Triple Threat: The H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel
The Schaffhausen-based brand has released a new minimalist quantième perpétuel to help you advance into March in style.
It’s exciting when a new piece from H. Moser & Cie. comes in over the transom because there is always a delightfully unique aspect to it. And in the case of the just-announced Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel, it’s the use of tantalum – a metal most often used in nuclear reactors, aircraft and missile parts, and surgical appliances.
But as I discussed writing the story with Watchonista’s Executive Editor Mike Espindle, we were just as excited about the beauty of the blue fumé “Grand Feu” enamel dial. “And don’t sleep on the perpetual calendar either,” messaged Mike.
That’s why we’re slicing the discussion pie into three pieces – to show how the material, mechanical, and aesthetic elements have come together to create one tantalizing package (pun very much intended).
Discovered in 1802 and named after Tantalus from Greek mythology, tantalum is an incredibly durable material with many cool applications, including shielding spacecraft from radiation. But, in watchmaking, it’s still a bit of a rarity, with only a handful of brands making piece from it. Indeed, this is the first time H. Moser has used it in a collection.
Why haven’t more watch brands attempted to use this metal? Because it is part of the refractory metal group on the periodic table, meaning it’s difficult to mill due to its high melting point and rating of 6-7 on the Mohs hardness scale. Fun Fact: Concrete and granite also rate between 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale.
However, before a brand can attempt to mill tantalum, they must be able to get their hands on it. Tantalum is the rarest stable element in the solar system, with just one atom of tantalum for every 181 billion atoms of other elements.
For the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel, H. Moser decided the benefits – namely the otherworldly finish of tantalum – were worth the effort. In photos, tantalum might not look much different than stainless steel, but on the wrist, the color is closer to a blueish grey.
The subtle hues of the tantalum case provide the perfect background for the vibrant “Abyss Blue” dial. Of course, H. Moser is among the upper echelon of dial makers, but the effort that went into this enamel work is still exemplary.
Four differently colored pigments are applied to a gold plate that is patterned to make it look as if it were hammered; then, the colored gold base is heated, creating an ombré effect. The result is a mix of depth and texture looks different depending on how the light hits, producing a hypnotic effect.
And because of the uncluttered layout – A center hand indicates the months, while a large “Flash Calendar” date window at 3 o’clock provides an instant date change at midnight – the wearer has plenty of opportunity to reflect on both the rare surface of the tantalum and the “Grand Feu” enameling.
Plus, to further complement the coolness of its face and case, the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel is presented on a grey kudu leather strap.
We need beauty in the world because much of the news these days makes it feel like we’re living in the middle of a slowpocalypse. And not only does the deep blue beauty of the dial of the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel provide a sense of calming solace, but the fact that its complication is meant to mark the passage of time over centuries is also comforting. It reminds us that we can plan for a brighter future.
Moreover, the enduring nature of tantalum makes it a fantastic carapace for an object designed to celebrate the days in perpetuity. In this instance, the 42mm case houses the hand-wound HMC 800 Manufacture calibre, which allows the watch to be set using the crown any time of the day or night. And it has a power reserve of seven days.
Additionally, because of its minimalist design, the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel doesn’t look like any other QP on the market. Nevertheless, the calibre provides all the information you need without the fussiness. You have the hours, minutes, small seconds, month, date, and a power reserve indicator on the dial side and, to keep things clean, the leap year cycle indicator is found on the watch’s underside.