Lunar meteorite watch - FAQ
From time to time, Meteorites fall on the Moon and on mars. On impact, pieces of rocks from the Moon (and Mars) are ejected by the shock in space.
Some of the rocks are then attracted by the Earth’s gravitational field and fall as meteorites. When they fell on the sea, or in a forest, or any place where there are lots of rocks, they are lost forever, as it’s almost impossible to tell them from another rock.
But when they fall on the desert, it’s easier to spot them on the uniform sand. Beduins who cross the deserts have been taught to search for “unusual” rocks, and when they spot one, they take it with them to the nearest big city, where Meteorite hunters perform a first sorting (meteorite or plain Earth rock).
The Meteorites are then analyzed to know where they came from. About 1 out of 1000 comes from the Moon, and even less come from Mars.
I strongly suggest you to read this page from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis.
It describes the origin of Lunar meteorites, how they get to Earth, how rare they are…
Also, this page from the same US university explains How we know it’s a rock from the Moon.
Yes. But how do we know this, and how can we be sure ?
There are meteorites hunters that travel the world to discover meteorites. When they find one, they perform a first quick analysis. If this quick analysis shows that the rock may come from the Moon or Mars, then the rock is sent to a specialized laboratory that then runs some high precision chemical analysis.
The results are then compared with what we know from the chemical composition of the rocks from the Moon, Mars, Earth…
If the rock is indeed a rock from the Moon or Mars, it is given a name and is added to the Meteoritical Bulletin.
Each watch will come with a Certificate of Authenticity, delivered by a certified Meteorite dealer.
The Muonionalusta is an iron Meteorite (meteorites can be either iron or rock type). It was found in 1906 in Sweden, but fell on Earth about 1 Million years ago.
Scientists consider that this meteorite was part of the iron core or mantle of a planetoid, which shattered into many pieces upon its fall on our planet.
The official classification of the Muonionalusta is “Iron IVA” : An iron meteorite belonging to chemical group IVA.
An Iron meteorite is defined as : A meteorite that is dominantly composed of Fe-Ni metal and that crystallized from a melt
It is indeed ! All the rocks that were brought back from the Moon by the Apollo missions are property of the USA, and cannot be sold or bought.
But the pieces of the Moon and Mars I’m using in my watches come from Lunar and Martian meteorites that fell on Earth, and were collected by Meteorite hunters. See previous questions for more information.
For the initial Kickstarter campaign, there will only be 500 watches made. Each watch will be numbered (XXX/500) on an engraved back.
Once this initial run of watches will be sold out, I may produce more watches. This will of course depend on the demand.
There are the 4 main options for the dial :
- Printed Sky Map
- Muonionalusta & Mars
Then, you’ll be able to specify if you usually wear your watch on your Left or Right wrist.
And you’ll also be able to choose between a Northern or Southern hemisphere watch (as this changes the way the moon phase is displayed)
The movement used in the watches is a Swiss Ronda 708, which one of the very few movement with a real central moon-phase (there are many fake moonphase watches, that are in fact simple Night & day indicator, or moon phases that are on the Date disc, making one turn in 31 days, instead of 29.5 days)
It is a Quartz movement, with a battery life of about 4-5 years.
The movement is modified to accomodate the large moon phase disc.
If there is enough demand, I plan to make a mechanical version of this watch, for the people who don’t like quartz movements.
The surface of Mars has an orange-reddish color because its soil has iron oxide or rust particles in it. But not all the rocks on Mars have this reddish color.
The Martian meteorite that is used in this watch is the NWA 6963. It was found in the desert of Morocco in 2011
This watch is a “simple” watch. My watch doesn’t have any fancy electronic, does not pretend to shave you with a Laser, does not allow you to breathe for 20 minutes under water, does not try to extract water from air and does not try to break any of the 4 laws of Thermodynamic.
It’s a regular quartz watch, with a proven and reliable, off-the-shelf Ronda 708 movement.
But still, let’s see what could go wrong…
- Shortcut of Lunar Meteorite
The NWA 11474, which is the Lunar meteorite that I used to create the 2 prototypes for the watch, was 586 grams. Each watch uses 2 discs of 10 mm diameter, by about 0.8 mm thick, each disc weighing approximately 0.2 gram.
For the production run, I might use again the same meteorite, or I might try to use a new one (always with a certificate of authenticity from a reputable Meteorite seller). There are other Lunar meteorites that are available. And one or two new ones are found every year.
Plus this watch will never be mass produced to the million units.
So, this risk is (I believe) covered.
- I’m overwhelmed with the orders
For 2 of my 3 other watch projects, I wanted to do as much as possible myself, meaning building, assembling and shipping the watch myself. This turned out to be not such a good idea, as it’s very time consuming.
So, for this project, I’ve decided that I would outsource as much as possible.
This means that all the tedious work will be done by professionals, who do this 5 or 6 days a week.
I’ll still be assembling the movement, which is the most delicate part.
So Yes, the watch will be “Made in France”.
- I run away with the money
Yes, that’s an option… But a stupid one.
First, Kickstarter has all my bio data. I’m in France, where crooks and con artists are being prosecuted, and I’ll end up in jail.
But more important, I won’t be able to sell more watches.
I intentionally limited the number of available watches in this Kickstarter campaign to have the minimum money needed to start production and to gain recognition, and so that I can sell more watches after this campaign is over.
So, it’s much more interesting for me (financially) to actually make and send the watches, have happy customers, so that I can sell even more watches to even more happy customers.
- I spend all the money resolving problems
There will be problems, for sure. I don’t know yet what kind of problems, but a project that doesn’t have any kind of hurdle is an exception.
So, I’ve decided that about 10% of the price of each watch will go to a “Shit Happens” dedicated account. This is to cover the “expected” unexpected problems.
Also, about 5% of the money will be to cover the after-sales.
So, in total, about 15% of the money will be used to cover all the “Shit Happens” and “Murphy’s Law” type of situation.
This may be too much, but I prefer to be pessimistic and proved wrong, than the opposite.
- Terrible delay before delivery
This is what happened for my HDD Watch project. Some of my backers waited almost one year to receive their watch (sorry again…). I don’t want this to happen again !
The reason is that I was doing everything myself, in my kitchen.
To avoid this problem for this campaign, I’ve decided to outsource as much as possible to professionals.
Apart from the movement assembly, all the other tasks (the cutting of the Lunar Meteorites, the Quality Control, the order management and the processing of the orders) will be outsourced.
I’ve also decided to limit the number of available watches for this Kickstarter campaign to 500 pieces to keep it manageable.
This will allow me to have better control over the production.
Although I’m trying to do my best to make this project a success, it’s never guaranteed that people will like it.
By launching a Kickstarter campaign, this is a security for me. If the campaign is a success, I’ll have the initial money to start the production of the watches. If the campaign fails (for any reason), then I’ll still have my 2 prototypes, that will be unique watches, and that I’ll wear with great pleasure.
… And I’ll try another watch project.
- – 4.6 Billion years : Mars is formed
- -4.53 Billion years ago : Moon is formed
- 1998 : I have the idea for my first watch
- 2005 : I create my first watch, from this initial idea
- 2014 : Successful launch of the HDD watch on Indiegogo
- August 2018 : Idea of the Lunar Meteorite watch
- February 2020 : Project is made public
- April 2020 : Kickstarter campaign launch
- End of 2020 : Shipping of the watches
The watch uses a modified Ronda 708 movement.
The crown has 3 positions :
I – Position of rest (watch is running)
II – Watch is stopped. This allows you to save the battery life.
III – Time Setting.
To set the Moon Phase, the Ronda 708 movement does not have a quick set mechanism (unfortunately…). So, you’ll have to move the time forward or backwards. Every “24 hours” that the hour hand makes, the Moon Phase will change one notch.
This means that you may have to turn the hands several time to set the moon phase. This is a limitation of the Ronda 708 movement.
I spent quite some time to find a solution to this problem, and I believe my solution is bulletproof.
It relies on the fact that the meteorites are bought from reputable and professional Meteorite sellers, and are then sent directly to George Pennef, who is also a professional Meteorite seller.
George then cuts the meteorites to the exact shape and dimensions required, and take a picture of each piece, with an individual number next to it. Each Meteorite has a different visual pattern that allows to differenciate them. The pictures are stored on his website, for public access.
When I recieve the meteorites, I write down each individual number of the meteorites used in each watch. For example, the watch # 002/500 will use the Moon discs #4 and 5, and the Muonionalusta dial #M2.
When you receive your watch, you’ll have this information, and you’ll be able to check on George’s site that the Lunar, Martian and Muonionalusta meteorites correspond to the ones on the pictures.
I understand that the whole system is a little complex, but it guarantees you that what you have are real pieces of the Moon (and Mars, and Muonionalusta).
Do You Have a Question ?
If you have a question, or if you want to have more information on this watch, please use this form below, and we’ll answer it as soon as possible.
And we may add it to the list of the FAQ questions above