 vibrations per hour and is capable of splitting seconds to the 1/60th and its creation dates back to 1816 which takes more than a little shine off Nicolas Rieussec who didn't file his chonograph patent until 1844. C'est la vie.
As newly crowned creators of the chronograph, no doubt tribute pieces will follow. For now we will focus on a new piece for 2013, one which provides appeasement for our love of sporty timers and our perennial preoccupation with Formula One, this is the Louis Moinet Nelson Piquet Chronograph.
And it really is a stunner - deep blue dial, white counters, steel elements and a sminch of carbon fibre, all perfectly proportioned and finished to the high standards synonymous with Louis Moinet watches.
If like me you find the allure of a blue dial chrono hard to resist, then this one could be a contender for your collection given the added "Piquet" appeal. The blue/white pays hommage to his successful years with the Brabham team, but I think you'll agree that when paired with those diminutive metallised markers and numerals it makes for a very eye-pleasing combination.
In addition to the colourway, some styling touches recall the achievement of the Brazilian driver, but these are subtle inclusions. The dial bears his signature at 5 o'clock, there is a layer of carbon fibre on the lower bezel and the pushers are chequered and champagne-cork shaped.
On the case back his trio of world championships are inscribed along with a laurel wreath replication. Also of note is the superb Louis Moinet open-worked rotor and the decorated plates and bridges.
The six-screw steel case measures 45.6mm across and features a matt and polished surface. In addition to the three counters, the bezel has a tachymeter scale. The blueness of the dial is in fact split in two, a plain upper section and a Geneva Striped lower. The chubby little hands on the subdials pick up the blue further still, and if you look closely they also have wonderful openworked overhangs.
The Louis Moinet Nelson Piquet Chronograph forms part of the new Legends collection and will be limited to 365 pieces presented on either leather or a "race-ready" rubber strap.
Incidently the Louis Moinet Compteur de Tierces was acquired byJean-Marie Schaller last May at Christies in Geneva for67,000 Swiss Francs which brings me to recall a quote from "Del Boy" on hearing that their John Harrison "Lesser Watch" had sold for six point two million - "Well we've had worse days, ain't we?"
More information at the Louis Moinet website here.