At the 2015 Baselworld expo, Swiss watchmaker Louis Moinet introduced three timepieces that include the Derrick Gaz watch. The tourbillon-powered Derrick Gaz combines automaton and watchmaking prowess. Intended to be both technical and fun, the piece is themed around the traditional gas extraction systems of the nineteenth century. According to the luxury brand, the Derrick Gaz is a wholescale invention: a timepiece at the crossroads of high precision, watchmaking art and the great tradition of automatons. It is fitted with an expansive tourbillon, one of Louis Moinet’s distinctive hallmarks. The gas derrick rises up on the left-hand side of the timepiece. This large openwork structure is made from 18-carat gold, a reproduction in every detail of the derricks dedicated to underground exploration. Similarly, in the middle there is a replica of a drill – an endless screw that is also in endless movement on the Derrick Gaz, rotating about its axis once every 2.5 seconds.
The gas pipeline leads to the valve handle – which controls the flow of fuel on a real-life gas network- and is connected to the crown: when the timepiece is wound by hand, the valve handle turns too. The pipeline continues its path to a white dial: the gas derrick’s manometer serves as the Power Reserve indicator for the Derrick Gaz. Everything on it is a faithful reproduction of the real manometers to be found on gas networks. The journey comes to a natural close at 3 o’clock, where the gas is stored in a tank made from fully polished 316L steel.
“The timepiece is so instantly compelling because we’ve successfully taken up the challenges involved,” explains Jean-Marie Schaller, Louis Moinet’s CEO. “Nevertheless, it was particularly difficult to produce this new automaton. To fashion each of its components, we had to use innovative manufacturing processes: only they could achieve the unrivalled degree of precision required to craft the gas derrick and the tubular pipeline structure running right across the timepiece. Each of the components was then hand-finished, as are all of our most exclusive pieces.”
The Derrick Gaz timepiece features quite a few Louis Moinet’s distinctive style marks that includes luminous Dewdrop hands, a 255-part Louis Moinet LM42 movement decorated with wave-pattern Geneva Stripes, sunray brushing and pearling, a Fleur-de-Lys applique, and a patented 47 mm Louis Moinet case. The dial also adorns a lacquered Clou de Paris concentric pattern – a first in Louis Moinet collections. It boasts a three-day power reserve and will be available in two exclusive limited editions of 28 pieces each, in 5N 18-carat rose gold with a black dial, and PD150 18-carat white gold with a blue dial. There is no word on the pricing.