H. Moser & Cie unveils vintage inspired perpetual calendar

SIHH 2016 is still a few hours away but independent watchmaker H. Moser & Cie (HMC) has already opened its horological-gates with three new timepieces. These aren’t all new watches, instead they are different references though one in particular, the Perpetual Calendar Heritage Limited Edition,  is so distinctive compared to its predecessors, it could be considered an all new watch.

H. Moser & Cie's latest perpetual calendar just exudes old world charm.

H. Moser & Cie’s latest perpetual calendar just exudes old world charm.

The Perpetual Calendar Heritage Limited Edition was developed to mark the 10th anniversary of HMC’s perpetual calendar watches. The brand says this particular piece links tradition and modernity, though this is arguably something that all of H. Moser & Cie’s watches offer – this is a company that produces its own hairsprings after all.

HMC is committed to traditional watchmaking and, most recently, has been encouraging its mechanical watch peers to take on the smartwatch onslaught by doing what they do best – continue developing desirable mechanical timepieces. Leading by example, H. Moser & Cie released the sublime Swiss Alp Watch (our story here).

This late 19th century pocket watch is incredible, and now the current generation can enjoy its stunning looks and aesthetics on a modern wrist watch.

This late 19th century pocket watch is incredible, and now the current generation can enjoy its stunning looks and aesthetics on a modern wrist watch.

With the Perpetual Calendar Heritage Limited Edition, the brand drew inspiration from its own history, more precisely from a late 19th century pocket watch (as you can see from the pictures). The new timepiece features a 46mm red-gold double hunter case (hinged case lids for both dial and movement), and HMC has done an incredible job of creating a very similar aesthetic look.

There’s beautiful blue cloisonne enamel work on both the hinged case lids, and HMC has even used 28 stones on the lid that covers the perpetual calendar’s dial to recreate the look of the pocket watch’s lid. This incredible amount of detail adds a lot of old world charm to what is a modern complicated watch, and we love the fact that you have to open the top lid to get information off the dial – it adds a sense of occasion and drama to the ownership experience. Accessing the dial, in case you’re wondering, is a simple case of engaging the pusher integrated neatly into the crown, before lifting the lid.

Like unwrapping one present, to find another. Not only is the decoration on the lid stunning, the dial hiding beneath is pure class.

Like unwrapping one present, to find another. Not only is the decoration on the lid stunning, the dial hiding beneath is pure class.

While the Heritage Limited Edition’s case is quite vintage in its appearance, it’s the dial that truly turns up the vintage heat. The white Grand Feu enamel dial features sublime hand-painted Roman numerals, and blue dovetail-shaped hands for the hours and minutes. Only the large case size and large date window detract slightly  from the watch’s eminent vintage appeal.

The movement is the hand-wound, in-house HMC 341 calibre that you find on the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watches (read our piece on that watch here). Here however, it is crafted from solid gold and as before, you’ll find the lesser-used leap year indicator integrated into the movement itself. Moser is quite fanatical about keeping its dials as clean as possible, and we’re just fine with that.

Even though this is a double hunter case, the watch isn't super-thick. It measures 13.6mm in height. Note also the leap year indicator disc on the movement.

Even though this is a double hunter case, the watch isn’t super-thick. It measures 13.6mm in height. Note also the leap year indicator disc on the movement.

If you’re attending SIHH this year, we’re sure you’ll be able to see this timepiece (as well as the other new releases below) at H. Moser & Cie’s booth. At this time the brand has not yet confirmed pricing, and has not mentioned if this is in fact a limited edition piece but considering the incredible work on the case, dial and movement, we expect it to be a limited production model of sorts.

Unleashing Funky Blue

Along with the Perpetual Calendar Heritage Limited Edition, H. Moser & Cie has also introduced new references of its Endeavour Centre Seconds and Venturer Small Seconds timepieces. Lets look at the former first.

Moser says this new offering is a brilliant demonstration of the credo “less is more”. This Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Funky Blue features the brand’s magnificent sky-blue fumé dial, known as Funky Blue, and there are absolutely no indices, logos or branding of any sort to obstruct your view. All you get is that mesmerizing blue dial encircled within either a 40.8mm white- (ref. 1343-0209) or rose-gold (ref. 1343-0108) case.

Clean as can be. It might take you a while to figure out the time but just look at that dial.

Clean as can be. It might take you a while to figure out the time but just look at that dial.

With a dial as spartan as this, the shades of the blue sunburst dial are readily apparent. So, if all you want is that gorgeous dial on your wrist, and you’re willing to sacrifice quickly figuring out the time with quick glances, this could very well be the Funky Blue timepiece for you.

The in-house, manual-winding HMC 343 calibre is packed into this watch, and as before, you’ll find the power reserve indicator on the movement side of the watch. The white-gold reference is offered with the buffed kudu leather strap (photo above), while the rose-gold model is attached to a braided brown crocodile strap (below).

One of the best blue dials in existence. That's our view and we're sticking to it.

One of the best blue dials in existence. That’s our view and we’re sticking to it.

The Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Funky Blue carries a retail price of approximately US $26,500.

Moving to the Venturer Small Seconds XL Funky Blue, the big news (pun intended) here is the 43mm case size versus 38.8mm. However, despite the swollen case size, H. Moser & Cie says it has retained the proportions of the original Venturer Small Seconds, and going purely on the pictures we have, we’re inclined to agree. HMC has also employed its Funky Blue dial on this timepiece (ref. 2327-0203), pairing it with the exquisite kudu raw leather strap. The brand says this watch is a ‘young and punchy version’, and demonstrates that the brand in both ‘sexy and innovative’.

A sublime dress watch for people with large wrists.

A sublime dress watch for people with large wrists.

Unlike the Centre Seconds Concept Funky Blue, the Venturer Small Seconds XL Funky Blue features the brand’s name, hour indices and a seconds sub-dial with its own markings. This makes it far easier for the wearer to discern the time but, to keep the dial clean and symmetrical, the power reserve still sits on the movement side of the watch.

The key selling point of this timepiece is not the easy to read dial however, it’s the larger case. If you have big wrists and have been eager to have that Funky Blue dial but felt the other H. Moser & Cie watches would look comically small on your wrists, this is the watch you’ve been waiting for.

You're not going to be let down, no matter which side of the watch you're looking at. Note the power indicator near the balance wheel.

You’re not going to be let down, no matter which side of the watch you’re looking at. Note the power indicator near the balance wheel.

This timepiece is powered by the in-house HMC 327 manual-winding calibre, and offers a minimum power reserve of three days. Offered only with a white-gold case and with the aforementioned leather strap, the Venturer Small Seconds XL Funky Blue commands a retail price of approximately US $23,800.

To learn more about H. Moser & Cie, click here.

Update 18/1/2016

H. Moser & Cie has just confirmed a retail price of approximately US $249,000 for the Perpetual Calendar Heritage Limited Edition.

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