Last week, H. Moser & Cie. copped this year’s award in the Chronograph category at the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève with its wildly inventive Streamliner model. This week, the Schaffhausen-based maison unveils the latest iteration of the watch, this one presenting its face to the world via the Funky Blue fumé dial that has become a Moser hallmark.
Takes its name from the high-speed trains of the 1920s and ’30s remembered for their rounded, aerodynamic curves, the Streamliner has an ergonomically shaped steel case with a fluidly integrated bracelet. The Moser brand has built much of its renown on the design codes for which it has become known, i.e., harmonious simplicity outside belying complexity inside. Moser has ensured that the Streamliner, its first chronograph model, adheres to that philosophy, with stopwatch readouts displayed on the main dial rather than on subdials.
The watch’s steel cushion-shaped case measures 42.3 mm in diameter and 14.2 mm thick, and offers water resistance of 120 meters — enough, says Moser, to ensure that a wearer can use the chronograph underwater. The off-center crown at 4 o’clock, is engraved with a Moser “M,” while the chronograph pushers are placed at 10 and 2 o’clock, evoking the “bull’s head” designs of vintage stopwatches. A subtly domed sapphire crystal, framed by a sunray-brushed bezel, tops this sculptural case, which flows into an organically curved bracelet with alternating brushed and polished surfaces on its articulated links.
Bordering the Funky Blue dial it are two white-and-red minute tracks, the outer one for elapsed minutes, the inner for elapsed seconds. Taking pride of place at 12 o’clock is not a numeral “12” but a numeral “60,” echoing the look of stopwatches from the 1960s and ’70s and speaking to the central principle behind the Streamliner, i.e., “a chronograph which displays the time rather than a watch which features a chronograph,” in the words of the brand. Precise readings of recorded intervals on these scales are made easier by the central chronograph hands, which are thicker at their bases and finer at their tips, like counters found on car dashboard instruments, and determining minutes from seconds at a glance is simple due to the use of two colors: red for the seconds hand and rhodium-plated for the minutes. Meanwhile, the current time in hours and minutes is displayed on curved, two-part hands with luminous inserts made from Globolight, a ceramic-based, Super-LumiNova-treated material that Moser introduced to watchmaking in the original Streamliner.
Beating inside is Caliber HMC 902, developed jointly by Moser’s team and the complication experts at AGENHOR, all with an eye toward maximum functionality in a minimalist architecture. Viewed through the sapphire caseback, the 434-part caliber looks to be designed for manual winding but is actually an automatic. The tungsten rotor that winds the movement in both directions unconventionally “hidden” between the front of the movement and the dial, thus allowing the column wheel and the other devices driving the chronograph to be admired in full view. Also in full view, at least to a discerning eye, is a cleverly designed cam with “pointed ears” in the center, whose silhouette may remind some of the superhero Batman. The stopwatch functions also use a horizontal clutch with a friction wheel equipped with micro-teeth that prevent the intermeshing of gears and minimize accidental jumps when the chronograph is engaged. Caliber HMC 902 stores a minimum of 54 hours of running autonomy in its double barrel.
The Moser Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic Funky Blue is priced at $43,900, and available for sale at Moser’s website and at authorized retailers.