Introducing The H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue
You might have seen the H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon before. Maybe not in the metal, since it’s a very exclusive and elusive watch. But maybe you’ve seen the 43mm titanium Haute Horlogerie creation with its Electric Blue Concept dial and hammers and gongs on the dial side somewhere online. Some say lightweight titanium is the ultimate material for a minute repeater because it resonates so well. But still, Moser decided to create a smaller 40mm version in “heavy” 5N red gold as well. The brand from Neuhausen am Rheinfall has also placed inside of it a new Grand Feu enamel dial in Aqua Blue on a base with a hammered texture.
Who said that the minute repeater is the most discrete complication? When you put the complication front and center, discretion goes out the window. The Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue shows its gongs and hammers on the dial side rather than on the movement side. Not only will the observant watch enthusiast notice the complication on the face of the watch, but the wearer will also be reminded constantly of the fact that the watch on their wrist can chime time. It must be quite a challenge to resist pulling the slide — outfitted with a runner made from Teflon to ensure smoothness — on the side of the case every time the wearer notices the watch on the wrist.
The Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue makes its presence felt
At 40mm, the Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue might not have a big case, but it certainly has a big presence. Not only do we see the minute repeater’s mechanics and parts, but there’s also a one-minute flying tourbillon with a skeletonized bridge at 6 o’clock. Because it has no bridge on top and an open-worked one on the bottom, the tourbillon seems to float within the aperture of the Grand Feu enamel dial. And what a dial it is! Moser has made quite a name for itself when it comes to dials, and once again, the brand does not disappoint.
Hammered, crushed, and fired in the oven
It all starts with an engrained pattern on a gold base. After that, four differently colored pigments are washed, finely crushed, and then applied to create an ombré effect. It takes about one hour for a master enameler to painstakingly apply the pigments in order to make the colors oxidize and melt together when heated in the furnace. The translucent Aqua Blue Grand Feu enamel dial is ready for the watch after being fired twelve times. Only after that hot, repetitive, and traditional process, does the dial gets the signature H. Moser & Cie. fumé effect. And as you might have guessed, each dial is unique.
The dial may be the result of an ancient technique, but the finished product is most definitely contemporary. The rich, striking texture combined with the intense Aqua Blue hue, as well as the absence of a brand logo and indices, creates a resolute and confident look. It’s a bit more industrial than the Heritage Dual Time with its burgundy smoky dial we had at HQ a while back.
A movement-packed case
The attention to colors and finishing is on par with the work that went into the complicated movement inside the Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue. The 33 × 9.62mm hand-wound caliber 904 inside the 40 × 13.5mm case is a tight squeeze; it certainly is a case-filling movement. And that’s how we like it, don’t we? Who needs space inside a watch case? Exactly. Through the transparent sapphire case back, the new movement reveals various skeletonized parts and a very high level of finishing, such as the double Moser stripes on the plate and bridges. The 35-jewel movement beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour and has a power reserve of 90 hours.
The acoustic performance of the Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue
The watchmakers at Moser worked hard to get the acoustics right. Optimizing the sound is a delicate business that calls for a sensitive ear. The goal is to optimize the sound so that it provides a chime with the perfect balance between volume, resonance, and harmony. The case is the concert hall, so to speak, but with a diameter of just 40mm, it’s a tiny one. That’s why Moser widened the case middle to the max. By doing so, it left just enough space between the movement and case to create a soundbox that amplifies the chiming of hours, quarter-hours, and minutes when the two hammers hit the two gongs.
Two references, two soundscapes
In the pictures, you see the H. Moser Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue reference 1904-0400. This model comes with a brown alligator leather strap and is limited to 20 pieces. Though there are no pictures of it yet, there’s also the reference 1904-0500. That one is a titanium version with exactly the same Aqua Blue fumé dial and brown alligator leather strap. It is limited to 20 pieces as well. The case size is the same, but there must be a “big” sound difference between the two versions of the Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue. I would guess the red gold version produces a nostalgic, warm, and deep chime, while the titanium model produces a more crisp, clean, and contemporary sound. But as I said, you’ll need a good ear to fully appreciate the difference in timbres. Still, I’d love to hear both of them live.
For more information, prices, and availability regarding the new Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon Aqua Blue watches in red gold and titanium, please visit the official H. Moser & Cie. website.
Please find and follow me at Lex Stolk • Instagram