Whoever first said that less is more was a design genius. It’s a principle that has been born out time and time again with minimalist elegance and subtle flair that never overwhelms or becomes obnoxious. In fact, when it’s done well it can even look quite sexy, as is the case with the new Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon from H. Moser & Cie.
The dial of this watch is a clean electric blue, stripped of logos and indices to really let the exposed hammers and chimes and flying tourbillon stand out, it’s also the first time the colour has been used by H. Moser and I’m not sure why they haven’t used it sooner, it looks great. But it really is those exposed feature elements that make this piece quite exciting.
Moving the chimes and hammers to the dial side, rather than hidden beneath, not only enhances and emphasises the minute repeater complication but is also a technical marvel in and of itself. H. Moser & Cie. had to collaborate with Timeless SA, a minute repeater specialist, in order to develop the brand-new design. This involved creating a recessed layer within the dial to house the chimes so as not to interfere with the running of the piece and also the development of curved chimes to wrap around the edge of the face and not disturb the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
All that trouble was worth it because the one-minute flying tourbillon is certainly eye-catching. It seems to float and spin effortlessly under a skeletonised bridge and it’s highly accurate too being fitted to a ball bearing to improve chronometry. It just goes to show that even though this watch looks understated, there’s a lot of work going on underneath the elegant exterior.
Making it all work is the hand-wound HMC 903 calibre with a power reserve of 90 hours, yet putting in some of the hardest work are the materials that have been used. The sliding bolt is fitted to a Teflon runner to make sure it operates smoothly and the case is made of titanium.
Titanium is both durable and lightweight, which is why we see it used often in watchmaking, but it’s doubly important here. The case middle has been widened to create a soundbox effect that enhances the sound of the chimes dramatically and because titanium retains vibratory resonance well, it makes for optimal clarity and loudness. The amplification that the materials provide really helps to show off the minute repeater complication and its advanced new design.
The simplicity of the piece is capped off with a black alligator leather strap with red lining and a pin buckle, which suits the 43mm diameter watch nicely. If less really is more, then this watch has buckets of it, whatever ‘it’ is.
Price & Specs:
Model: H. Moser Endeavour Minute Repeater Tourbillon
Case/Dial: 43mm diameter x 14mm height, titanium, electric blue dial with sunburst pattern dial
Movement: In house calibre HMC 903, hand-wound, 35 jewels
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power Reserve: 90h
Functions: Hours, minutes, minute repeater with hour, quarter-hour and minute chimes
Strap: Hand-stitched black alligator leather with red lining
Price/Availability: CHF 330,000, limited to 20 pieces
More details at H.Moser.