When I think H. Moser & Cie (“H. Moser”), I think of fumé dials and handless dress watches. Beautifully finished watches that are simple but distinct in its simplicity with their brilliant dials.
Even their Vantablack dials, a material that absorbs almost all light, are so well done that they draw you in, and emphasize the features that you can see. A quick glance at the Swiss brand’s website shows that this style of watch, the established H. Moser style if I may, is what makes up its various collections.
Last year, H. Moser released something slightly different from its usual offerings. A diver-esque watch. It still featured an amazingly eyecatching sunburst fumé dial, but came with a greyed out almost “ghost” bezel and a steel bracelet. It was a limited release of 50 pieces, and for reasons that are beyond me, barely covered by watch publications. In fact, I can only find one article on its release which you can find here (https://atelierdegriff.com/2019/02/19/hands-on-pioneer-center-seconds-rotating-bezel/).
It marked a first visually distinct sports watch in H. Moser’s history and was definitely a departure from its usual fare. Still, if you distilled it down to base elements, it was still visually a H. Moser watch, using a movement that it had already developed, but came on a bracelet, and featured a ghost bezel.
This year however, H. Moser switched gears (no pun intended) completely, and designed a completely new sports watch, The Streamliner. One thing is for certain, it is definitely different. Not only is it different from anything that it had done before, it is also completely different from any other luxury sports watch you would find in the market.
With every other brand and their mother jumping on the integrated steel sports band wagon, it would have been easy for H. Moser to simply take inspiration aka blatantly copy elements from the Royal Oak or the Nautilus. I am looking at you, Bell & Ross, which Adrian reviewed here. It would also have been easy for H. Moser to pick one of its existing dials or something similar, and chuck it on an integrated bracelet. Instead H. Moser developed a flyback chronograph, that looks nothing like a traditional chronograph, housed in an aptly chosen cushion case, and features a fresh new integrated bracelet.
Let’s talk about that bracelet for a moment. It is after all, the first thing that H. Moser started with, according to Edouard Meylan, CEO of H in the press release. The bracelet is unlike anything I’ve seen on any other luxury sports watch which from the front appears to be single-piece links but are actually three-piece links as evidenced from the back. The configuration of the three pieces that make up each link seems to be what allows a subtle but repeating “M” letter on the bracelet. I love this feature because it makes the bracelet so unique to H. Moser.
These “M” letter links also allow the bracelet to flow almost seamlessly into the extremely short lugs on the cushion-case. While the lug-to-lug length of the case was not given, these short lugs would presumably make the watch wear smaller than its 42.3mm diameter would suggest. The cushion case, is a perfect choice as it that invokes the spirit of racing chronographs of the 60s and 70s. This theme is consistent with the dial that features a black and white checkered minute and second track, with dashes of red to signify the indices on the watch. H. Moser being H. Moser, included a fumé dial but one that is starkly different from vibrant nature of most of its collection. Instead of a sunburst fumé dial, H. Moser designed a griffé fumé dial i.e. a claw patterned fumé dial.
The effect is one that greatly subdues the dial without detracting from its uniqueness, while also allowing the red and white chronograph hands, and the white hour and minute hands to shine. If that wasn’t enough innovation, the hour and minute hands also a what H. Moser refers to as Globolight, “a innovative ceramic-based material which contains Super-Luminova”. Of course, the practical effect of this, I presume, can only be determined in person.
Perhaps, the most remarkable aspect of the dial, despite everything described above, is how clean it looks, given that this watch is a chronograph watch. While not the first to develop a central chronograph display, H. Moser is the first to develop an automatic flyback chronograph with a central chronograph display. Admittedly, that statement may seem like a stretch to merely add a “first” to its claim. However, in a day and age where innovation is increasingly hard to come by and most brands over retreat to the safety of reissues, such developments are a welcome breath of fresh air.
After all, one of Omega’s latest movement news has to do with the recreation of a movement from the 60s, but that is a topic for whole other article. As an added bonus, The Streamliner’s entire movement, which I assume is beautifully finished, is visible through the display case back because of the placement of the rotor between the movement and dial.
If there was one criticism I had of this watch, it would be the positioning of the pushers and crown. I am a stickler for symmetry and the positioning of the pushers and crown at the 10, 2 and 4 o’clock markers, leaves a noticeable gap at the 8 o’clock position.
That being said, I have no idea what other pusher could have been included at the 8 o’clock position and I am not certain that having all the pushers on the right would have detracted from the overall aesthetic of the watch. Frankly, this may very well be a visual imbalance that bothers me and perhaps a small group of people.
“Everything is new, everything is different, yet everything is Moser”. This was the claim of H. Moser in its press release. It is a bold claim, but that H. Moser can deservedly make. The movement is innovative and beautiful, keeping in line with H. Moser’s innovative spirit. The case and dial are simple, clean and fresh, not out of place in the brand’s line-up. The bracelet, remarkably, is like no other ever done before, by the brand or any other brand.
It may not be a watch for everyone, depending on your views of cushion cases, and symmetry, but it is a watch that standouts in a sea of increasingly similar luxury sports watches. It is a watch that is unashamed of its uniqueness, while never losing its roots. As Scottish Watches editor Rick put it so aptly, “It is the same, but different”, beautifully different.
Here some more beautifully difference images.
Dimensions & Features
|Pushers & Crown||:||Chronograph push-buttons at 10 and 2 o’clock
Crown at 4 o’clock, engraved with an “M”
|Caseback||:||See-through case back, engraved “Limited 100PCS”|
|Water Resistance||:||120m, chronograph and flyback function usable underwater|
|Bracelet||:||Integrated steel bracelet|
|Dial||:||Blackor fumé and griffé|
|Hands||:||Hour and minute hands with Globolight® inserts|
|Chronograph||:||Red seconds hand white minute hand
Minute track for the elapsed seconds and minutes
Tachymeter on the flange
|Calibre||:||HMC 902 developed with AGENHOR for H. Moser & Cie., self-winding movement|
|Rotor||:||Tungsten oscillating weight fitted on a ball bearing, placed between the movement and the dial|
|Function||:||120m, chronograph and flyback function usable underwater|
|Components||:||434 components, Double barrel, column wheel chronograph, horizontal clutch with friction wheel , tulip yoke|
|Power reserve||:||54 hours|
|Time||:||Hour and Minutes|
|Chronograph||:||Central display of elapsed minutes & seconds
Flyback on minutes & seconds