INTRODUCING: The H. Moser & Cie. Heritage Perpetual Calendar Midnight Blue EnamelThor Svaboe
After getting used to H.Moser’s futuristic offerings and extraordinary fumè dials, their Heritage line is a collection that pays tribute to Heinrich Moser, the man behind the name. The new H. Moser & Cie. Heritage Perpetual Calendar Midnight Blue Enamel invites you on a journey back to the brand’s traditional roots and may well sweep you off your feet before reaching the destination.
First impressions suggest a traditional dress watch conveyed with effortless purity of line. As usual, the dial is the bold star of the show, but what initially transfixes my gaze is the case band. In this perfectly round, white-gold case design, the centre of the case band instead of being pebble-smooth, has the look of an 18th century Fabergè egg.
Engraved with a deep blue enamel cloisonné design on the case sides, it exudes the lustrous charm of an antique jewellery box. The polished case is a medium 42mm size with short wire lugs linked to the hand-stitched, navy crocodile strap. You might consider the diameter large for such a traditional case, but I’m sure you’ll agree that the dial deserves a sizeable stage framed by the lustre of 18K white gold.
Unlike the similar 10-piece QP reference from 2016, this does not feature guilloché, engraving or gem setting on the case front and back covers, but to me is all the better for it. A minimalist design this is not, instead it’s a traditionalist masterclass of the deep knowledge within the atèliers of H.Moser & Cie. The crown is large, a beautifully flat onion shape with the curvature to balance out the bezel-less frame that spotlights the grand feu enamel dial.
And so the stage is set for the beguiling mix of a modern dégradé dial with a fumè effect creating an oceanic abyss in which traditional silver-printed crisp roman numerals float inside the railway minute track. H.Moser’s usual high standards of dégradé art are taken to a richer, deeper level with the storied Grand Feu enamel technique used for the glass-like surface. Swallow-tail hands are as swoopy in shape as they are proportionate to the legible dial, the sweep of logo centered under 12 o’clock being very much at home. There is a charming contrast in the stark modernity of the date typeface in its colour-matched niche, but it wouldn’t be an H.Moser & Cie without at least one twist would it? The additional details of a recessed seconds register at 6 and a delicate power reserve at 9 leaves the question of the perpetual calendar and more importantly, its specific location.
Look at the dial centre and you’ll find three hands, albeit the smallest will probably remain unseen at first glance. This perpetual calendar design was conceived in 2006 by Andreas Strehler, and consists of a miniature feuille hand using the roman numerals as indication for the 12 months of the year, while a leap year indication hides around the back. This is a perpetual calendar designed not as show-boating dial complexity, but instead as a functional minimalist pleasure.
The complexity remains out of sight, with an intricate and complex calibre, the HMC800 being a traditionally decorated and bevelled example of our favoured ancient Swiss craft. With a seven-day twin-barrelled power reserve, this manufacture hand-wound movement is beautiful enough to lose an appointment while you, loupe in hand, drink in its magnificence before realising that you have, in fact, happily squandered half an hour.
The H. Moser & Cie. Heritage Perpetual Calendar Midnight Blue Enamel, price and availability:
The H. Moser & Cie. Heritage Perpetual Calendar Midnight Blue Enamel is CHF 99,000 on a blue alligator leather strap, limited to 20 pieces.
For more details, visit H.Moser & Cie right here.