The watch industry is an exceptionally competitive environment and therefore brands need to have a unique selling point. Normally this means radical new designs or the use of unusual materials. Meteorite has become a very popular choice for companies because of its unique characteristics. Amazingly these specimens can date back 4.5 billion years and is the oldest known substance to man. It also has a wonderful pattern called Widmanstatten lines, which cannot be duplicated. Here are five watchmakers that have used this intergalactic debris to great effect.
Louis Moinet Tourbillon Mars
Swiss company Louis Moinet SA is widely considered as one of the finest watchmakers in the industry. All their creations are highly complicated and exceptionally well executed. A great example of their extraordinary craftsmanship is the brilliant Tourbillon Mars. What makes this watch so outstanding is the 47mm 50-part 18-karat white gold case and bezel, which is set with 56 baguette diamonds. I love the handcrafted dial that is composed from a slice of meteorite and originates from Mars (dating back over 180,000 millions years). This characteristic acts in harmony with the large exposed tourbillon located at 6 o’clock. At the heart of the watch is an accomplished manual winding mechanical movement. This caliber comprises 19 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour.
Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon T 21 Munionalusta
Antoine Preziuso is a Swiss watchmaker of the highest distinction. All of his timepieces contain an extraordinary amount of detail and are highly exclusive. The Tourbillon T 21 Munionalusta perfectly showcases his immense level of craftsmanship. Dimensionally the watch has smaller than average case size measuring 42mm x 12mm. What makes this timepiece so amazing is the hand crafted “Munionalusta” meteorite case, dial and buckle. I absolutely love the open worked dial, which exposes the intricate mechanism and sensational tourbillon carriage. To power the watch, Antoine Preziuso has devised a sophisticated 13-lignes double-barrel hand-wound movement. The Caliber AP/T21 oscillates at frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a power reserve of 72 hours.
RJ Romain Jerome 1969 Heavy Metal Meteorite
RJ Romain Jerome are renowned for their bold and idiosyncratic timepieces. Former CEO Yvan Arpa (now owner of Artya) was responsible for creating the marvelous DNA series of watches. These amazing timepieces incorporated moon dust, parts of the Titanic and elements from the Apollo 11 shuttle into the designs. The 1969 Heavy Metal Meteorite is part of a new exciting series of watches. What makes this timepiece so appealing is the striking grey meteorite dial with rhodium chapter ring. Other stylish features include the signature RJ bespoke 43mm case and brushed steel bezel. Beneath the distinctive façade lies a Swiss made mechanical self-winding movement. The Caliber RJ003-A comprises 30-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
BLU Open Planet-Meteorite
BLU (Bernhard Lederer Universe) is a small independent watchmaker situated in the picturesque location of Colombier, Switzerland. All of their timepieces combine contemporary styling with the finest traditional techniques. The Open Planet-Meteorite perfectly illustrates this point and was originally unveiled at Baselworld in 2009. What makes this watch so special is the luxurious 44mm 18-karat white gold case and stunning meteorite dial. I love the large aperture, which delicately exposes the intricate wheel train mechanism and rotates on a 12-hour cycle. At the heart of the watch is a highly complicated self-winding movement. The Caliber BL701 contains 33-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
Frank Heydrich No. 50 Hypershark
Although Frank Heydrich is a Jet engineer by trade, he is also an avid rock collector and skilled watchmaker. I had the privilege of reviewing one of his custom made timepieces last December. This watch was christened Mini Meteorite and showcased a multitude of different techniques. The Hypershark is equally impressive and has the same diameter of 44mm. What makes this watch so distinctive is the subtle meteorite chapter ring, which perfectly compliments the skeleton dial. Other superior details include the delicate hour/minute hands and exquisite grey sharkskin strap. Beneath the lightweight titanium case lies a manual winding ETA 6498 Swiss movement. This mechanism comprises 17 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour.