H. Moser & Cie.’s Marketing Takes Aim at Apple

Moser Funky Blue Soldier 150The smartwatch game has many in the watch world on the edge of their seats, and yesterday’s Apple Watch launch is only part of the picture. Since late last year, a number of watch brands in Switzerland (and elsewhere) have been mobilizing, figuring out new strategies that will allow them to compete with Apple’s high-profile new product. Brands like Montblanc, Frederique Constant and Alpina have thrown their hats in the ring quickly, debuting new wearable technology to complement their conventional wristwatches.

So it was with bated breath that experts and rivals awaited H. Moser & Cie.’s new release. Beginning last week, the Neuhausen-based manufacture dropped hints of a major new debut. Moser’s introduction of a “haute horlogerie smart watch” was scheduled for March 9 – the same day that Apple would be unveiling its watch at the “Spring Forward” event in San Francisco.

Moser Funky Blue Profile 560

A week in advance of the launch, Moser’s press statement teased “a revolutionary creation [that] provides state-of-the-art ergonomics and functionality, a clean interface, selective connectivity and an extremely long battery life.”

Moser had gotten everyone’s attention. But yesterday’s press release reveals the new device to be more marketing gimmick than anything else. “H. Moser & Cie. has been producing smart watches for over 100 years,” the brand announced. Arguing that its mechanical watches are the smartest of them all, the brand debuted the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue.

Moser Funky Blue Soldier 560

“Smartwatches belong to a different segment,” CEO Edouard Meylan said. “They are great gadgets.” Clearly, the goal was to distinguish what a Swiss manufacture does from what Apple is trying to do. And just to hit the point home, a shot of the new perpetual calendar showed the CEO taking a bite out of an apple.

Moser Funky Blue Screenshot_Smart_watch_video-560

We shouldn’t be surprised. Moser doesn’t have the firepower to build a digital technology to compete with Apple. H. Moser & Cie. is a small independent brand, still pulling itself back up after some rocky years in the late 2010s. Since Meylan joined in 2013, the brand has raised its pricing (the range starts close to $20,000) and focused on increasing its production (as of last year, it was producing roughly 1,000 watches a year). Now it appears to be shifting tone with more plucky marketing tactics to get the industry’s attention.

Moser is also wise to emphasize what it does well. The Funky Blue is a new color version of the brand’s flagship model. The Endeavour Perpetual Calendar is a manual-wind, seven-day perpetual calendar with an innovative display: a small arrow-shaped hand mounted at the center of the dial points to the month by way of its correspondent hour. The in-house movement, HMC 341, beats at a low 18,000 vph (a typical pocketwatch frequency) and has two barrels to accommodate the large power reserve. It also makes use of an interchangeable escapement system – an original Moser design.

Moser Funky Blue back 560
Moser Funky Blue high angle 560

The dial uses Moser’s signature smoked or “fumé” technique but in a new, bright blue color. The Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue has a 40.8-mm white gold case with sapphire crystals on both sides and a screw-down crown. The strap, of beige kudu leather, has a white gold folding clasp bearing the Moser crest. The watch will be presented at Baselworld later this month. It is priced at $60,000.

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  1. srhardy

    The smart watch needs to;
    1) do away with the winder (its a week point) – smart screen like the tissot/t-touch watch line
    2) sync with a phone to adjust time, date on location
    3) recharge with solar to extend use or negate the need to even plugin to recharge
    4) vibrate/ring (settings on smart phone, calendar) reminders, calls
    5) ruggard, 200m, shatter and scratch proof!
    6) smooth sweep 4khz-6khz with quartz accuracy; springdrive alt rechargable
    7) real awesome materials like carbon compsite for blacks and antimagnetic propertys (as well as temp compensation; silicone spring like ROLEX’s new line

    i’llWatch the apple effort crash & burn until someone makes this one…

  2. LoL!! H. Moser & Cie has a great sense of humor :)

    Their watches are desirable and don’t need to be ‘recharged’ every few hours as does an Apple watch, and will still have considerable value after a few years unlike an Apple watch.

    Does anybody know how long an Apple watch is supposed to last before it is thrown out with the trash?? 5-years? 8-years??

  3. Carl Dreher

    What a beautiful, simple design. And the movement looks to be a treat, too. I can see why they didn’t go for an automatic. With that lovely set of bridges, who would want to cover it?

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