The Guinness World Records Organization has recognized Louis Moinet as the inventor of the chronograph. The organisation awarded the Swiss atelier the title of the ‘First Chronograph’, after a painstaking process of thorough research and investigations that took the best part of six months.
By recognizing Louis Moinet as the originator of the first chronograph, the Guinness World Records Organisation has confirmed as fact, what was already acknowledged in the world of haute horlogerie: that the chronograph was first invented by Mr Louis Moinet in 1816, with his “Compteur de Tierces”.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to receive this honour in a very special year, in which we’re celebrating the bicentenary of the invention of the chronograph (1816-2016),” said Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO of Ateliers Louis Moinet. “The fact that Louis Moinet is the father of the chronograph – having invented it in 1816 – is beyond dispute, and well-known by lovers of fine watches. The title that’s now been awarded by the Guinness World Records Organisation takes things to the next level. It opens up the way for greater public awareness of our firm, offering worldwide recognition that crosses borders and extends well beyond the world of fine watch connoisseurs.”
In 1816, Louis Moinet created an artistic and technological masterpiece that created haute horological history. Beating at a rhythm of 216,000 vibrations per hour, designed to observe the orbits of the planets in the heavens the world’s first-ever chronograph was a harbinger of finer things to come.
To celebrate the bi-centenary of Louis Moinet’s epoch-making invention, the Swiss atelier presented Memoris, the first chronograph watch, clothed with light, in honour of the spirit of their founder. The stunning timepiece clad in a canopy of stars blazing out of the night sky, was the first of a series of Limited Edition creations dedicated to the bicentenary of the invention of the chronograph.
Three strictly limited editions have since been created during this very special year. The first was unveiled in Geneva in January; the second, at Baselworld; the third, Memoris Red Eclipse, was unveiled at Neuchâtel Observatory and was shortlisted for the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix.
“The mission of our Ateliers has always been closely tied to gaining recognition for Louis Moinet (1768-1853) and his essential contributions to watchmaking, and restoring him to the pantheon of great watchmakers. This Guinness World Records title is a decisive new step in that direction,” said Schaller.
The Guinness World Records Organization awarded the title following a detailed six-month investigation process. The Guinness panel of independent investigators called for and reviewed technical diagrams, historical proof, the written testimony of a large number of independent experts, and a whole host of photos and video material. The panel also held extensive discussions in order to confirm the authenticity of all the information submitted by Ateliers Louis Moinet, both to attest to the firm’s eligibility to claim the title, and to grant exclusive rights to its use.
“The substantial pool of evidence we submitted was of course watertight; back in 2014, Louis Moinet’s Compteur de Tierces had already been unanimously recognized as the first chronograph in history by a select group of experts and historians,” explained Jean-Marie Schaller. “However, the Guinness World Records organization is geared more to the general public, and as a result we had to review the entire submission from a different perspective in order to meet their criteria.”
About Louis Moinet
Ateliers Louis Moinet was founded in Saint-Blaise, Neuchâtel, in 2004. The fully-independent firm was established to honour the memory of Louis Moinet (1768-1853): master watchmaker, inventor of the chronograph in 1816 (certified by Guinness World RecordsTM), and pioneer in the use of very high frequencies (216,000 vibrations per hour). Louis Moinet was a watchmaker, scholar, painter, sculptor, and teacher at the School of Fine Arts – as well as the author of Traité d’Horlogerie, a watchmaking treatise published in 1848 that remained a definitive work of reference for almost a century. Today, Ateliers Louis Moinet is perpetuating this legacy. The firm’s timepieces, produced in limited editions only, have won some of the most coveted honours, including a Red Dot Design Award (Best of the Best category), gold and bronze medals in the Chronometry Competition, a Robb Report “Best of the Best” award, a “Chronograph of the year” distinction from Begin magazine, Japan, and a recent UNESCO
Award of Merit. Louis Moinet creations often make use of unusual materials, such as fossils and meteorites, combined with bespoke fine watchmaking complications in a unique creative approach. The brand’s core values are creativity, exclusivity, art and design.
About Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records is the worldwide reference body for records. The Guinness World Records Book is published annually, listing a collection of internationally-recognised world records, spanning both natural wonders and human achievements. The first edition of this work of reference was published in 1955.