- Kristian Haagen
H. MOSER & CIE. - CONTEMPORARY TRADITION
Paying tribute to age-old expertise in a resolutely contemporary way, H. Moser & Cie. has launched a new minute repeater movement in a 40 mm diameter 5N red gold or titanium case. True to its minimalist philosophy, the manufacture has extracted the quintessence of this complication, showcasing it by revealing the complex chime mechanism for the hours, quarter-hours and minutes on the dial side. The hammers and gongs twirl in a consummate ballet, accompanying the dance of the one-minute flying tourbillon. Stripped of logos and indices, the dial provides a stunning backdrop to this exquisite choreography, created from "Grand Feu" enamel in brand-new Aqua Blue on a base with a hammered texture.
With the Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue, H. Moser & Cie. presents one of the most traditional and romantic watch complications and combines it with a magnificent flying tourbillon performing a spinning waltz. Drawing attention to the minute repeater mechanism, it has taken the bold decision to position the two shaped gongs and the hammers on the dial side, in a brand-new design.
This involved overcoming many technical challenges. In particular, the chimes (which are placed on one level to preserve the finesse of the piece) had to be curved so as not to interfere with the flying tourbillon and to respect H. Moser & Cie.'s overarching goal of keeping the design understated. A huge amount of work has gone into the 40 mm diameter case, available in red gold or titanium, to optimise the sound and achieve the perfect balance between volume, resonance and harmony.
The case middle has been widened to the maximum in order to accommodate the movement while allowing enough space to create a soundbox. This amplifies the chiming of hours, quarter-hours and minutes by two gongs, onto which fall two hammers that are raised based on information provided by different feeler-spindles. And because elegance is an essential element for H. Moser & Cie., the Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue has been designed to retain classic, perfectly balanced dimensions and proportions. At six o'clock, the one-minute flying tourbillon is visible behind a skeletonised bridge.
Boldly contemporary, the tourbillon appears to float weightlessly above the "Grand Feu" enamel dial. Starting with a pattern engrained onto a gold base, as if hammered, four different colour pigments are washed, finely crushed, then applied to create an ombré effect. It took approximately one hour of careful work for the master enameller to painstakingly apply the pigments, adding them one by one so that the colours oxidise and meld together when heated in the furnace, without any pixellation. A translucent "Grand Feu" enamel dial must be fired twelve times in total to create the signature H. Moser & Cie. fumé effect. Each dial is unique.
The finish is remarkable; resolutely contemporary, with a particularly striking texture and an intense hue, christened Aqua Blue, that the Schaffhausen-based manufacture lets speak for itself, with no logo or indices. The driving force behind this unique creation is the HMC 904 hand-wound calibre, a new movement whose beauty can be admired through various skeletonised parts. The model's codes rework a traditional aesthetic into an understated and minimalist style, adding the final touch of elegance to this disruptive new piece.