H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Tourbillon Concept and Centre Seconds VantablackRobbie Meechan
Moser has recently directed much of its focus towards the Streamliner, but the recently announced H. Moser and Cie. Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Vantablack and Endeavour Centre Seconds Vantablack have made me reconsider how watches catch the eye. Like a lot of watch lovers, I’m overjoyed when somebody actually notices what I’m wearing on my wrist. It doesn’t matter how large, shiny, or interesting the watch you wave around is, 99% of the time nobody’s going to pay any attention. That’s why it almost seems counterintuitive to cover any part of a dress watch in a coating used by armies for stealth equipment. The result of H. Moser and Cie.’s Vantablack experiments, though, surprisingly have the opposite effect of flying under the radar. The abyss-like dials become eye-catching headliners instead. The costly Vantablack coating absorbs 99.965% of light, creating a perceived absence of matter and making it the darkest man-made substance on Earth. Its makers only provide the coating to applications they consider worthy enough, like use in astrophysics and the army. Commercially, BMW toyed with a concept car coated in Vantablack, presumably shelving the idea after realising that driving around at night in a military-grade stealth coating wasn’t the safest idea.
H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Centre Seconds Vantablack
On the Centre Seconds model, Moser has given centre stage to the black hole that makes up the dial. Any branding is completely absent from the front of the watch, being limited to a simple signed ‘M’ on the crown instead. While we know that Moser enjoys the more minimalistic look, there’s also a more practical aspect to this too. Vantablack is a difficult substance to affix other materials onto, meaning that the elegant stick indices on show are actually cut into the dial to show from beneath – this creates some layering to an otherwise unmarked dial.
Like the dial, the polished red gold case provides another aspect of a seemingly simple watch offering much more on closer inspection. This is also the case with the strap, made from high-end kudu leather, an antelope found in Southern and Eastern Africa. Again, simple at first glance, but providing something slightly different at every turn. The 18k 5N 40mm red gold case offers a bit of warmth and contrast to the cold black dials. Like the dials, it’s simple and understated, setting the tone for a classically elegant dress watch.
Flip it over, and you’re treated to a display caseback that shows off the 27-jewel HMC 200 automatic movement. This handsome in-house calibre has been adorned with Moser stripes, the brand’s own take on the classical côtes de Genève finish, and features a bi-directional pawl winding system with three-day power reserve. It’s not just a pretty face though, inside the HMC 200 is a double Straumann hairspring that combats the effects of gravity, and increases accuracy.
H. Moser and Cie. Endeavour Tourbillon Concept
The Vantablack coating achieves two different results on these otherwise similar watches. If the pitch-black dial is the star of the show on the Centre Seconds model, it serves as the wingman to the one-minute flying tourbillon of the Concept. The minimalism of its dial is cranked up a notch, to the point that even the indices have been swallowed up by the black hole. That leaves the tourbillon alone to soak up the limelight, its complex workings providing a neat juxtaposition against the rest of the watch. The Tourbillon Concept shares the same leaf-shaped hands as the Centre Seconds, and almost the same case. While the 18k red gold case still covers a neat 40mm diameter, the tourbillon model manages to trim the depth down from 11.2mm on the Centre Seconds, to 10.7mm, making it just that little bit easier to glide under your shirt cuff.
The 28-jewel HMC 804 automatic tourbillon movement manages to eke out the same 72 hours of power reserve as its Centre Seconds stablemate, meaning that even the most static of dinner guests can depend on its timekeeping well into any event. It’s no surprise to see another display caseback on show here, with the HMC 804’s beautiful flying tourbillon with skeletonised bridges demanding to be appreciated. The kudu leather strap found on its brethren has been swapped out in favour of alligator here, leaving no doubt whatsoever of its classical dress watch credentials.
H. Moser and Cie. Endeavour Centre Seconds Vantablack and Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Vantablack pricing and availability
Both the models are available now from H. Moser & Cie. Price: US$27,600 (Centre Seconds), US$82,500 (Tourbillon Concept)
|Brand||H. Moser and Cie|
|Model||Endeavour Centre Seconds Vantablack
Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Vantablack
|Case Dimensions||40mm (D) x 11.2mm (T) x 47mm (LTL)|
|Case Material||Red gold|
|Water Resistance||30 metres|
|Strap||Kudu leather (Centre Seconds)
Alligator leather (Tourbillon Concept)
|Movement||HMC 200, in-house, automatic, double Straumann hairspring (Centre Seconds)
HMC 804, in-house, automatic (Tourbillon Concept)
|Power Reserve||72 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds (Centre Seconds)
Hours, minutes, flying tourbillon (Tourbillon Concept)
|Price||US$27,600 (Centre Seconds)
US$82,500 (Tourbillon Concept)