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.
“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.
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.
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.