Tuesday

Mechanical Memory - Maurice LaCroix Memoire1 Chronograph


Hard to say what I think about the Memoire1 without seeing it yet. The marketing and hype is gaining momentum. The race for new mechanical developments has been very active this year, including advancements like the lubricant-free Master Compressor Extreme LAB by Jaeger LeCoultre. The Memoire1 won't be revealed until November but for now, I'd like to share their press release, a video tease and a early peek at the movement.


MAURICE LACROIX CREATES THE FIRST MECHANICAL WATCH
WITH A MEMORY!

Can a mechanism remember? From now on, the answer is “yes”! Maurice Lacroix developed the first memory function for a mechanical watch. This completely new Grande Complication, which will find its initial application in the exclusive Memoire 1 chronograph, is a new milestone in the history of the art of Swiss watchmaking.

This watch has only two hands – one for the minutes and one for the seconds – along with a disk to indicate the hours. And yet the Mémoire 1 is one of the most complicated watches ever developed! The reason is that a revolutionary design sits inside this exclusive chronograph – the first memory function for a mechanical timepiece. An indication at 3 o’clock reveals the secret: By pressing the button integrated into the crown, the mode changes from “Time” to “Chrono”. The hands and the hours disk immediately change their positions. If their previous function was telling the current time, they are now available for the precise measurement of time intervals. When the button is pressed once again, they all return to their positions for telling time. Even when the chronograph is running, it is still possible to shift back and forth between the two modes without losing the information provided by one or the other function.

The memory function of the ML 128 manufacture movement, which makes possible this unique connection between the time and chronograph indications, is a major new Grande Complication that Maurice Lacroix developed to enrich the world of mechanical timekeeping. The mechanism and movement were completely designed and developed in the new “Atelier de Maurice Lacroix”. The result of this intensive process is a highly complex calibre made of 537 components – including nine switching hearts – for which Maurice Lacroix has already submitted numerous patent applications.

Maurice Lacroix is also pioneering new territory with the Memoire 1 in the design of the case and dial as well as in movement decoration and the selection of the materials used. The development process for this watch, which will be presented officially at Baselworld 2008 for the first time, is still underway. You can follow its creation on a dedicated Internet site at www.memoire1.ch.


One of a series of animated shorts leading up to its unveiling.

Memoire 1 Movement

For further information, check out JAW's post at Horomundi-->Link

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