These timepieces make the same incredible impression as the Soviet moon-walker did in the 1970s. The theme of something unearthly is implied in the range of details present, in the innovative new moon-phase display, in the highly unusual materials used, and in the unique design selected. This timepiece celebrates the Soviet exploration of the moon, and its profile features the silhouette of the pioneering Lunokhod moon-walker. A 12-millimetre copy of the Earth’s satellite is placed at the centre of the dial, where it stands motionless, just as the Moon stands in relation to the Earth. A silver half-sphere revolving around the orb reproduces the Earth’s shadow. The phases of this miniature copy progress uninterrupted and, with equal time intervals, replace each other exactly as the real moon’s phases do. The orbital period is 29 days, 15 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds. This patented system offers the world’s most realistic moon-phase display on a watch dial. The timepiece’s calibre was designed and created by the watchmakers in our Manufacture, while the case was designed by Konstantin Chaykin in partnership with Vikenti Gryaznov. While this watch looks quite imposing, the sensation of its magnitude fades away as soon as you turn it over and realise that its case is just 10.7 mm thick.
Historical background: created by Soviet scientists, the Lunokhod was the first ever remote-controlled rover to operate successfully on the surface of another celestial body. On 17 November 1970, “Lunokhod 1” was carried to the moon by the automatic interplanetary spacecraft “Luna-17” and deposited in the Sea of Rains. The space rover operated on the surface of the moon from 17 November 1970 to 4 October 1971 and studied 80,000 square metres of lunar surface, travelling 10.54 km.
At the heart of this timepiece resides a miniature moon made of wootz steel, whose complex, ornate structure recalls the moon’s surface dotted with craters. The spherical moon-phase indicator is made of silver and covered with black rhodium. The Wootz steel used to craft the case and miniature moon was smelted by wootz-steel expert Sergei Luniov, one of Russia’s best smiths and gunmakers.
Wootz steel is a particularly strong material that has been used to make swords, daggers and other weapons for centuries.
The movement is equipped with 25 jewels and a power reserve of 48 hours. The arch around the moon-phase indicator displays the hours: from midnight to midday, the moon is the indicator while from midday to midnight, it is the sun. Meanwhile, the sub-dial in the lower part of the dial shows the minutes.