Boutique Swiss brand Vicenterra is a perfect example of the independent spirit of boutique watchmakers who create unique counterpoints to the familiar designs and philosophies of larger marques. Moving into the 3rd major collection of distinctive and luxurious concepts with a heavy astronomical bent, the brand’s latest release expands on the 3D-planet complications from previous releases like the Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue that our David reviewed and praised highly. The new limited edition Vicenterra AstroLUNA series offers a striking and memorable layout for its GMT and moonphase complications while carrying on the brand’s legacy of punching well above its price range stylistically.
Vicenterra offers the AstroLUNA series with two case styles, both rendered in brightly polished Grade 5 titanium. The simpler of the two follows the most recent trends: the AstroLUNA Classic measures in at 41.5mm with a basic dress watch form including tapering lugs and a narrow sloping bezel. The more distinctive of the pair is the standard AstroLUNA, coming in significantly larger at 43.5mm across. The design of the standard AstroLUNA takes a flared, semi-square approach that still incorporates flowing curves through the lugs and a characterful indent running the length of the case sides from lug to lug. If the titanium case of the Tome 2 is anything to go by, these will be some rather beautifully made cases from a Swiss case maker specialist. Both models use a conical signed crown at 2 o’clock, but the squared-off sides of the standard AstroLUNA give this element a more guarded appearance than the more open crown of the AstroLUNA Classic. With sapphire crystals for both the dial and caseback, both versions of the Vicenterra AstroLUNA are rated for a somewhat underwhelming 50 meters of water resistance.
Both versions of the Vicenterra AstroLUNA share the same dial design for they share the same functionalities. The main timekeeping subdial at 12 o’clock features a sparkling stellar aventurine glass finish in midnight blue, with a random glittering pattern evoking a starry night sky. The subdial design itself, with its skeleton alpha hands and distinctive circular cutout at 3 o’clock for the date window, is carried over from previous Vicenterra designs, but the AstroLUNA refines this familiar look with updates like new applied 18K white gold indices and a polished chamfer around the subdial’s edge. Most of the rest of the real estate under the crystal is taken up by three sweeping curved bridges, finished with a hammered surface and polished chamfered edges. The refined astronomical theme set forth by the aventurine subdial is carried through the AstroLUNA’s complications at 4 o’clock and 7 o’clock.
The 4 o’clock display uses the brand’s signature three-dimensional hand-painted globe for a unique take on the GMT complication. Rather than a running indicator of the time in one given time zone, the AstroLUNA’s globe instead rotates on its axis once per day, and the miniature golden sun-shaped pointer indicates the time zone that is currently at noon. Flanking sapphire markers on each side of the globe further point out where in the world is currently 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM, as well. While it may not be as strictly useful as a traditional GMT, this unorthodox complication adds a sense of flair and theatricality to Vicenterra’s design language. This element is symmetrically balanced out at 7 o’clock by a spherical three-dimensional rotating moonphase indicator with a triangular pointer. By bringing together representations of the sun, the moon, the earth, and the stars, the AstroLUNA tightly reinforces its own visual theme.
Stepping things up from the previous ETA base movements, the AstroLUNA series is powered by a Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Seed 3000 automatic movement, topped with Vicenterra’s fully bespoke module for the moonphase and GMT complications. Those familiar with the Vaucher Manufacture’s work (they produce most all of Richard Mille’s movements, all of Parmigiani Fleurier’s calibers and supply a host of smaller and larger manufactures) will know that a high-end finishing is to be expected from this movement, nothing that’s currently reflected on these renders.
A crescent-shaped polished skeleton rotor is flanked by a blue aventurine-topped movement plate. Both of the AstroLUNA’s astronomical complications poke through this plate from behind, with a playful printed message in French stating “On the other side of the world, and in the stars.” In terms of performance, this in-house module offers an impressively accurate moonphase complication, with Vicenterra claiming it will need adjusting by one day every 126 years. Base movement performance is less stellar, coming in with a relatively mundane 50 hours of power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Vicenterra finishes the AstroLUNA with a navy blue strap in calf leather or optional alligator leather.
With a dramatic finishing and a unique, yet more complex take on its three-dimensional complications, the limited edition Vicenterra AstroLUNA series brings the game of ultra-high-end haute horlogerie to a significantly friendlier price point – and does so for the 3rd major collection of the brand, meaning this isn’t their first rodeo. The Vicenterra AstroLUNA and Vicenterra AstroLUNA Classic are limited to 99 examples each, and both models are available for preorder now through the brand’s website at an MSRP of 13,500 CHF. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.