The geniuses at H. Moser & Cie. are the masters of fumé dial art, and the Endeavour series is the perfect canvas. As the most traditionally styled case from Edouard Meylan and his artisan team, it is used to full effect. What better frame for a dégradé piece of circular art than a conservative, flawlessly polished case. The H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse × The Armoury is perhaps the strongest Endeavour, yet its dial is colorless.

For me personally, the Endeavour Centre Seconds and Small Seconds have always had an allure. But at between 40 and 42mm, they felt large. Now, that is not due to their diameter, per se. But when the narrow bezel drops down with smooth perfection and the dial is spare in detail, a watch wears larger. And yes, my wrists are on the scrawny side. Then again, this might just be an excuse for not taking the step of selling half my collection to buy one — a tempting prospect. Seriously though, deep and colorful dials draw me to them like Gollum to The Ring. But here, on the new Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse, the dial is hypnotic in its absence.

The H.Moser & Cie. Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse x The Armoury

H. Moser Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse × The Armoury

As this dial is anything but colorful, you might find me contradictory. But I am inexplicably drawn to the Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse × The Armoury by its black-hole dial. I am just as enamored as I was with the luscious green dégradé dial of the Streamliner and the cherry pop of the Mad Red Pioneer. But why? And what makes this so different? What looks like a dark void in the photos is Vantablack, my friend. It’s the darkest of the dark, the deepest abyss of black known to man, and it is infinitely fascinating.

The H.Moser & Cie. Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse x The Armoury

The mysterious darkness of Vantablack

Vantablack is to thank for the black abyss of a dial. Here’s the tech description of the material from Wikipedia:

“Vantablack is a brand name for a class of super-black coatings with total hemispherical reflectances (THR) below 1.5% in the visible spectrum. The original Vantablack coating was grown from a chemical vapor deposition process (CVD) developed by Surrey NanoSystems in the United Kingdom. It is one of the darkest coatings known, absorbing up to 99.965% of visible light. The coatings are unique in that they are not only super-black but that they retain uniform light absorption from almost all viewing angles. Original CVD Vantablack is no longer manufactured for commercial applications as it has been superseded by Vantablack spray coatings that offer similar optical performance in key parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.”

The effect here takes the form of floating hour, minute and seconds hands within a star-less deep space of infinite darkness.

A small jewel

This new H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Small Seconds actually does take its inspiration from space, and indeed, the darkness of a total solar eclipse. Designed in partnership with the sartorial mastermind Mark Cho of The Armoury, this 56-piece limited edition is a small jewel. I sense Mark Cho’s love of small wristwear (my man!) shining through here. Utilizing the caliber HMC 327, the smallest hand-wound movement from the H. Moser ateliers, this watch is an understated 38mm in diameter and a mere 9.9mm thick. The details of the dial, though minimalistic in nature, give this Endeavour Small Seconds its striking presence. For the 56 customers, two versions are available, set apart by the rehaut, indices, and hands. Your choice is between the richness of red gold or polished steel, with 28 pieces in each execution. This is also the first time we see the classic elegance of Breguet hands on the dial of an Endeavour.

A dial to die for

What really strikes me is the profound effect that such a minimal and bare dial can have. The polished rehaut frames the dial beautifully, and the dot indices are like tiny stars around the circumference. I enjoy the traditional touch of Breguet hands, with the minute hand kissing a star-like dot every five minutes. The seconds hand at 6 o’clock merely floats in space. As if captured by its own axis, it’s the only visible sign of life within the darkness. A dressy watch this certainly is, and a testament to the combined depth of style knowledge in this unexpected partnership. My favorite of the two might be the slightly flashier version; the red gold accents create a warm aura of elegance in the dark abyss of the Vantablack dial.

Pricing and availability

This Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse model will be available in The Armoury stores in New York and Hong Kong. You can also find it on the e-commerce platforms for The Armoury and H. Moser & Cie. The retail price is $25,900.

I do feel drawn to this darkness. Is this a minimalist space dream come true? Or does the darkness confuse your senses enough to forget time itself? Let us know your thoughts on the H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse × The Armoury in the comments.

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