H. Moser & Cie. has been a voice to be heard in contemporary fine-watchmaking. By taking low-profile luxury to the highest levels, Moser timepieces speak for themselves. Besides, the company has a strong sense of mission and have stood out for what they believe in. In the midst of the fine-watchmaking sector’s uncertainty around the appropriate reactions to smart-watches, CEO Edouard Meylan presented the Swiss Alp Watch, a flick at the smarties and at the same time a reassurance of Moser’s commitment to Swiss mechanical watchmaking. Last year, the company sailed along Trump’s campaign slogan to object to the “shortcomings” of Swiss Made label revisions and presented the Swiss MAD watch. In 2018 the company published a video gag that rose up against the unnecessary ancillary costs that are added on product prices. Additionally, they stitched together the Swiss Icons Watch from design elements of other brands, which raised the temper to such heights, that Moser withdrew it.
Thankfully, H. Moser & Cie. brought beautiful novelties from its workshops to SIHH.
H. Moser & Cie. – Venturer Concept Blue Lagoon
I have a soft spot for H. Moser & Cie. Concept Watches, like the Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept in Funky Blue from back in 2016. Cleaned from even the smallest excess additions, I see these as a kind of epitome of refined luxury. All you have is serious content, outstanding proportions and beautiful finishing on high-grade materials. No numerals, no logo, no heavy decorations. You need a healthy dose of self-confidence and nonchalant elegance to wear something like this – it is a message from connoisseur to connoisseur.
The Venturer Concept Blue Lagoon is the latest edition. It received a beautiful deep bluish-green fumé dial, which feels as if you were diving in a crystal clear lagoon in a faraway island paradise. The lagoon is encircled by a white or red gold atoll with a brown woven leather strap for the red gold and beige kudu for the white gold.
Nothing can harm the purity of this timepiece; therefore the power reserve indicator could only be placed on the movement side. The calibre is the in-house hand-wound 3Hz HMC 327, which is the main engine in the Venturer line.
Each version is a limited edition of 20 pieces.
H. Moser & Cie. – Heritage Tourbillon
In 2016 H. Moser & Cie. made a tribute to its long-standing craftsmanship by presenting the Perpetual Calendar Heritage Limited Edition inspired by a 19th century pocket watch. The original masterpiece was adorned with the combination of engraving, ‘Grand Feu’ enamel and gem-setting – in line with the fashion of the era. The 21st century wristwatch interpreted the idea of the pocket watch even with a front and backside cover, but with slightly more contemporary curves.
This year’s novelty enriches the Heritage line. It has a simpler look, but follows the design principles of the collection. You can tell the direct relationship with the Perpetual Calendar Heritage. The Heritage Tourbillon is in white gold with a notched crown, rounded Roman numerals, flame-blued swallow tail hands and ‘Grand Feu’ enamel dial.
The ‘Grand Feu’ (great fire) enamel is a decorative technique used in fine watchmaking. It is certainly among the most difficult techniques, requiring successive layers of enamel. Each layer has to be heated at a very high temperature, hence the name. This process sets the enamel and offers high durability – the watch dial is more resistant to cracking and colour changes. Nevertheless the numerous steps require patience and steady hands – only the most skilled artisans can create impeccable enamel dials.
The engraving and the blue enamel on the case flanks, complemented by the hand-stitched blue alligator strap are gorgeous details.
The automatic HMC 804 Manufacture calibre with a modular one-minute flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock beats in this piece.
H. Moser & Cie. – Endeavour Flying Hours
The company equips its timepieces with in-house manufactured movements and the new C806 marks a major milestone. This automatic calibre was developed and produced together with HAUTLENCE and H. Moser & Cie. (they are sister companies under MELB Holding) and the HMC 200 served as the base. The kinetic energy is generated by a red gold oscillating weight and transformed by a bi-directional winding system. The mainspring has a capacity of three days running time. The escapement and hairspring in the C806 are produced by a sister company, Precision Engineering AG.
The Endeavour Flying Hours has a 42mm white gold Endeavour case and a Funky Blue dial. The main sapphire disc in the centre displays the minutes on a 240° sector; three smaller discs bearing four hour numerals each are arranged around it. Unlike traditional wandering hours displays, where the hours disks revolve around the dial, here the hours disks remain in the same position and the minutes track turns around it.
Wandering hours was a time indication technique originally invented for clocks in the 17th century. It was also adapted to pocket watches, like on this example by an important British watchmaker Joseph Windmills or here on a Perrin Frères pocket watch, restored by Michel Parmigiani.
Minutes are read at the position of the active hour. Every hour at 45, the next hour disc takes the highlighted position. In this last 15 minutes both hour numerals are white, which could be a bit ambiguous when reading the time quickly. At the exact hour the previous hour marker turns away and the double-zero at the start of the minute scale reaches the new active hour. See how it works here:
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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