The Endeavour Tourbillon Concept is an object of mesmerising beauty. Stripped back to its bare essentials, the nude, logo-free dial with its spectacular fumé finish offers a tantalising spectacle of the flying tourbillon. It is a sensual watch that perfectly incarnates the philosophy that less can mean a whole lot more. Minimalism is a word that gets used a lot to describe H.Moser & Cie.’s approach to watchmaking, where complications are revisited and displayed in ingeniously simple ways. Who can forget the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Concept watch that took ‘minimalism’ to unprecedented heights with its naked dial?
The pursuit of bare essentials
Once again Moser adopts the pared-down approach with its Endeavour Tourbillon Concept watch, which was presented at the SIHH 2018 in a white gold case. The deliberate obliteration of any superfluous distractions on the dial lets you concentrate on the rotations of the one-minute tourbillon, proving that complications don’t need to be dressed to impress. And admiring the watch up-close confirms my inkling that Moser really knows how to capture a contemporary, cool, vibe that is elegant and sleek enough to withstand the test of time.
The smooth contours of the Endeavour’s 42mm white gold case are inviting to the touch and beautifully finished with polished and brushed surfaces. As Meylan points out, “the case of the Endeavour family is different from other Moser models and features a curve at the back to sit better on the wrist. It is our high-end case reserved for complications like the perpetual calendar. With its curved back, the ergonomics of the watch are enhanced making it exceptionally comfortable to wear.”
Note: A stainless steel case does not translate into a lower price tag… As the brother of the white gold Endeavour Tourbillon Concept model with its funky blue dial we are now looking at, a steel edition with a rhodium-plated dial and blued hands is also available. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a steel case means a substantial reduction in price. In fact, the steel version is just CHF 6,000 cheaper than the gold model. It is not about cost-cutting but endowing the watch with a different personality and mood. Speaking to Edouard Meylan the other day, he mentioned another decisive factor that influenced the choice of steel: “Not only is steel practical and functional, it also responds to the fact that, for religious reasons, men can’t wear gold in the Middle East – and this is a strong market for Moser.”
The hallmark H. Moser fumé dial
Forget about logos or brand names; the biggest giveaway that you are before an H. Moser watch is the stunning fumé dial. Composed of different and deepening shades of colour – in this particular case, a bright blue centre with darker hues on the edges, officially called a Funky Blue fumé dial – the fumé effect is enhanced by the sunburst pattern with fine rays that emanate from the centre towards the perimeter of the dial. The combination of the tapered and slightly curved polished hands against the smokey blue dial is very effective.
According to Meylan, “95% of Moser’s sales are watches with fumé dials. Like all quality dials, they are complex to make and you need to ensure very stable conditions. Humidity, temperature and even air flow can affect the end result and change the colour of a batch. Imagine trying to explain that to a client!”
“85% of the value of a watch is in its movement,” Edouard Meylan
The stunning backdrop gives way to the star of the show performing its hypnotic one-minute rotations in a large aperture at 6 o’clock. Moser’s watchmakers have literally cut a hole into the dial to expose the tourbillon complication. No fancy borders or circular frame, just a large sinkhole that keeps your attention riveted on the tourbillon. Powered by in-house calibre HMC 804 and fitted with a double hairspring (also made by Moser, and possibly the hardest component of a mechanical watch to make), the automatic movement has a 3-day power reserve and a bi-directional rotor that has been skeletonised to let you enjoy the movement.
But perhaps the most ingenious part of the movement is the modular tourbillon escapement. The idea is that, like a plug, the tourbillon module can be easily extracted from its cage and serviced by a watchmaker. “Most of Moser’s watches have a modular escapement. The idea is that you take out the screws, take out the escapement, and get it serviced,” explains Meylan. “And we applied this same principle to the tourbillon. All you have to do is remove the two screws, and the entire tourbillon module can be removed. The advantage is that in countries like Russia, where sending a watch back to Switzerland to be serviced means paying huge amounts of tax, and getting a tourbillon fixed by a local watchmaker is next to impossible, we can send our customer a modular tourbillon replacement, and the problem is solved!”
A limited edition of 20 pieces, the 42mm Endeavour Tourbillon Concept in white gold comes with a signature Moser kudu leather strap and costs CHF 69,000. More details on www.h-moser.com.