Making something highly complicated looking as simple as possible is certainly harder than anything else. When looking at the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Black Edition for the first time, you’ll probably never notice how complex is the movement inside. To resume, putting aside the inherent beauty of this watch, the main strength of the Moser QP is to keep a display extremely simple and practical, together with a superb and innovative movement. Here is the reason why we wanted to have the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar on the wrist.
Don’t be fooled by the quite simple display of the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Black Edition. What you may see at first sight is a watch displaying the time, with a date aperture at 3, a small-second at 6 and a power reserve at 9. Yes, it is (in a sense) true. But a closer look at the central axis may give you some clues: one little arrow (pointing 9 on our photos). Here is the magic trick of the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar: it shows way more than only the date. Instead it shows a full perpetual calendar in one of the most simple ways we’ve ever experienced before.
The different types of calendars in watchmaking
In watchmaking, we can differentiate three/four types of calendars (quantième in French), going from the most simple to the most complicated one: the simple calendar, the full calendar, the annual calendar and the perpetual calendar.
- Simple date / calendar: for a large part of the production (99% at least), the date is indicated by a rotating disc, showing the date in an aperture, or by a hand on a sub-dial. Whatever the display (only date, or day and date), the mechanism here is extremely simple. Each time the hour hands had turned twice around the dial, the date changes. This system does not take into account the months with 30 days (and of course with 28 days) as the watch is set for 31 days. You’ll have to correct the date at the end of February, April, June, September and November.
- Full calendar: this is another simple calendar, with similar “simple” mechanics like the simple date. Additionally the full calendar displays the day of the week and month, however the months that need correction remain the same.
- Annual Calendar: the annual calendar is already quite a complicated mechanism. It usually displays the date, the day and the month. It takes into account the months with 30 or 31 days and will need to be set only once per year, at the end of February. Every annual calendar has to be adjusted to go from February 28/29 to March 1st. An improved edition of this calendar exists. Both Audemars-Piguet and Breitling have a calendar that takes into account the month of February and its 28 days. Thus, it will require an adjustment only once every 4 years (for leap years, when February has 29 days)
- Perpetual Calendar: This is the most complicated type of calendar. It will require only one adjustment every 100 years (during secular years February has only 28 days). It means that these watches take into account the months with 30 or 31 days, that it also takes into account the month of February with 28 days and finally, every four years, it will pass automatically from February 29th to March 1st.
What does it mean? Unlike this simple appearance, the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar is highly complicated: perpetual calendar, massive power reserve and in-house movement with several unique and innovative features. We are far from just a 3-hand watch with extra-complications. We’re in front of handsome mechanics, put together into a beautiful black DLC titanium case. We choose to wear this edition of the Endeavour QP, certainly the most versatile and modern one, compared to the classical editions made of precious materials (white gold, pink gold, platinum or palladium). Note that another version exists, a 10-piece limited edition with that same black titanium case, a gold fumé dial and a solid gold movement.
Design and Overall appearance
Versatile can really well define the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar. Usually, black watches are seen as sporty or sometimes, fashion-oriented pieces. It goes for instance for Hublot watches or Panerais. Even more classical pieces such as the Speedmaster or a Girard-Perregaux WW.TC looks more casual when coated with black material. The Moser QP looks slightly different though. It may feature a black case, it has kept a refined and dressed feeling. Thus, you can easily wear it with both a suit or a pair of jeans. The size of the case, the full black scheme enlivened with gold accents, the apparent simplicity of the display or the overall shape are modern and classical at the same.
Some watches are made for business and red carpets – for example a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin. Some are made to match your leisures or free time – a massive dive watch like the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph or a colorful Hamilton Pan Europe. Of course, this H. Moser shouldn’t be considered as a proper sports watch, but it will be a natural fit both for a weekend trip or a formal meeting. You might think it is also the case for multiple watches. Right, but this ones adds the beauty of the mechanics in a pure, refined and discreet way. When some watches tends to look more complicated than they really are (a good example could be the Baume & Mercier Clifton Date Retrograde), this one is hiding its complications, creating a very egoistic pleasure that only the owner and the insiders will recognize.
Dial and hands
Usually, when it comes to perpetual calendars, we are used to complicated displays, with multiple sub-dials and indications. The classical way to do a QP (short name that stands for ‘quantième perpetuel‘) is a dial with 3 to 4 sub-counters: one for the day of the week, one for the date and one for the month and the leap year indicator. Most of the time, it also includes a moon phase, that can be inserted or not in one of the sub-dials. It is the case in classical watches such as the Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar and Moonphase or the Patek Philippe 5940g Perpetual Calendar. Some however tend to improve the legibility or to create a more modern layout, such as the IWC Ingenieur Digital. One thing remains true: all of them are complicated, sometimes overloaded.
What H. Moser & Cie manages to do with their perpetual calendar is to give it the simplest layout possible. It shows only the date (with an aperture at 3) and the month, with a discreet arrow-hand on the central axis, that uses the 12 indexes of the hours to point out the month (the leap year, not the most important features on a daily basis, is indicated by a wheel on the movement side). Clever and simple (as simple as the Rolex Sky-Dweller can be). It only shows the most important calendar datas – and it does it in a very discreet way. The rest of the indications are classical: hours and minutes on the central axis, a small-second at 9 to bring some action on the dial and a power reserve to know when to wind the movement.
The dial itself is made of a matte black plate, with minimal inscriptions. To break the full black scheme, the indexes are made of applied batons in pink gold. The small-second sub-counter is circled with that same metal. All the hands are also coming in pink gold. It brings some refinement and a load of warmth to a very dark and neutral atmosphere. It may only be small accents but they are enough to prevent a sad and monochromatic design. Furthermore, it gives the watch a discreet luxurious and classy look. Hopefully, the date disc is also black (too many watches with dark dials are coming with non matching date discs). Because of this contrast between the matte black colour of the dial and the shiny hands and indexes, the day-time readability is excellent. However, the hands are plain and lack some luminous material, making the watch useless at night-time. A deliberate choice to keep a clean and dressed design that may be unpractical in certain conditions.
Case and strap
The H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Black Edition comes in a 40.8mm case made of grade 5 titanium coated in black DLC (diamond like carbon). You may notice it on the photos (it is even more true in sunlight), the color is actually closer to anthracite than pure black. It has some very nice metallic reflections. As the case is mirror polished, it is actually easy to think that this dark grey colour is obtained from the metal itself and not from a coating.
The case features several finishes. Alongside the mirror-polished bezel and lugs, the case is also partly brushed around the crown and at 9. The case bands alternates complex concave and convex shapes. Both the strap and the buckle are also using the same theme as the rest of the watch: a matte black alligator leather coated with carbon (that looks really great in the flesh) and a titanium pin-buckle coated with DLC.
Here comes the technical part. We told you, the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar is simple in appearance, but inside its case ticks a stunning engine. Because of this clever movement and display, it won the ‘Complex Watch’ category at 2006 GPHG. The calibre HMC 341 is a manually wound in-house movement that brings several impressive features:
- More than 7 days of power reserve (on the paper). During our review, it has continued to run for more than 10 days. This number is even more impressive when you know the level of energy required for the instant jump of the date at 00:00.
- The ‘Double Pull Crown’ which allows a correction of the date by turning the crown (without disturbing the time setting) and set the time precisely (with a hack-second system).
- An adjustment both forward and backward at any time of the day of the calendar. The movement is protected from faulty manipulations.
- The Moser interchangeable escapement (beating at 18.000bph and adjusted in 6 positions) that simplifies the service operations. Only remove two screws (on each side of the balance bridge) and the entire escapement module (balance wheel, spiral, escapement wheel and anchor) can be replaced in a few minutes.
The movement is also reasonably sized, with 5.8mm in height only and 34mm diameter. To match the black colour of the case, the bridges are also coated in black. It allows a great contrast with all the steel elements and the oversized screwed gold chatons. The bridges are chamfered with polished bevelled angles, adorned with Moser stripes (a double Geneva stripe) and mostly hand finished. This movement is extremely nice to look at, clever, powerful and technically impressive. The teams of H. Moser worked hard to bring this piece of mechanical art.
On the wrist
As the case of the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Black Edition measures ‘only‘ 40.8mm, it sits perfectly on the wrist. It is also very light, due to the use of titanium. The overall watch is extremely comfortable, also because of the curved sapphire on the back that sits the case on the wrist.
We told you, it can easily be worn with a suit or a casual outfit. It is never showy, as the case is not fully black and because the dial is not overloaded with informations. You’ll have to be into watches to understand what ticks inside this watch. The 7 days (or more) power reserve is also very pleasant: use the watch for 3 or 4 days, leave it for the weekend to use your sports watch and take it back on the Monday morning. It will still be alive and won’t require any adjustment. An even if it has to be adjusted, just pull the crown and change the date. The rest will follow. Usually, QP are coming with recessed pushers to correct the date, the day of the moon-phase. Here, everything is ‘programmed’ in advance and only the crown has to be actuated.
What about the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar on a lady’s wrist?
It’s not that we have something against women’s watches here at Monochrome, but in a sense, we don’t know how to talk about them. So for once, we gave the Endeavour QP a try. More and more ladies are now wearing mens watches (and we fully understand why) and the Moser looks extremely good on an elegant feminine wrist. I was even surprised to admit that it was nicer on her than on me.
Pros and Cons
- The overall look, refined and discreet but modern and original at the same time
- The impressive external simplicity linked to a very clever and technically advanced movement
- The comfort of a 7-day (or more) power reserve
- The comfort on the wrist and the versatility of the watch
- The quality of construction and the beauty of the movement
- The price-tag considering the brand. Some might be tempted by a more famous name before investing 50k
- (possibly) the lack of luminous material
- The sharp crown that can hurt
- This simplicity creates a very egoistic pleasure. Only the owner and a few aficionados will know what ticks inside. On the other hand, it will be seen as a touch of elegance.
The H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Black Edition is priced at CHF 47,000 (with Swiss taxes). It’s quite a load of money but you have to consider the impressive movement inside. However the market is hard, as it will have to face some big names such as IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre or Blancpain. These brands may not have the same level of technology but they are seen as safer products – mainly because the brands are known and famous. But we, at Monochrome-Watches, will always love the non-mainstream products and we love the Moser QP.