H. Moser & Cie has forged an identity as both a high-watchmaking heritage brand and a young upstart with daring designs that have included a watch case made of Swiss cheese. It has a knack for blending the modern with the traditional, and the new Heritage Dual Time is no exception to the rule.
The traditional aspect of the watch begins with the case, reminiscent of early pocket watches with its thin bezel and large dial, as well as the lugs, which have the look of having been attached after the fact—they are integrated, but the lugs on early pocket watches were usually soldered onto the case. The flat onion-shaped crown is also pure tradition, as is the in-house mechanical caliber. (Moser’s sister company, Precision Engineering is known for its expertise in manufacturing regulating organs and balance-springs, which it also outsources to other watch companies.)
The modern elements give the watch its punch For example, even though it maintains the austere codes of vintage design, specifically in the vein of 1920s pilot watches, its bright burgundy color dial in sunburst fumé forges new design territory. It is contrasted by strikingly large 3-D numerals lined up around the dial like towering blocks of stone, glowing like searchlights in the dark. They are made entirely of Globolight, a ceramic-based material infused with Super-LumiNova. H. Moser introduced the material two years ago on the Endeavour Flying Hours. Here, it’s also used on the hour and minute hands, which are thick enough to take a liberal application, and also on the gray hand that indicates the second time zone. The sleek minimalism of the dial is also preserved by making the logo as unobtrusive as possible—a secret signature, applied in transparent enamel.
Moser has already populated its Heritage collection with an impressive high-watchmaking lineup, starting with a double-hairspring flying tourbillon and an integrated perpetual calendar with an outstanding case side finished in blue cloisonné enamel. It is now following up with a very fine example of a more practical complication, the dual time. The HMC 809, with three days power reserve, is based on the HMC 200. It’s not the brand’s first dual timer, but it does use a new movement, and it is the first dual time with a date function. The date is connected to the second (local) time zone.
The steel case is a fairly large 42 mm x 11.6 mm, and comes on a gray kudu leather strap (kudu is an African spiral-horned species of antelope). It is priced at $21,900, and is likely to be made in small quantities; Moser makes no more than 1,500 watches per year.