Where there’s smoke there’s fire. There’s a lot of truth to that saying, especially if we’re talking about H. Moser & Cie’s famous smoky fumé dials — the latest batch of watches they’re attached to are straight up fire. Take, for example, the Venturer Small Seconds XL Purity. The dial-heavy 43mm watch definitely lives up to its XL name, but it’s with those sparse markings in case-matching red gold and the awesome rhodium dial. It’s one of the most beautiful objects we’ve seen in a while. Of course, Moser’s star power went stratospheric a few years ago when they wittily riffed on the Apple Watch with their app-less Alp Watch. It’s since become a staple, and this year sees them add some serious complication in the form of a minute repeater, and (yet another) incredible dial. Other standouts include the smart Endeavour Flying Hours, one of the indie hits of SIHH, as well as the new, cosmic green interpretation of their steel hero, the Pioneer. Moser’s 2018 collection is coming to town next week (Sydney and Melbourne — sorry, other towns), and I can’t wait to have another look at these (very) rare beauties.
I’m eternally fascinated by the drivers of a watch purchase. The behaviours and the catalyst/s that can precede the moment one decides they want to invest in a wristwatch. What’s most intriguing is how totally different the process can be, based on the watch. For example, this one, and my journey to it. From a personal point of view, what leads me to that most happy of hashtags — #newwatchalert — more than anything else is research. Lots of collecting images. Lots of review reading. A constant saving of Instagram pics to my phone gallery. Updating my desktop to a high-res shot that captures it just so. This progresses, indubitably, to a ‘conversation’ (an attempt at a charm offensive, perfectly timed, with wine close at hand) with my wife, some ferrying around of funds, and eventually, all bridges crossed, a deal done. The interesting thing about the way I bought the H. Moser & Cie Pioneer with midnight blue dial is that none of these things happened. Not one. I didn’t have a single picture of it anywhere! Sure, I’d heard about it, I mean there’s always a bit of excitement when precious metal-only watches by great marques get released in… Read More
Full disclosure. Earlier this year I bought an H. Moser & Cie Pioneer in steel with a blue dial. So the brand’s recent anti-campaign called ‘The Pioneer Chronicles’, which is, in actuality, as much about calling B.S on Swiss watch marketing departments as it is about the watch itself, was well and truly after the fact. What were my reasons then, if not inspired by a campaign that has basically sent the message that #realtalk is to be the ongoing lingua franca from the Schaffhausen-based brand? I will save that confessional for another story. Today, I want to share with you some options of other things you could buy for around 20 grand Aussie (or about 13k USD) that weren’t to hand when I was in the decision-making zone. Wonderfully, they were sourced by Moser. The list was published as part of the ‘Pioneer Chronicles’ and it exemplifies the way the brand are going about it – a patented, potent mix of unvarnished straight talk, cheekiness and in this case, practicality. I mean, a Pioneer in steel, or three weeks at the Bellagio in Vegas? The answers don’t always write themselves. Before we begin, I’ll pass the mic to Moser: “At H…. Read More
When you think of H. Moser, a select handful of words come to mind: classic, traditional and, of course, fumé. There’s also the other side of the business that loves taking potshots at the industry with its polarising marketing tactics (as we all saw once again during SIHH), but in the halls of SIHH our focus was set on the brand’s latest creation: the new Endeavour Flying Hours. Looking solely at its sleek case and the blue hue of its dial, the piece still oozes H. Moser design DNA; however, its time indication is something entirely different. Using a unique satellite-style time indication — one very reminiscent of the Urwerk UR-103, to be fair—this latest release came as a bit of a surprise. From a static first glance, it’s hard not to draw the Urwerk parallel, but seeing the caliber in action reveals a few significant (and needed) differences. Unlike UR calibers where the satellites orbit around the centre of the dial, the satellites of the Endeavour Flying Hours are fixed. Mounted on a round central bridge finished in black DLC, three funky blue discs are used to display the current hour. On a clear sapphire disc resting above its… Read More
It’s both reassuring and alarming to discover that H. Moser & Cie. CEO Edouard Meylan is a human version of his brand’s watches: he is stylish, sophisticated, smart (more on that later) and in possession of a sense of humour that is never too far from the surface. He’s also refreshingly direct and far from complacent about the favourable position he currently finds himself in. All of which adds up to a boss who’s well placed to bring the old, established name of Moser back into the spotlight. I sat down with Edouard in Sydney yesterday, and received a crash course in brand-building 101 from the Wharton graduate. If you’ve ever wondered how to make a niche watch brand mainstream news, read on. Step 1 – Have something to fight for I heard Mr Hayek and Mr Biver on the radio, and I thought, – why do we always hear from the guys who have already made so much money? We don’t hear about the people who might just disappear. That’s when I thought – what would Jean-Claude Biver do in my position – he would speak out. So I wrote the letter. Felix Scholz: I want to start in January 2015 – when the… Read More