SIHH is fun for many reasons. It’s a great place to catch up with our fellow journalists from all over the world. It’s also great to get a taste of this year’s buzz from the Richemont brands. Last but not least SIHH is an amazing experience for fans of the independents. These brands often have limited marketing budgets compared to the big names like Cartier, Panerai or Audemars Piguet (also independent of course). They don’t often organize huge events, and press roadshows around the globe. So, seeing them and actually their whole staff together in one place is as rare as it gets. More important than that, of course, are the novelties they are bringing to the show each year. H.Moser & Cie is among those special brands. And what they brought to the show this year stirred up the water. I’m talking about the Blue Lagoon of course.
Who has not heard the name Moser before? No, I don’t mean detective Richard Moser (played by Austria’s great Tobias Moretti) in the cult TV series Rex: A Cop’s Best Friend. I’m talking about an up and coming, young watch brand from Switzerland, right across the border from Germany, in Schaffhausen. You need to remember 4 dates; 1805 Henrik Moser is born into a watchmaking family who establishes the brand in 1828 in St. Petersburg, Russia (yes, you read it right). 2005, H.Moser & Cie (as we know it today) is re-established and returns to Schaffhausen. Lastly, 2012 is when the Meylan Family takes over the brand starting a new era both for Moser and for the independent watch industry. A lot of things happened in between, which we might talk about at another time. For now, let’s stay with the last date and the Meylan family.
The Meylan family has a thousand ties to the watch industry. However, that, albeit useful and beneficial, is all in the past. Edouard Meylan, CEO of H.Moser & Cie, however, is not someone who is looking into the past. Rather into the future. He is a charismatic and young leader, someone who seems to have an answer for everything. Edouard is also a very pleasant guy to be around, although his facial expression might make you think otherwise – sorry Edouard, I’m like that too so know how it is. Under his leadership, the brand set foot on a path that’s daring and different than many others in this industry. Year after year they bring something extraordinary, something different both as a concept watch and part of their collection. Moser does this while still staying true to their design. Their 2019 SIHH novelty, the H.Moser & Cie Blue Lagoon is such a timepiece.
The Blue Lagoon watches I got to see in Geneva this past month are part of the Endeavour collection. There’s a distinction between the regular Endeavour models and Concept pieces. As you can see by the title, the Blue Lagoon falls under the latter category. Concept H. Moser & Cie pieces are pure Haute Horlogerie timepieces with no logo, numerals or any other indications on the dial. There’s no need for that. The watch, its looks, and design speak for. Itself. Moser’s signature, fumé dial, is the main element of the Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Blue Lagoon. Fumé dials have a special shine, polished, satin finished look with sunburst pattern. The Blue Lagoon’s color is turquoise, that looks blue from one angle and green from another. According to Moser the Blue Lagoon’s face is “evoking the waters of the tropics”. Can’t agree more. It is a mesmerizing color indeed.
While the fumé dial is unquestionably the most recognizable feature of the Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Blue Lagoon, its case is also something distinct. At 40mm in width and only 10.7mm in thickness, the watch is barely considered large. Surely 40mm is not small, but as Moser puts it, the Blue Lagoon is a “bold, sexy and contemporary” timepiece. One can choose between 2 case materials, both in precious metal; white or red gold, both in 18k. The white gold is reference 1200-0206 although if you fancy a bit more “bling” and want to go for the red gold version you have to look for reference 1200-0404. I’m a subtle guy so my version is the white gold. Though I have to say that the Blue Lagoon’s tone is such that works perfectly with both golds. Other than the materials both references are identical in looks, sizes or movement.
Speaking of movements. As you’d expect from an Haute Horlogerie timepiece, the H. Moser & Cie Blue Lagoon has a manufacture movement. It is a caliber that is designed, developed and produced entirely in-house. This is possible with the help of Precision Engineering AG, a sister company of H. Moser & Cie. The HMC 200 is a self-winding caliber with a minimum of 3 days of power reserve, automatic bi-directional pawl-winding system and a frequency of 21,600 vph. The movement has 27 jewels, decorated with the so-called Moser Stripes. A patented decoration by H. Moser & Cie similar to Geneva stripes, Moser Stripes where thicker and thinner lines follow each other. The HMC has simple functions; it shows the hours and minutes with a central seconds hand.
The H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Blue Lagoon comes on a hand-stitched grey (white gold) or cognac brown (red gold) alligator leather strap with a matching pin buckle. The display case back allows us to see the beautiful HMC 200 caliber in motion. The price of the watch will be €21,000. Moser will produce a number of 50 pieces in both case materials. While my preference requires a bit more design than a super minimalistic piece, such as this one, I certainly can understand Moser’s thought process that went into the Blue Lagoon. It’s not an everyday watch, not that you would come across many Moser timepieces in your daily life. It’s a statement piece for the brand, something they produced for the connoisseurs who buy Moser for the sheer aesthetics and craftsmanship. For that, however, it is a perfect choice.
If you wish to visit H. Moser & Cie’s website, please click here.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more