As the holiday season gives way to a new year, we spotlight another example of the spirit of giving that has risen this past year in the watch world. The latest watchmaker to launch a charitable initiative is H. Moser & Cie., which has unveiled two limited-edition models benefiting research at the Duke ALS Clinic in North Carolina. The watches — the Pioneer Centre Seconds and the Pioneer Tourbillon “CURE ALS” — both use the base design of the versatile Pioneer family developed for everyday wear. We last found updates to the Pioneer collection earlier this year when Moser unveiled another special-edition model in partnership with Collective Horology; prior to that, the brand released a regular-production model featuring a red fumé dial.
According to the Schaffhausen-based brand, the Pioneer collection was chosen for this limited-edition release in honor of the late Loy Stewart, a businessman local to Charleston, SC, who owned Detyens Shipyards, one of the largest commercial shipyards in the world. Stewart was an avid watch collector, a friend of H. Moser, and an adventurous spirit, and since the early 2000s — when he was diagnosed with ALS — he had worked in partnership with the Duke ALS Clinic to find a cure before succumbing to the degenerative disease this past summer. Proceeds from the watch made in his honor will be directed to a permanent endowment providing for ALS research through Duke.
Pioneer Centre Seconds “CURE ALS”
The simpler of the two limited editions is the Pioneer Centre Seconds “CURE ALS,” with a 42.8-mm x 10.6-mm brushed steel case, with rounded lugs connecting it to a stylized rubber strap or green alligator leather strap, both secured with an H. Moser signed steel pin buckle. The case on its right side hosts a prominent, tapered crown with screwed-down functionality for a 120 meter water resistance. Framing the dial and securing the protective sapphire glass over it is a polished bezel that contrasts with the overall brushed finish of the case.
Underneath the crystal, we find the specially designed green fumé face, its sunray texture changing in the light. The relatively simple dial features white-printed lume dots for each hour, while applied indices lay just within each and a double marker sits atop the watch at the 12 o’clock position. As we head to the bottom of the dial is a “CURE ALS” script in place of the traditional “Swiss Made” label, providing for the namesake of the watch. Toward the top is a white printed brand logo, with leaf-shaped and partially skeletonized hour and minute hands passing over it while a needle-style pointer counts the seconds.
The Centre Seconds’s screw-down exhibition caseback reveals the HMC 200 movement behind a sapphire window. The in-house movement holds a three-day power reserve,and is equipped with a regulating organ manufactured by Precision Engineering AG, the sister company of H. Moser & Cie. The movement is finished with “Moser Stripes” and hosts a large, rose-gold oscillating weight for its automatic winding.
Pioneer Tourbillon “CURE ALS”
Turning to the more complex of the dual releases, the Pioneer Tourbillon “CURE ALS” model uses the same 42.8-mm case as the Centre Seconds, and also comes standard with the stylized rubber track and green, alligator leather strap.
The dial is in a very similar style to that of the Centre Seconds, differentiated from it only by the obvious addition of a flying, open-heart tourbillon at the 6 o’clock position — which by its addition also moves the special “CURE ALS” text further to the sides of the dial.
Inside this limited-edition model beats the caliber HMC 804, another in-house movement displayed via a sapphire exhibition caseback. The automatic movement features a three-day power reserve, skeletonized bridges leading to its one-minute flying tourbillon, and like the movement in the Centre seconds model is wound by a solid, skeletonized rose-gold rotor.
Price and Availability
Moser’s Pioneer “CURE ALS” timepieces are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with the Pioneer Centre Seconds limited to 25 editions and requiring a minimum donation of $16,000 to the Duke ALS Clinic for purchase (though 10 examples have already been reserved), and the Pioneer Tourbillon being limited to five pieces and requiring a minimum gift of $55,000. According to the brand, a portion of the gift will be tax deductible, though further inquiry is required for the exact tax-deductible amount.
To inquire for purchase, you can email Whitney Martin, the Director of Development for the Neurosciences at Duke Health Development and Alumni Affairs, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Pioneer collection, visit the H. Moser & Cie. website, here.
To learn more about the Duke ALS Clinic and its mission, you can visit the clinic’s website, here.