H. Moser & Cie is an independent watch brand that has become known as the enfant terrible of the Swiss watchmaking industry. While initially gaining recognition for crafting beautiful and elegant timepieces, the brand has taken a bold turn in recent years by injecting satire into their creations. Notable examples include the one-of-a-kind 'Swiss Cheese' watch and the 'Apple' watch. This approach has sparked both admiration and controversy, making H. Moser & Cie a polarizing presence in the watchmaking scene. What sets them apart is their willingness to actively critique and comment on the Swiss watch industry, a stance particularly noteworthy given their strong pedigree.
Today we have on offer an example of a masterpiece which I think is quite emblematic of what Moser stands for within the independent watch industry. While it may not hold the flagship status like the Perpetual Calendar 1, any discerning enthusiast well-acquainted with independent horology can readily recognize this as a creation by Moser. Moreover, Moser's mastery in crafting fumé dials is unparalleled, a point we'll delve into shortly. Our spotlight today is on the Endeavour Centre Seconds, adorned with a mesmerizing 'blue lagoon' fumé dial—an exquisite, subtly bold masterpiece boasting a plethora of noteworthy details.
Released just a few years ago and limited to only 100 pieces worldwide, the Endeavour Centre Seconds is housed in a three-part stainless-steel case which measures at 40mm, a great size for modern wrists. Despite it looking like a traditional watch case from the front, the construction of the lugs gives it a lot of extra depth which makes the case look far more interesting. The case design is done so that the softly bevelled lugs run off to the side of the case and slowly diminish, with its polished finish perfectly contrasted with the brushed finish in the background.
To echo what I just said about the dial on this Moser, I think it is no surprise that Moser makes one of the best fumé dials in the industry, period. There is a very mesmeric and arresting (and somewhat visually provocative) quality about the fumé dials made by Moser and the dial on this Endeavour Centre Seconds is no different, because, during my experience with it, I frequently found myself captivated by the lustrous blue lagoon fumé dial, often losing track of time. I particularly commend their decision to forgo hour markers or logos on this design. By doing so, it heightens the hypnotic allure of the blue lagoon fumé dial and seamlessly aligns with its overall streamlined minimalist aesthetic. It certainly adds a lot of complexity to such a simple time-only design. True to its name, the dial evokes the color of turquoise waters of island lagoons under different shades of lighting. This is mainly attributed to the sunburst gradient which complements the emerald green tone as it radiates from the center of the dial.
Powering this beautiful work of mechanical art from within is Moser’s in-house, self-winding Cal. HMC 200 —an exceptionally stunning movement when viewed from behind the exhibition case back. Meticulously crafted and thoughtfully finished, it features a well-designed architectural layout, an 18-carat engraved rose gold rotor and boasts a 72-hour power reserve when fully wound.
The H. Moser Endeavour Centre Seconds serves as a compelling example of design minimalism, demonstrating that simplicity can be a powerful guiding principle in the realm of high-end watch design. With only approximately 3000 pieces produced a year, H. Moser & Cie is truly an enigmatic independent brand that creates highly original timepieces.