H Moser & Cie - H.MOSER Concept grey
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
H Moser & Cie - H.MOSER Concept grey

H.MOSER Concept grey

H Moser & Cie

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H. MOSER & CIE. STANDS FOR DISTINCTIVELY HUMAN LUXURY

Led by a young, dynamic and ambitious team, H. Moser & Cie. has positioned itself as a decisively innovative player in the Haute Horlogerie sector. In a world awash with aggressive branding and marketing strategies, the independent manufacture has gone back to basics to unveil a watch of absolute purity. This model, which features neither indices nor a logo, is the antithesis of the dial overloaded with useless functions, and turns the spotlight back onto distinctively human luxury which remains true to the central aim of watchmaking: indicating the time. 
With the creativity of watchmakers seemingly limitless, and with the emergence of the smart watch, H. Moser & Cie. has returned to its roots and to those of watchmaking, distinguishing itself by unveiling a timepiece of incredible purity. Showcasing its well-known fumé dial – a signature of the brand – stripped of frills, indices and logos, H. Moser & Cie. has put the accent on luxury craftsmanship and the beauty of expertise so often eclipsed by the surrounding marketing campaigns, to remind us that behind a logo lies the work of talented watchmakers and dial makers. With this resolutely vintage piece, H. Moser & Cie. also demonstrates that a real luxury product is immediately identifiable even without a visible logo or brand identifier, just like a painting that remains unsigned by the artist. A case with alternating polished and satin-finished flanks, a fumé dial with a sunburst pattern, noble materials – an 18 carat white gold and alligator exterior – and a movement featuring traditional finishes: H. Moser & Cie. stands for distinctive luxury. 
As Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie., explains: "when our customers buy an H. Moser, they are looking for a manufacture watch with a distinctive design created by real craftsmen. We place the emphasis on the product, not on the logo or marketing." In fact, behind the apparent simplicity of the latest piece from H. Moser & Cie. lies almost a century of experience. At its heart beats a proprietary movement entirely designed and produced by H. Moser & Cie: the hand-wound HMC 343 calibre. Its interchangeable modular escapement is also produced in-house, and requires expertise which only a few manufactures possess. Driven by this mechanical masterpiece, the timepiece's three hands move around a dial of classic, timeless Moser beauty. Created in accordance with the purest artistic dial-making tradition by one of H. Moser & Cie.'s partners, the fumé dial has become an integral part of the identity of this small watch Manufacture from Schaffhausen, whether in red gold fumé, midnight blue fumé or its iconic original incarnation. Its sober elegance belies a complex production process that uses tried and tested techniques. Each dial is machined in the traditional way, coloured and hand-finished to obtain the famous sunburst pattern, which produces a subtle play of light that gradually fades towards the edges and making this watch a thing of beauty. 
This model lends itself to philosophical reflection, designed as a conceptual piece that can be reproduced upon special request. 

Technical specifications

TECHNICAL FEATURES

 
White gold model, signature fumé dial, hand-stitched black alligator strap 
Case
: 18-carat white gold, three-part Diameter: 40.8 mm
Height: 10.9 mm 
Dial
 : Fumé with sunburst pattern 
Movement : 
In-house hand-wound calibre HMC 343 
Functions : Hours and minutes
Central seconds
Power reserve indicator on movement side 
 

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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