Schaffhausen-based H. Moser & Cie. gave the watchmaking world its most elegantly minimalist perpetual calendar in 2005. That timepiece — which won the 2006 GPHG Complicated Watch Award — has been reimagined in several iterations in the years since, most recently in 2016’s Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Concept, a 10-piece limited edition with an even starker, more streamlined design. For the watch’s most recent evolution, as part of Moser’s sport-luxury Pioneer collection, the dial gets slightly more complex in the service of being eminently more legible.
The Moser Pioneer Perpetual Calendar MD, available with either the brand’s hallmark Funky Blue dial, or an all-new Burgundy-colored face debuting on this model, is notable for its two windows at the 3 o’clock position, one for the date, one for the month. Previous versions had only one window, for the date, while the month was indicated by a subtle (perhaps too subtle for some) arrow hand pointing at the hour index that corresponded with the current month. (6 o’clock for June, for example). The month and date indications are on separate disks as per Moser’s Flash Calendar system, which allows them to jump instantly. Both dials are in the sunburst-finish “fumé” style that has long been associated with Moser, with the hour and minute indicated by the hallmark leaf-shaped hands, small seconds on a subdial at 6 o’clock, and the watch’s seven-day power reserve displayed by another small hand on an Up-Down scale at 9 o’clock.
The dials are slightly different from each other in their details. While the Funky Blue model features traditional applied indices at the hour markers, along with small dots on the flange, the Burgundy watch uses only the small dots for an even cleaner look. The dots and the partially skeletonized hands are both treated with Super-LumiNova. The date can be set at any time of day, backwards and forwards, with no risk of damaging the movement, a rarity in a perpetual calendar timepiece, and the leap-year indication is tucked away in the back, on the movement side, and visible through an exhibition sapphire caseback.
Both watches are in stainless steel cases measuring 42.8 mm in diameter and 11.3 mm thick, with a screw-down crown emblazoned with a Moser “M” that helps ensure their water resistance of 120 meters. Both are mounted on either black alligator leather, or, for a sportier look, black rubber straps with a logo-engraved steel pin buckle. And both are powered by an all-new in-house movement, the manually wound Caliber HMC 808, whose attributes include — in addition to its impressive week-long power reserve, stored in two barrels — a leisurely 18,000-vph frequency, a hacking seconds function, and two Moser innovations, an Original Straumann Hairspring (which uses two springs oscillating in opposite directions to minimize center-of-gravity errors) and an interchangeable escapement for easy servicing.
Limited to 50 pieces in each of its colorful iterations, the Pioneer Perpetual Calendar will retail for $39,900.