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Oscillating weight La Lune, XVIII & Moon disc Creators

Updated: Oct 10, 2023


Hello everyone,


Today, we present an interview with Howel, an R&D engineer at AJS Production. In this article, we aim to introduce you to the workshop and delve deeper into the craftsmanship behind these exceptional pieces.


Wishing you a pleasant viewing.







Oscillating weight La Lune, XVIII

Design


The oscillating weight draws inspiration from the arcane n°18 card of the Tarot de Marseille, originally illustrated by Jean Dodal in the 18th century. Reimagined by the Mu:n team as six bas-relief coat of arms, this card is elegantly affixed to a moon-shaped skeleton weight, adorned in its entirety. Two wolfhounds, a crayfish, a tower, the moon, and its radiant beams are masterfully recreated as six bas-relief coat of arms. Each allegory is meticulously placed on a surface with a specific finish – be it pointillism, grains, or stripes – evoking the essence of the emblem's surroundings, whether it be night, meadow, or water.



Manufacturing


The first step is to create the technical plans. The design office receives the 3D design sent by the Mu:n teams and then proceeds to draft the plans. The file is subsequently converted into multiple formats to enable each laser machine to interpret the design accurately.



Once the plans are finalized, the decoration process commences, beginning with the raw mass of an ETA 2824. Initially, the mass is polished on its flat surface and subsequently contoured on the biased part. During this stage, AJS employs a machine that carves hollow patterns into the metal, following different trajectory lines based on the desired decoration.





The upper section is then hollowed out to reveal the skeleton and the crescent moon. This operation is executed using laser cutting technology.



The real challenge lies in the finishing touches and the creation of bas-reliefs. As these elements are crafted after decoration, precision is paramount to prevent any imperfections. The workshop employs the same CNC laser-cutting method, which delicately etches the material at varying intensities to unveil the bas-relief and the accompanying decorative elements.




Finally, each piece undergoes a meticulous inspection before being coated in rose gold through ion plating. This technique allows for a thin layer of metal to be applied uniformly across the entire surface.



The result is the completed oscillating weight. Its total production cost, encompassing over 8 operations and various human interventions, amounts to CHF 60 (excluding VAT) per unit. The development of this piece incurred costs exceeding CHF 1,320 in R&D.



Moon discs Créateurs


Design


The Créateurs moon disc represents a reinterpretation of traditional moon discs, centered around a realistic portrayal of the celestial body. The sky features a gradient that unveils the Milky Way on dark nights, overlaid with a starry night depicted in varying thicknesses. This approach aims to imbue the overall design with visual depth, achieved through the moon's craters and the starry night sky.






Manufacturing


Much like the oscillating weight, the initial phase of production involves technical drawings and digital formats. For the Moon disc, four primary planes are defined, which are then divided into various formats: the sky, the Milky Way, the stars, and the Moon. This nomenclature corresponds to the disc's construction, built up in several successive layers.


The process begins with the application of a first white coat of paint to the disc. An operator meticulously sprays the discs with paint using a fine spray nozzle, ensuring even and thin coverage to prevent excess thickness. Subsequently, a second coat of blue paint (No. II and No. I5), or black paint (No. 29), is applied using the same method. A third white layer is applied by decaling to reveal the 2 moons.


Once the part is fully painted, the disc is laser-decorated. This involves blackening the craters on the moons, and burning away the top layer of black or blue sky paint to reveal the bottom white layer. This is done at various intensities to draw the Milky Way and the stars with depth.



Beyond the exceptional precision and relief achieved through this method, the laser also imparts a unique, slightly satin-like texture. The Moon is etched with greater depth to accentuate the craters, giving the white paint a subtle grayish hue. Additionally, as the initial paint application by the operator is never entirely uniform, each disc exhibits a distinct reaction, making each piece truly unique.


Moon disc Creators - series version.

October 2022.


The creation of the final version of the Moon discs required numerous prototypes. While the design remained unchanged throughout the journey, it was the iterative process of developing these prototypes that enabled the team to achieve such a detailed outcome.


Prototype N°6, July 2022.

The Moon is created using successive decals. Although realistic, it lacks depth.

A constellation test is carried out.


Prototype N°12, December 2022.

The Moon reacts perfectly to the laser, but its color is bluish and imprecise.

The Milky Way is not sufficiently detailed, and is built up in white spots.



The precise selection of Pantone colors for each layer, the handling and spraying distance controlled by operators, and the laser's intensity and calibration—all of these elements underwent extensive testing, leading to a culmination of successes and failures.


The final method employed is the result of more than thirty prototypes, culminating in the unique character of today's Moon disc. The overall production cost for each Moon disc is CHF 70 (excluding VAT). The development incurred expenses exceeding CHF 2,510 in R&D, involving numerous operations and machine downtime.




We hope you enjoyed this more technical article.


See you soon,

The Mu:n team

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