Moser & Cie SIHH 2018 : Colors, Innovation, and Tradition With A Twist
Moser & Cie is one of those independent watchmakers that counts and that keeps thriving. Once more this year, the Schaffhausen maison surprised and demonstrated its ability to be creative, innovative whilst respecting the haute horology tradition.
Each manufacture dreams of creating its own iconic model, immediately recognizable and sought after by collectors. Within a few years, Moser & Cie has managed just that with its pared down ‘Concept’ models with their ‘fumé’ dials. Launched in 2015, three news variations of the typical dial were unveiled at the SIHH 2018.
Colorful declinations of icons
For the first time, the Concept met the Venturer family with a brand new color, Blue Lagoon, between green and blue, for an elegant ‘fumé’ and sunburst dial. Two versions, limited to 20 pieces each, are available – one in white gold on a kudu bracelet for an almost adventurer feel – the other in red gold on a brown woven leather strap with an 1950’s Italian leather feel (Editors Note: Edouard Meylan, Moser’s CEO, is also fan of leather shoes!). Both are magnificently minimalist and sleek – no logo, no indexes; the ‘leaves’ hours and minutes hands, respectively in white and red gold according to the case, seem to float above the dial, ready to dive into the paradisiac lagoon.
Overall the 39mm large and 11.9mm high case of the Venturer exudes finesse and ‘less is more’ luxury. Inside the case, beats the hand-wound HMC 327 manufacture calibre, with its original Straumann Hairspring with stabilized Breguet overcoil, ticking at a frequency of 18,000 vph backed by a minimum of 3 days of power reserve.
Swiss Alp Watch Additions
The third color iteration is Cosmic Green which proudly adorns the Swiss Alp Watch Concept. This piece takes us into the green peacefulness of Schaffhausen’s forests, far away from the time-consuming smartwatches which it refers to. It even brings an aristocratic touch like the bottle-green of an old Type-E Jaguar. Within its white gold case, beats the rectangular hand-wound HMC 324 calibre movement at 18,000 vph with its interchangeable Moser escapement, as well as a gold escapement wheel and pallet fork. Four days of power reserve enable the wearer to get lost in nature for a digital detox with a flurry of quirky high horology punches.
With additional fumé colors introduced, further emphasizing the power of innovation of Moser & Cie : the Endeavour Flying Hours. A signature Funky Blue adorns the dial for a modular development, based on the automatic caliber HMC 200, to create the new C806 caliber. The time-piece displays the hours through 3 planetary gears blending with the dial. The current hour appears in white and disappears when the next one comes in turn as the central minute disk finishes its complete revolution. In my opinion, the legibility needs some adapting, but the dance of the 3 open-worked hours disks at 12h, 4h and 8h driven by the central sapphire glass minute disk is fascinating. The power reserve on this major new step for the Manufacture is minimum 3 days. Its 42mm white gold case is slightly curved which allows it to sit perfectly even on small wrists. Limited to just 60 pieces, this limited edition will not last long!
Tradition with a twist
To cap it all off, Moser & Cie proved their mastery of high horology classics with two stunning tourbillons.
The Heritage Tourbillon is the most traditional expression in their collection. With a round case reminding us of pocket watches from long ago. Grand Feu enamel dial, roman numerals, flame-blued swallow tail hands, notched crown, engraving and blue enamel on the case flanks are beautiful homages to the ‘métiers d’art’ perpetuated by the watchmaking industry. But the original conception of the tourbillon conceived by Moser is what strikes me. A double flat hairspring, designed and produced in-house, significantly improves accuracy and isochronism while reducing the effect of friction. This tourbillon is in fact an interchangeable module, assembled and regulated independently of the movement which allows easy servicing. This 42mm gem of a time-piece in white gold is powered by the HMC 804 automatic calibre, the last born of the in-house movements. The solid-gold oscillating weight transfers the energy to the barrel thanks to an ingenious bi-directional pawl winding system providing a generous minimum 3-day power reserve.
Finally, the Schaffhausen manufacture sublimates the tourbillon through two limited 20 pieces series in the purest Moser & Cie style. The Endeavour Tourbillon Concept comes in stainless steel and a grey-brown fumé dial and in white gold with a Funky Blue dial. The tourbillon at 6 o’clock instantly catches the eye. The purity and sleekness of the dial enhances its beauty even more. Two hits that the aficionados will surely fight for as they are reasonably priced at respectively 63 and 69.000 CHF.
At the head of Moser & Cie, is Edouard Meylan a young CEO, savvy of ‘guerilla marketing’ who knows how to create buzz around the brand. But it is through the intrinsic quality of their time-pieces, their truly 100% Swiss made in-house movements and their ability to respect tradition while being creative and innovative that the Schaffhausen brand relentlessly widens its faithful community. 2017 was a good year for Moser & Cie. The 2018 novelties suggest the trend will continue this year.