For the third year in a row, in addition to the 18 sponsoring watchmaking maisons, the upcoming SIHH watch salon in Geneva will assemble a host of independent, artisan brands in its Carré des Horlogers; at 17 participants, this year’s Carré des Horologers promises to be the largest to date. Also for the third year running, one of these indie watchmakers, Schaffhausen-based H. Moser & Cie., will introduce one of its extremely limited, über-minimalist Concept pieces at the show. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s release, the Endeavour Tourbillon Concept.
The watch — limited to just 20 pieces worldwide, like its predecessor, 2017’s Endeavour Centrer Seconds Concept Cosmic Green — continues the tradition of the Concept pieces, inaugurated in 2016 with the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Concept, by eliminating nearly every element from the dial except the hands, including the brand logo and any kind of hour markers. The dial is in Moser’s now-recognizable Funky Blue fumé style, with radiating color shades and a sunburst finish that imparts a “smoky” look. The presence of leaf-shaped hour and minute hands — made from 18k white gold, like the three-part, 41-mm-diameter case — are another hallmark of Moser watches. The main talking point, of course, is at 6 o’clock: a large flying tourbillon, equipped with a skeletonized bridge, that appears to float above the dial’s iridescent surface.
Powering the Endeavour Tourbillon Concept, and on display behind a clear sapphire caseback, is the self-winding Caliber HM 804, which stores a three-day power reserve and oscillates at 21,600 vph. The bi-directional rotor, skeletonized and made of 18k rose gold, transfers energy to the barrel using a bi-directional pawl winding system that reduces the time required to wind the mainspring. The movement — the latest of the more than 10 movements developed by Moser over the last decade — is also equipped with an in-house-produced double flat hairspring, a Moser innovation that is designed to improve accuracy by correcting the movement of the point of gravity on each of the paired springs as they expand. Timekeeping accuracy (or “isochronism”) is also improved in this double-hairspring system because it reduces the effects of friction associated with a more traditional, single-hairspring design. Finally, the tourbillon is designed as an interchangeable “plug and play” module, assembled and regulated independently of the movement, for easy servicing.
The H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Tourbillon Concept is mounted on a hand-stitched and buffed kudu leather strap with an 18k white gold folding clasp; the price for this 20-piece limited edition is expected to be announced at SIHH 2018 in January.
Moser in recent years has re-positioned itself from a traditional boutique watchmaker to a brand that takes bold and sometimes provocative creative risks — see, for example, this year’s Swiss Mad watch, with a case made of actual Swiss cheese — and has adopted “irreverent Haute Horlogerie” as its stated stock-in-trade. Does this ultra-minimalist, modular tourbillon watch qualify? Let us know in the comments below.