Louis Moinet Derrick Gaz 02

Louis Moinet adds a new automaton on the new Derrick Gaz’s dial

The watchmaker from Saint-Blaise designed a watch automaton that defines every step of the gas industry, from the extraction to the storage, and transforms a tourbillon bridge into a pipeline.

By Marco Cattaneo

While politicians are currently clearly busy with renewable energy, watchmakers are, as always, more interested in fossil fuel. That’s because they see more potential clients in the oil or gas industry than in the producers of wind turbines or solar panels who will be willing to pay tens of thousands Swiss francs for a limited-edition watch.

Since demand defined the theme, all the watchmakers had to do was to bring in the necessary creativity and technical skills. Almost two years after the launch of its Derrick dedicated to oil in 12 pieces only, Louis Moinet has designed a watch which is a timepiece and automaton hybrid that recounts the steps of oil from its extraction to its storage tank. As it is, the watch paved the way for other brands to work on the same theme – Ulysee Nardin came up with its Oil Pump Hourstriker, which strikes every hour, and Ollivier Saveo with his Petroleum.

A gold derrick

The 47x14-mm Derrick Gaz was introduced at BaselWorld 2015. It houses the tubular-shaped pipeline which runs along the dial and links this beautiful industrial fable’s different steps of extraction, transport, safety valve and manometer. The adventure starts at 9 o’clock where an 18-K gold derrick takes up the left hand-side of the watch. The small extraction tower – clearly visible on the dial – contains an endless screw that moves constantly and rotates about its axis every 2.5 seconds. And so the gas begins its journey at 6 o’clock along the first section of the pipeline which is in fact a tube-shaped tourbillon bridge.

A small steampunk touch

The regulating organ’s 60-second rotation is in perfect synch with the watch’s movement on the right hand-side of the dial. At four o’clock, it meets a valve handle that is directly connected to the crown. It starts moving as soon as the watch is wound, making a self-rotation at every turn of the crown. It seems a bit like a valve was opened by regulating the barrel spring.

A manometer situated at 2 o’clock signals the near end of this visual journey. It acts as a power reserve indicator and gives the whole watch a slight steampunk look since its design is a perfect replica of what the industry – or better yet, its cinematographic interpretation – had to offer us last century. The journey ends with a polished steel tank shaped in perfect symmetry with the initial derrick.

The piece’s external parts and finishes live up to its creativity. The dial is decorated with a “Clou de Paris” concentric pattern which seems to burst from the hour-minute hands’ axis. The luminescent dewdrop-shaped hands represent Louis Moinet’s very own aesthetic codes. The Louis Moinet LM 42 movement, including its bridges and 255 components, is decorated with wave-patterned “Côtes” and is sunburst and circular-grained. The aesthetics of the 30-meter water-resistant and 59-part case appropriately represents its complexity thanks to screwed elements and contrasted-surface finishes. A hand-sewn Louisiana alligator leather strap that comes with a deployment buckle is fixed between the case lugs. The Derrick Gaz is available in either white gold or pink gold versions that are each limited to 28 pieces.

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