Masters of reserved contemporary understatement, H. Moser & Cie has announced the latest additions to its series of minimalist Concept pieces, with the arrival of the Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept, featuring well, the illusion of abyssal nothingness. Introducing Moser’s Space-Time Continuum.
When you glance at the new Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept, you might well find yourself taking an involuntary precautionary deep breath, because with a dial that’s blacker than the darkest abyss of space, your senses might feel as if you’re about to be sucked into a black hole and swept off forever in an endless free fall. A little bit of unfiltered editorial embellishment you might think? Well, perhaps a tad, but it’s no exaggeration to say that once again, H. Moser has done something quite out there with its dial, an area which has become such a distinctive signature feature for the Schaffhausen based family owned brand that they don’t even have to put their name on it these days, and still it is unmistakably and quintessentially Moser.
In previous Concept watches we’ve become somewhat used to the minimal effect Moser has captured so well, thanks to the lack of any unnecessary dial adornments, such as markings, indices or even branding. With a generously proportioned moon phase display, which is almost flat to the round aperture, the sole feature on an otherwise spartan dial, the Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept is available in two limited editions of fifty pieces each; one in stainless steel, and the other in rose gold.
The gold version features a superb midnight blue fumé dial, and with those finely fettered leaf shaped hands which sweep gracefully in to a pointed tip, the subtle little am/pm thumb pointer, and the smooth, flowing contours of the round 42mm case, it is of course gorgeous, but it’s the other version in stainless steel which is of particular interest on this occasion, because there’s something very curious about that dial indeed.
In all aspects an innovative brand by nature, Moser does like to experiment with its dials, and so for the first time on a wristwatch they’ve deployed a high tech material called Vantablack. Its character defined by its carbon nanotube composition, Vantablack is primarily used by the scientific, aerospace and defence industries, and is literally the blackest, most light deadening material ever conceived. While even a dark matte finish reflects the light, Vantablack actually absorbs as good as dammit 100% of environmental light, which creates the weird illusion that the hands appear to float in a black void, which at any second might envelop and consume them, so not only is there no reflection, but there’s no discernible surface to the dial at all, and the eye is tricked into a 2-dimension illusion.
Against this empty, void like surrounding, the moon display looms out of the darkness, and as it’s component parts are so compact and flat to the underside of the dial, the spaces between the silvery moon, the rotating black disc and the round aperture on the dial are virtually imperceptible, adding to the overall enigmatic effect.
Accurate to 0.23 seconds per day, the moonphase mechanism is so precise that it requires but a single manual correction of one day in 1,027 years, and via the discreet pusher set into the case at the nine, can be calibrated to an accuracy of within one minute. In fact Moser claims that the HMC Caliber 801 boasts the most precise moon phase mechanism available today. The hand winding movement is entirely manufactured in house and features Moser signatures such as the interchangeable escapement module, which simplifies servicing as well as the Straumann double hairspring for optimal isochronism. With its two barrels fully wound, it is good for seven days, and for reference there’s an indicator on the underside of the movement which shows how much of the power reserve remains.
As this piece reflects, there’s a lot of interest in the Vantablack dial, but while it is extremely cool and relatively unknown in watchmaking, it doesn’t detract from what are two quite beautiful and exquisitely appointed pieces from a brand which is almost obsessive about its own identity, and where it is positioned within the pantheon of true Swiss watch making.
Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept Fact file:
BRAND: H. Moser & Cie.
REFERENCE: 1801-1200 (Steel) / 1801-0400 (Rose gold)
CASE SIZE: 42mm x 12.9mm
Polished stainless steel
18Kt Rose gold
Midnight blue fumé
MOVEMENT: HMC Calibre 801 manual winding, 18'000 vph
POWER RESERVE: c. 168 hours (seven days)
FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve, am/pm, moon phase
BUCKLE: Pin buckle
WATERPROOF RATING: n/a
c. €35'000 (Steel/Vantablack)
c. €35’000 (Gold/Blue fumé)