While Schaffhausen-based H. Moser & Cie. is one of the most defiantly individualistic watch brands out there, it is also no stranger to partnerships and the collaborative timepieces that emerge from them, as perhaps best exemplified by 2020’s Moser X MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon. Its latest limited editions, called the Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse, spring from a collaboration with Hong Kong-based menswear brand The Armoury and derive their darkly cosmic name from Moser’s latest foray into the world of Vantablack, a light-absorbing material billed as “the blackest black ever produced by artificial means.”
A glance at both versions of the Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse — each limited to just 28 pieces and differing only in the materials used for their flanges, either steel or rose gold — reveals exactly what The Armoury co-founder Mark Cho and his design partner Elliott Hammer had in mind with the aesthetic — the polished inner flange around the dial representing the halo of the solar corona that’s visible during an eclipse, the Vantablack dial standing in for the silhouetted moon that passes over it. The dial’s discreet dot hour markers are formed by drilling through the Vantablack upper plate to the dial plate beneath, a process used here by Moser for the first time. Vantablack, which absorbs 99.965 percent of light and is composed entirely of carbon nanostructures, can be easily damaged by any contact with other materials, so Moser had to develop a special technique to achieve this detail at the request of Cho and The Armoury. Also requested by Cho were the classical Breguet hands that match the indices and the dot-style marker on the small seconds hand at 6 o’clock.
Both models measure a modest 38 mm in stainless steel and outfitted with Moser’s manufacture Caliber HMC 327, a manually wound movement with 29 jewels, an 18,800-vph frequency, and a minimum three-day power reserve. on display behind a sapphire caseback, it is enhanced with a host of decorative finishes and equipped with Moser’s own balance with the hallmark Straumann hairspring. H. Moser & Cie. CEO Edouard Meylan chose this caliber to round out the watch’s classically elegant aesthetic, reminiscent of a vintage pocketwatch, calling it “the smallest and finest of our movements.”
The Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse comes on a black calf leather strap, created by The Armoury, which combines two different textures of leather. Both versions will be priced at $29,500 and available at The Armoury stores in New York and Hong Kong as well as on the online sales platforms of both companies; each watch is accompanied by a pocket handkerchief developed by the menswear purveyor for Moser.