Hands-on with the H. Moser Nomad Dual Time – a distillation of the travel watch (live photos and pricing)

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Recently unveiled at Baselworld 2013, the H. Moser Nomad is a dual time zone watch reduced to its bare essentials – a second time zone hand plus a day and night indicator.

H. Moser simplifies complications, a philosophy exemplified by its innovative Perpetual 1 and now applied to the travel wristwatch. The H. Moser Nomad has the bare minimum necessary for a travel timepiece, resulting in a simple, elegant, yet practical second time zone watch.

Using the watch is straightforward: home time is displayed on the gold hour and minute hands, while the local time is indicated by a red hour hand. 

The Nomad in rose gold: now you see it…

This local time hand can be set backwards or forwards, in one hour increments, via the crown. And when not in use, the red local time hand can be hidden underneath the gold hour hand, leaving the Nomad looking like a regular wristwatch. Therefore all the traveller needs to do is to set the red local time hand once he gets on the plane to a different time zone, and hide it back under the gold hour hand when he returns back home.

And now you don’t.

The only giveaway that this is a travel watch is the discreet day and night indicator at noon. The circular aperture changes from white to black at noon, and back to white at midnight, a somewhat unconventional indication of day and night; a typical day and night display changes at six o’clock to differentiate between day time and night time.

The Nomad in platinum
Day and night indicator at 12 o’clock

Simplicity, however, has its price. The Nomad has no date, which some may find a big shortcoming. As with all H. Moser watches the movement is in-house, and demonstrates a high level of fit and finish. The HMC 346 calibre is automatic with a convenient 72 hour power reserve. It is equipped with a bidirectional ‘Magic Lever’ winding mechanism, and a solid rose gold rotor.

The H. Moser coat of arms on the rotor

The movement is well finished, even in the less visible areas, like the pallet fork bridge below the balance wheel.

The unusual style of Geneve stripes of alternating narrow and wide stripes is attractive and well executed. If there is one criticism to be made of the movement, the most obvious is that the bevelling of the bridges is mechanically applied and not sufficiently polished afterwards.

A close-up of the bevelled edges of the bridge

It also features the signature H. Moser escapement module, which can be swapped out during servicing for a freshly lubricated replacement. Though the interchangeable escapement is a modern innovative, the balance wheel is in the classical style with adjustable white gold screws. Notably this is mostly made in-house, with the Straumann hairspring made by H. Moser’s sister company Precision Engineering AG.

Featuring the brand’s signature concave flanks, the case is 40.8 mm wide, which is not large, though the watch has a solid presence on the wrist. It is available in rose gold or platinum, with a silver dial for the former and a grey dial for the latter.

The factory retail price is CHF32,500 in rose gold (about USD34,800) and CHF42,500 in platinum (approximately USD45,500), excluding taxes.

Interestingly the Nomad was one of two simplified travel watches presented at Baselworld this year, the other being the Jaquet Droz Grande Heure GMT, which takes the concept to its impractical extreme.

– SJX

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