H. Moser & Cie started a joke that started the whole world wanting, now it’s ready for your wrist, for realJames Robinson
Anyone remember H. Moser & Cie.’s “April Fools” prank from last year? We just revisited it on our Instagram stories. If you missed it, allow me to explain. The @moserwatches Insta post from April 1, 2019, displayed what looked like a brand new model of the Swiss watchmaker’s popular Venturer range. But it was immediately apparent that there was something off about this watch … its handset appeared to be missing, just a deep black Vantablack dial. Look ma, no hands.
Moser explained in the caption of the post, “Something new and unprecedented for #MoserMonday: meet the Venturer Concept Vantablack in a 39mm steel case, the first watch to feature a Vantablack dial paired with Vantablack hour and minute hands. Limited to 20 pieces.” Well, that started a joke that started the whole world wanting. The reception to the Instagram post was such that a year later we now bear witness to three completely new models from the watchmaking provocateur that stay almost completely true to that original jape. And best of all, they can be purchased online now, from anywhere in the world.
The first is the Venturer Vantablack Black Hand 39mm in solid 18k white gold. This would be my personal pick of the three – 39mm is bang-on size-wise, and because it’s a slender 11.9mm tall, you know it would fit under a cuff with ease. Imagine rocking this bad boy to a black tie event, it would be the perfect pièce de résistance with a black tux.
For those who yearn for something more substantial, the second variant of these all-black beauties, the Venturer Vantablack Black Hands XL, is the one to have. The stainless steel case of this timepiece has swelled to 43mm; however, it retains its smaller precious metal sibling’s slender side profile, also measuring in at just 11.9mm tall. RRP $26,600 USD.
Both these watches are powered by the same manufacture Calibre HMC 327. This hand-finished and in-house decorated, manually-wound movement offers impressive technicality thanks to features like three days of power reserve, an operating frequency of 18,800 vph, hacking seconds, Moser balance and original Straumann hairspring and a power reserve complication, which can be viewed through the sapphire crystal caseback. $27,600 USD.
The third and final piece of this stygian trio is the Endeavour Tourbillon Vantablack Black Hands. Limited to just 50 examples, this timepiece has wholeheartedly embraced the “all black everything” aesthetic. Most notably, the 42mm stainless steel case, which measures 11.6mm thick, has been given an ice-cold DLC coating, which in combination with its Vantablack dial and blackened steel handset, makes for a tough and brooding combo. In fact, as far as tourbillons from H. Moser & Cie. go, I reckon this is their toughest looking model to date.
And speaking of the movement, the manufacture Calibre HMC 804 self-winding tourbillon is a beast. We’re talking three days of power reserve, an 18k red gold oscillating weight with a hand-engraved H. Moser & Cie. logo, double hairspring, a one-minute flying tourbillon, located at the 6 o’clock position, with skeletonised bridges coated in black PVD and a tourbillon cage, cage wheel, balance bridge and escapement bridge hewn from aluminium. $69,000 USD.
As mentioned above, the other big news is that all three of these timepieces, as well as some of H. Moser & Cie.’s most popular models and certified pre-owned watches, are available to purchase directly from Moser’s own e-commerce website. This is a smart move from the Swiss watchmaker, given the current state of global affairs, and it’s something that we’ll see more and more watchmakers embrace in the near future (even Patek has started doing it!).