Promising the Moon, Le Rhöne Delivers Big Time with its Moön Grande Phase De Lune
Featuring an oversized moonphase display set against a star-studded night sky, Le Rhone’s Moön collection is a winner. Previously only available in gold and steel, the line now welcomes Moön Aventurine Titanium, Le Rhöne’s first watch in lightweight natural titanium.
Independent brand Le Rhöne may not grab the headlines often. But over the nine years since its founding by childhood friends Loïc Florentin and Timo Rajakoski, the Geneva-based watchmaker has been doing a lot of things right.
First of all, Le Rhöne has nailed a distinctive design language built upon a rounded, octagon-shaped case and bezel featuring a clean circular opening for the dial where punchy Alpha-type hands centrally indicate hours and minutes.
Le Rhöne was also one of the first Swiss watch companies to hang its hat on a commitment to transparency and traceability. Thanks to blockchain technology and a partnership with Respect Code, Le Rhöne allows its owners to discover the technicians and craftspeople behind the creation of their watch: from case makers, dial makers, and hand manufacturers to movement specialists, gem-setters, and strap, bracelet, and buckle makers. Moreover, the fact that all of Le Rhöne’s suppliers are based in either Geneva or another of Switzerland’s numerous watchmaking valleys helps lend complete legitimacy to its “Swiss Made” label.
Finally, Le Rhöne is also one of the few high-end brands offering a generous 10-year warranty, with an eight-year extension added to the standard two-year guarantee when customers register their watch on the company’s website.
Impressively, Le Rhöne instills its idiosyncratic style across all five of its collections, each catering to a particular taste.
Globetrotters are able to enjoy unique takes on a dual time zone function in the Vöyage series, while those yearning for a refined HMS dress watch can take their pick from the brand’s Hedönia collection.
However, one of our favorite Le Rhöne lines has to be its Moön collection, which is dedicated to one of the oldest and most romantic complications: The moonphase. Yet, rather than presenting its moonphase display via a small aperture on the dial, as is commonly the case in watchmaking, Le Rhöne does it a bit more spectacularly.
Its Grande Phase de Lune uses an oversized, 28mm-wide disk made from blue aventurine or black sapphire that dominates the diameter of the dial. On it, Super-LumiNova-filled recesses help to evoke the starry night sky, and the moon is represented via a 9.9mm disk made from either mother-of-pearl or texturized silver with realistic crater depictions.
Against this splendid, cosmic backdrop, the lumed hour and minute hands are particularly legible. Meanwhile, the brand has wisely eschewed numerals, with lume-filled plots – or brilliant-cut diamonds – used for the hour indices.
Proprietary Moonphase Module
Powering the indications is the automatic Soprod Caliber M100 with a proprietary moonphase module developed by Le Cercle des Horlogers SA. A neat feature of this module is that the moonphase can be corrected using just the crown. Once set, it only requires correction after five years, providing, of course, that the watch is kept wound (and running) for that time.
The movement’s bidirectional winding rotor, in the form of the brand’s propeller-shaped logo, is visible through the display back, and it winds a barrel that provides a 42-hour power reserve. And precision over the course of that power reserve is impressive: Since last year, all of Le Rhöne’s movements are sent for COSC-certification.
The movement is housed in Le Rhöne’s emblematic case with a unique construction that comprises 35 components bearing a mix of polished and satinized finishes that help to bring out the case’s eye-catching lines.
There is ample choice when it comes to case material, size and adornment: A 41mm edition is available with plain or diamond-set cases made of stainless steel or rose gold, while a 37mm edition is available in diamond-set rose gold and, more recently, plain or diamond-set natural Grade 5 titanium.
Moön Aventurine Titanium and Moön Blackout
Indeed, during the Barton 7 watch fair held in Geneva this spring, Le Rhöne launched the Moön Aventurine Titanium, marking the first time that the brand has used this resistant, lightweight material in its natural state.
That offering – available with plain or diamond-set 37mm case – was quickly followed up with the launch of the plain and diamond-set black DLC titanium Moön Blackout limited editions. The latter was the result of a collaboration with online Swiss platform Qlock, fittingly released in mid-May to coincide with this year’s first total lunar eclipse.
Fun Fact: Eagle-eyed viewers of Netflix hit show Emily in Paris can spot Emily’s romantic interest Mathieu Cadault wearing a 41mm plain rose gold Moön Grande Phase de Lune in some episodes. Interestingly, the French actor who plays Mathieu Cadault, Charles Martins, has previously modelled in one of the brand’s early advertising campaigns.
Finally, marrying seamlessly with the Grande Phase de Lune’s case is an alligator leather strap or integrated bracelet in the same metal as the case material. And by the end of this year, all 37mm and 41mm Moön pieces will be delivered with a patented, toolless, interchangeable strap system featuring ergonomic slide rail, so owners can switch things up as they please.
Price & Availability
Prices for the Le Rhöne Moön collection start at CHF 17,000 including Swiss taxes for the plain stainless-steel edition with alligator leather strap, going up to CHF 69,500 for the snow-set rose gold edition with integrated rose-gold bracelet.
Moön Aventurine Titanium is priced at CHF 18,500 and CHF 22,500 for the diamond-set bezel. Meanwhile, the Moön Blackout is limited to 12 pieces and priced at CHF 22,000 (12 pieces), and the Moön Blackout with a diamond-set bezel (which is also limited to 12 pieces) costs CHF 26,000. Lastly, special limited editions with case and dial set with amethyst, garnet, tsavorite, or citrine gemstones are priced at CHF 108,500.