A Closer Look At The H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

A Closer Look At The H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

The quirky watchmaker lowers the Vantablack curtains on one of its most renowned creations.

By Josh Shanks

In his classic 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David Bowie bemusedly sang: “We've got five years, what a surprise. Five years stuck on my eyes. We've got five years; my brain hurts a lot. Five years, that's all we've got.”

For some, five years can last a lifetime, while, for others, it can pass in the blink of an eye. That is certainly the case for H. Moser & Cie.’s Swiss Alp Watch. Since its launch in 2016, the conceptual piece has garnered plenty of attention and a bit of controversy as it famously mirrors another iconic smartwatch.

I originally wrote about the first edition of the Swiss Alp Watch piece for another publication in 2016. Since that time, I’ve joined Watchonista, and H. Moser & Cie. has continued to improve the Swiss Alp collection with a variety of upgrades and funky color combinations.

Introducing The H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

All good things must come to an end, and today, that’s the case for H. Moser’s latest Swiss Alp Watch. The new Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade marks the conclusion of a journey five years in the making. As a former Apple employee, the Swiss Alp has always endeared itself to me, and this new version might be the most “Swiss Alp” Swiss Alp Watch ever created.

Featuring a Vantablack dial and blackened hour and minute hands, the new Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade mirrors a process that many of us are familiar with, the dreaded software upgrade. As you’ll see at 6 o’clock, H. Moser has re-imagined the seconds sub-dial as a shaded disc which mimics the “loading” animation of computer software.

H. Moser said in a press release that the small seconds disc “serves as a reminder that the here and now is all that matters.” Which, as you could probably imagine, is precisely what Bowie’s song “Five Years” is all about.

The all-black concept watch is 100% Swiss Made at H. Moser & Cie.’s manufacture in Neuhausen am Rheinfall near the canton of Schaffhausen. Limited to just 50 pieces, the Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade’s rectangular case measures 38.20mm wide and 44mm high. The piece is powered by H. Moser’s HMC 324 manufacture calibre, which is exceptionally well-finished and a delight to stare at through the sapphire crystal caseback.

With a power reserve of over 100 hours, the Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade has nearly triple the power reserve of its nearest smartwatch competitor. Plus, with a manually wound movement, you’ll never have to plug it in or request a software upgrade as the piece leans on nearly 200 years of H. Moser history and innovation.

But Why?

Believe it or not, this is a question I get asked by watch enthusiasts and even casual observers of the watch industry: Why make a watch that so famously mirrors an icon in industrial design?

And I think that uncanny resemblance is entirely the point. And why not? H. Moser has never been a brand to shy away from controversy. Remember the Swiss Icons watch?

"This idea was conceived by a customer and friend of the brand, a true enthusiast and fan of the Swiss Alp Watch collection. He came to visit us with an extremely precise design, and we immediately wanted to create this model, perfectly in line with our philosophy, with a touch of humour and a hint of provocation," said Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie., in the brand’s press release.

Pricing and Availability

The new Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade is priced at $30,800 and is limited to 50 pieces. The watch should be available at your nearest H. Moser & Cie. retailer.

(Photography by Liam O'Donell)

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Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade - H. Moser & Cie.