Every year H. Moser & Cie. introduces an over the top, sometimes controversial watch – this year’s headliner was covered in grass – while also doing the opposite with its minimalist “concept” watches. Forsaking logos and numerals or indices, the concept watches have a clean yet colourful aesthetic coupled with appealing in-house movements – a tribute to stealth luxury.
The latest iteration of the idea is the Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Cosmic Green, a variation of the first model from two years ago. The watch now has a sublime green fumé dial. Though Moser relies on graduated dials often, maybe too often, it is still an attractive look, here with the added interest provided by the flying tourbillon.
While not unique to Moser, the graduated tone fumé dials are almost a better calling card than the brand’s logo. In fact, all of Moser’s bestsellers feature this intriguing finish that has the dial colour darkening towards the edge, with the effect now available in several colour variations, including blue, grey and green.
The green dial is striking, and quite mesmerising the first time you see it.
Up close, the dial is more subdued than in the stock images of the watch, more sea green than forest green. Given the emptiness of the upper half of the dial, the sunburst finish is obvious and complements the gradual external colour change.
The flying tourbillon
The focal point of the lower half of the dial is the one-minute, flying tourbillon. Like several other Moser movements, it was designed with the help of independent watchmaker Andreas Strehler, explaining the signature Strehler features found across the movements he developed for various brands.
While the fumé dial is an exercise in restrained luxury, the tourbillon is almost contradictory; it sticks out amidst the expanse of metallic green, equal parts fascinating and unsubtle.
Like all most Moser escapements, the tourbillon regulator is modular, meaning it can be removed whole without having to disassemble the movement. Subsequent servicing is made simpler since the tourbillon can be easily swapped for a freshly lubricated and regulated module.
The tourbillon incorporates the Straumann double hairspring, a signature feature of Moser’s top of the line watches. First introduced in 2007, the two balance springs are made by Moser’s sister company, Precision Engineering, and named after the dental implant tycoon who bankrolled Moser’s re-founding in 2002.
The two hairsprings are superimposed one on top of the other, but arranged with the coils in opposite directions, such that each spring’s centre of gravity mirrors the other’s. This keeps the centre of gravity of the overall set-up in the centre of the arbor, which according to Moser, increases the stability of timekeeping across different positions.
The tourbillon is decorated in a manner befitting Moser’s status as a maker of inventive, high quality movements inside reasonably priced watches, which means fine but workmanlike.
Much of the finishing is done by machine, but done well. The cage’s sharply cut, bevelled edges contrast against the straight graining on the flat surfaces and catch the light nicely.
The finishing on the HMC 804 movement inside is similarly executed.
The movement is topped by an 18k red gold rotor, while the bridges are finishing with Cotes de Geneve of alternating widths, a Moser trademark. As is the case with the anglage, or bevelling, on the tourbillon carriage, the edges of the bridges are cut via milling machine, giving them a distinctive wide and shiny surface.
The familiar style
Like many Moser watches, the Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Cosmic Green has a 42mm case, and because of the material, feels hefty in the hand. And it’s decently thin, with a low domed sapphire crystal that leaves the case standing 11.6mm in total.
The case middle is brushed, and contrasts with the polished concave bands on the case sides, as well as the polished bezel and lugs. The detailing on the side also helps to break up its verticality, reducing its perceived height.
On the wrist, the watch does not look overly large, despite the narrow bezel and wide face. Part of that is perhaps due to the tourbillon, which breaks up the wide expanse of the dial. Though the watch is large, the short curved lugs make for a good fit on the wrist.
The Endeavour Tourbillon Concept is yet another execution of the brand’s inimitable aesthetic that’s backed up by proper watchmaking. It costs just under US$80,000, which is a lot of money but fair value in this segment of watchmaking.
The watch is limited to just 50 pieces, while the earlier variants were limited to 20 pieces each. It is not unthinkable that future iterations in other colours will be rolled out, which is probably the greatest weakness of repeated but similar editions like this.
Material: 18k white gold
Movement: HMC 804
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Frequency: 21,600bph, or 3Hz
Power reserve: 72 hours
Strap: Alligator with pin buckle
Price and availability
The Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Cosmic Green (ref. 1804-0214) is limited to just 50 pieces and is priced at US$76,550, or 104,900 Singapore dollars. It’s already available at H. Moser & Cie. retailers and boutiques.
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