H Moser & Cie - MAYU
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
H Moser & Cie - MAYU

MAYU

H Moser & Cie

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

MAYU A fine, elegant watch with a certain hint of understatement: the Mayu from Moser. The name of the watch is a tribute to Heinrich Moser’s first wife, Charlotte Mayu. The family seat, Charlottenfels manor near Schaffhausen, was also named after her. A timepiece with a decidedly elegant design: As a mechanical watch with a height of only 9.3 mm and with a diameter of 38.8 mm, it is not too large for contemporary tastes. The watchmakers at Moser have nevertheless succeeded in accommodating a large barrel in this volume. The result is a power reserve of 80 hours, which ensures that the watch will continue to run for at least three days even without winding. The harmonious design of the dial is particularly enhanced by the rare, large pocket watch seconds hand. Drawing on pocket watches for its inspiration, the lower end of this subsidiary seconds display sits as close as possible to the minute ring. This position can only be achieved with a large movement designed specifically for the purpose without a movement retaining ring. The Mayu’s Cal. 321.503 movement thus exhibits an imposing diameter of 32 mm. This corresponds quite closely to 14 lines in horological terms. Applied, facetted and diamond-polished indices, but also the dial with its sun pattern ground finish, play with the reflected sunlight. The three-dimensional hands, which are used only in Moser watches, are optimally adapted to the dimensions of the watch in both length and form. In this watch, too, the interchangeable escapement module used for the first time by Moser offers high exclusivity. It guarantees that the watch will retain its value and helps to reduce the time taken for the cleaning and servicing required by all mechanical watches about every five years. Another world-first is the execution of the pallet fork and escapement wheel in hardened solid gold with functionally optimized surfaces to minimize friction and the associated wear. The Mayu has a three-part case made of precious metal with a discreetly convex sapphire glass and a see-through sapphire glass back. 

Technical specifications

 

  • MOSER MOVEMENT CAL. HMC 325.503
  • HAND-WOUND WITH TRUE BEVEL WHEELS
  • MIN. 3-DAY POWER RESERVE
  • MOSER TOOTH SYSTEM IN WHEEL TRAIN AND PINIONS
  • POWER RESERVE DISPLAY ON THE MOVEMENT
  • SIDE •HACKING SECOND
  • MOSER INTERCHANGEABLE ESCAPEMENT WITH STRAUMANN DOUBLE HAIRSPRING
  • PALLET FORK AND ESCAPEMENT WHEEL MADE OF SOLID WHITE GOLD
  • FUMÉ DIAL WITH SUN PATTERN GROUND FINISH
  • THREE-PART, ROUND CASE IN PALLADIUM
  • DISCREETLY CONVEX SAPPHIRE GLASS •
  • SEE-THROUGH SAPPHIRE GLASS BACK
  • ALLIGATOR LEATHER STRAP WITH SOLID PALLADIUM BUCKLE

Who's who

H. Moser & Cie is probably the least well-known of the great manufactories – one of the hidden pearls of top watch-making beloved of Laurent Picciotto. How many people know that as early as 1840, H. Moser & Cie had a dominant position on the watch market – in Japan, China, Persia, Turkistan and Russia? And how many know that the manufactory produced no fewer than 70 in-house calibers? Heinrich Moser was not only a watch-maker but above all a visionary and entrepreneur. Like all free thinkers, he was ahead of his time, initially rejected by his home town of Schaffhouse – although paradoxically enough, it was to become a leading watch-making centre with IWC! “Contrary to what you might expect, Mosers are watches that don’t reveal everything at first glance,” emphasises Laurent Picciotto. In the same way, Heinrich Moser’s personality is not easy to delve into. Although he was deeply attached to Schaffhouse, he began his career in Saint-Petersburg. He didn’t set up a manufactory straight away, but as was the custom at that time, founded a trading post for watches produced by him or by other manufacturers. When he decided to develop the use of his own movements, he settled in Locle, rather than Schaffhouse. And his output was aimed not at the European market, but at Nijni Novgorod and Irbit! These two cities hosted the major trade fairs at that time, ensuring rapid commercial development, and leading to him hiring 50 employees. Still going against the flow, at a time when the most famous watchmakers were Swiss and French, Heinrich Moser used German, Russian, Italian and Swedish watchmakers. At the same time, the entrepreneur returned to his home town and began industrialising the region, building things like railways and dams – still in use in 2012! In the end – still in keeping with the somewhat atypical journey of the brand – despite Heinrich Moser having built a great empire with amazing potential for growth, when he died in 1874, his family decided to sell everything. The watchmaking part of the business was disbanded, but Heinrich Moser had nonetheless ensured that the brand name “H. Moser & Cie” remained attached to any watch production based on the fundamentals he had established. And so it was that the brand passed down through the decades (with varying degrees of success) until 2002, when Dr Jürgen Lange filed the original brand name of the founder internationally. It was time for the company Moser Schaffhausen AG to come to life again, reincorporating the Moser line. Today, Heinrich Moser’s great-grandson, Roger Nicholas Balsiger, is honorary chairman. In autumn 2005, at the time of the bicentenary of its founder, Heinrich Moser, the company was making a comeback on the international watchmaking scene. “Today they are subtle, rational pieces,” explains Laurent Picciotto. “We’ve given the brand time to find its feet. The approach is certainly Germanic, but offbeat, with traditional yet uncommon tones and basic functions, concealing high-class workings – large date, retrograde display, 7-day power reserve, and so on. Today’s timepieces really do correspond to precise specifications – a purist’s approach, aimed at strong personalities.”

Journalist : Olivier Müller

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