H. Moser & Cie is an independent watch brand that has become known as the enfant terrible of the Swiss watchmaking industry. Quite a polarising brand, they made their name initially creating beautiful elegant timepieces but in the last few years, they have really become a force to reckon with introducing satire into their watchmaking, with pieces such as the one-off ‘Swiss Cheese’ watch and ‘Apple’ watch. I for one think it is refreshing to see that a brand is taking an active stand to criticize and create a commentary on the Swiss watch industry, especially as it comes from a brand with a very strong pedigree.
On offer today is a watch from the early days of the manufacture- the H. Moser & Cie Mayu Palladium. In a nutshell, this is a beautiful, rare, understated, and elegant piece with a lot of details going for it. For those who don’t know, the name “Mayu” is actually a tribute to Heinrich Moser’s first wife, Charlotte Mayu.
The Mayu Palladium’s three-part case measures 38.8mm x 9.3mm and is crafted entirely in palladium, a material that is even rarer than platinum. It is widely used in catalytic reactions across several industrial applications, such as in the hydrogenation of unsaturated hydrocarbons, as well as in the world of jewelry-making and even dentistry. 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 beveled 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. Another aspect that I really liked about the Mayu Palladium is its mysteriously muted grey anthracite dial. The dial alone is absolutely mesmerising to stare at and the fumé finish reflects light well to create a myriad of tones.
The H. Moser Mayu Palladium may look simple from the outside, but the movement encased within is far from that. Internally, the Mayu Palladium is powered by a very impressive 27-jeweled, in-house caliber HMC 321.503. The manual winding movement is regulated by a Straumann double hairspring which is also produced in-house and the springs move in opposite directions, offsetting gravity errors. Not many manufactures can say they create their own hairsprings! Furthermore, there is a power reserve indicator on the movement and it has a whopping 80 hours of run time! The movement is beautifully finished and architecturally very pleasing to look at.
I love Moser, for what they stand for in the watchmaking industry as a whole, and for always being unapologetically authentic to themselves when it comes to modern watch design. With only approximately 1200 pieces produced a year, H. Moser & Cie is truly an enigmatic independent brand that creates highly original timepieces.