Hands-on H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Perpetual Calendar MD (with New Display)

A dual Month-Date window for the H. Moser & Cie. sporty Perpetual Calendar watch.

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | ic_query_builder_black_24px 4 minute read |

For some years now, H. Moser & Cie’s perpetual calendar, whether in the Endeavour or Pioneer cases, has been characterized by its minimalist display with a small, central arrow to indicate the month. Certainly, this was both a signature style for the brand and resulted in a clean, pure look… Apparently too clean and not legible enough for the brand, which is introducing a revised version of its sporty QP, the Pioneer Perpetual Calendar MD – and MD means Month-Date.

I can remember a few years ago, when I just started at MONOCHROME, one of the first watches I reviewed extensively was the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Black Edition (not a bad way to start, admittedly). Back then, I was impressed – and still am – by the clean, uncluttered display of this perpetual calendar. Most QPs on the market feature complex dials, with multiple sub-counters or windows to display the date, the day of the week, the month, the leap year and, often, a moon. It is sort of a norm for the industry, resulting in small indications that you can barely read…

What Moser did back in the days was to focus on the essential indication of a calendar watch: the date. We usually know what month it is, and the same goes for the day of the week. Moser chose to focus on the date, but on a QP, resulting in an indication that was always correct. The only other calendar indication on this dial was the month, indicated by an extremely discreet arrow-shaped hand on the central axis. This display/movement was later used in the brand’s sports collection, with the steel Pioneer Perpetual Calendar.

The new Pioneer Perpetual Calendar MD

What H. Moser & Cie. has decided to do is to update the display. As a sports watch, the Pioneer needed to be as legible as possible, according to Moser. The result is a new display where the month is as visible as the date – meaning that it is now positioned in a window and no longer displayed with a pointer arrow.

The base of this H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Perpetual Calendar MD is familiar. We still have the 42.8mm stainless steel case, with screw-in crown, robust lugs and case bands and 120m water-resistance. It isn’t a rugged sports watch per se, still, it has been conceived to withstand some action. A casual, sporty watch, if you prefer. The case combines brushed surfaces and polished accents, together with decorated sides. The watch is worn either on a matte black leather strap or a rubber strap.

What changes, then? Basically, the display and the dial. The main evolution concerns the month indication that moves from the central axis to the 3 o’clock position, in a classically shaped window for enhanced legibility. It sits next to the big date and both of the functions jump instantaneously. The rest remains faithful to the traditional Moser QP watches: central hands for the hours and minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock and power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. The leaf-shaped hands are partially skeletonised and filled with Super-LumiNova.

The H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Perpetual Calendar MD is launched in two models. The first features the Funky Blue dial with traditional indexes and applied markers (ref. 3808-1201). The second, bolder model features a new burgundy colour for the brand and is stripped of almost all indexes/inscriptions except for the dots that mark the hours (ref. 3808-1200).

Inside the steel case of the Pioneer Perpetual Calendar MD is the same base movement as the other QPs, only modified on the dial side to obtain a new display. The movement itself, a powerful hand-wound engine with minimum 7 days of power reserve, still retains the indication of the leap year on top of the bridges. It is finished with care – polished bevels, large Moser stripes, gold chatons – and is nicely shaped. It is also technically advanced, with the in-house Straumann Hairspring and interchangeable Moser escapement (which can be removed easily during services). Note that the date can be set at any time of the day, forwards or backwards, with no risk to the movement.

Price and availability

Each version of this new H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Perpetual Calendar MD will be limited to 50 pieces. Retail price will be EUR 38,000 or CHF 39,900, the same as the previous version of this watch.

More details at www.h-moser.com.

7 responses

  1. This is a step back from Moser. I don’t think they went minimal enough with their original QP. Move the date to the back alongside the leap year indicator. Only ever need it when setting the QP.

  2. I really don’t understand why they choose to ruin their distinctive lay-out of the perpetual calendar.

  3. Agree with Chia-Ming. Much preferred the pointer arrow, especially as it gave more space for the signature smokey dial background. Shame – one of the cleverest Perpetual Calendars out there.

  4. I cannot understand why anyone thought this a good idea.

  5. Love the watch, yes it does clash from Moser purity, but I love the better functionality.

  6. I have a funky blue endeavour centre seconds, which I love for its utter simplicity. However the pioneer series is growing on me, and the bold and striking character is a confident departure from what we already know from Moser. And why not? There is no need to be a one trip pony, and by keeping within the same parameters for dial and case design, I see this is a brand which knows just what they are doing, and in doing so, appealing to a broader audience.
    Very cool!

  7. I hope they do appeal to a wider audience because they deserve to. Their technical nous is superb.

Leave a Reply