The luxury sports watch is hotter than ever: just try and get your hands on an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak or a Patek Philippe Nautilus at a retailer and you’ll see what we mean. Numerous brands have responded to this unabating trend for luxury sports watches and 2020 kicks off with a novel steel watch with all the DNA of the genre, including an integrated bracelet and a shaped case. But once you’ve seen the watch, you’ll agree that this is definitely not a copy of the standard luxury sports watch fare we are accustomed to. This time, it’s by an indie watchmaker, which starts the year with a bang, launching a watch with a distinct personality. Meet the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic.
As its name suggests, this new Chronograph is inspired by streamline design. Breaking away from the countless Royal Oak-inspired integrated bracelet watches, the lineage of the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph might remind the fluid curves of some Porsche Design and IWC creations (think Ocean 2000 or ref. 3702). Anyway, the non-conformist Streamliner is surely among Moser’s most expressive designs. It feels different from previous creations yet, at the same time, it features Moser elements in many respects.
Fashioned out of stainless steel, the cushion-shaped case of the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph features clean curves, fluid lines and an emphasis on aerodynamics. The crown is located at 4 o’clock while the elongated push-pieces are on either side of the case. Emerging at the top, the glass box sapphire crystal is gently domed. The sunray-brushed bezel slopes down and is extended by the integrated steel bracelet. As with most Moser watches, the casebands are recessed and offer a nice, architectural design.
The bracelet was actually the starting point of the design. Featuring fluid lines, it is based on parallel articulated links featuring a gentle wave combining a vertical brushed finish with polished surfaces. The finishing of the bracelet is rather impressive, with the straight brushed flat surfaces enlightened by multiple polished bevels, in between each link and on the sides. The short links allow for the desired flexibility, ensuring that this watch sits comfortably on the wrist. The 3-blade folding clasp is released via two pushers.
Despite the 42.3mm diameter and the 14.2mm height, the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph wears much smaller than expected. The absence of lugs ensures a small lug-to-lug dimension (not measured here) allowing the bracelet to curve gently around the wrist. In terms of conception, it is clearly a well-thought-out watch.
The dial conforms to Moser’s minimalist approach. Opting for “understatement, ergonomics, and legibility” the chronograph is displayed centrally (both for the seconds and the minutes), without the need for additional sub-dials. As such, it is reminiscent of the approach found in the iconic and minimalist Moser Perpetual Calendar.
The dial is not only fumé, in the characteristic Moser style, but it is also “griffé” (deeply vertically brushed). At its periphery, two white and red scales keep track of the elapsed minutes and seconds. The same minimalist approach can be said about the indexes and markers. The look, emphasized by the large applied 60 numeral and the lack of hour indexes, has a 1970s vibe and racing credentials.
A tachymeter scale, printed on the inner flange, underscores the dynamic character of the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph. The hour and minute hands feature Globolight® inserts for optimal legibility in all conditions.
NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE
The Moser Streamliner Flyback Chronograph isn’t just a design. It is also a highly technical watch that is powered by a sensational movement. Technically impressive and aesthetically superb the movement was developed with Agenhor. The calibre HMC 902 is the third iteration of the mind-blowing Agengraph, the central chronograph imagined by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. Following the Fabergé and Singer Reimagined versions, the Moser iteration is the first-ever central chronograph with flyback function.
A complete re-engineering of the chronograph, the Agengraph redefines fundamental principles that have remained unchanged for decades. The calibre HMC 902 chronograph mechanism is driven by a column wheel. Built on two levels, it incorporates a cam storing energy for an entire minute before releasing it precisely when a feeler-spindle falls to generate an instant jump of the minute hand.
The coupling combines the best of the vertical and horizontal clutch. It is made horizontally, which requires less space. Yet the connection is made by friction wheels with no teeth, just like with vertical clutches – thus avoiding any accidental jump when the chronograph is activated. A tulip-shaped spring allows the chronograph to be triggered or released.
Winding is bi-directional and the two barrels can store up to 54 hours of power reserve. One of the specificities of this automatic movement is to have the rotor positioned dial-side, ensuring an uncluttered view through the caseback on this intricate 434-part movement. As you would expect, the finishing is top-notch.
THE LUXURY SPORTS WATCH BY MOSER
The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic captures what people expect from a luxury sports watch. It is robust, well-protected and water-resistant to 120m – and we’re talking “dynamic water resistance”, meaning that the chronograph can be used underwater. Also, the crown located at 4 o’clock screws down. Comfortable to wear and practical, this elegant chronograph marks a departure from the classical repertoire of the steel luxury sports watch, and as such it might be a polarizing design. It is bound to generate debate.
From a technical perspective, when we learned about the project, we were betting on an in-house movement. But the use of the flyback iteration of the Agengraph is a nice surprise. Last, as all Moser watches, the Streamliner displays a remarkable quality of workmanship. All in all, its unique personality makes it a great option for those looking for a distinctive and exclusive luxury sports watch. I can thoroughly recommend that you go hands-on with it, if only just to try it on the wrist.
The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic is a limited edition of 100 pieces. Price is set at CHF 39,900 or EUR 38,000. For more information, please visit h-moser.com.