Amazing things can happen when two independent-minded watch CEOs join forces to create something special for the upcoming Only Watch charity auction. Marking their second collaboration for Only Watch, Maximilian Büsser of MB&F and Edouard Meylan of H. Moser & Cie. have dreamed up an exceptional one-off piece dedicated to music. Using a Moser Streamliner case with a signature Moser fumé dial and the brand’s exposed repeater mechanism, MB&F’s touch is irrefutable with the large suspended balance wheel in the centre of the dial and the miniature Panda DJ playing his favourite tunes. This fascinating minute repeater with a three-dimensional movement has been baptised the H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium in honour of the little black and white bear that has become MB&F’s signature mascot for its Only Watch creations.
According to the two brands involved, the idea behind producing a minute repeater was a way of giving Only Watch “the maximum possible resonance”. The miniature panda on the dial is also an invitation to see things through children’s eyes, especially those with muscular dystrophy. Marking his third live performance for Only Watch, the DJ Panda, with his orange headphones, stands in front of a turntable with two paw-printed records. Sculpted in white gold, the 5.35mm high panda is hand decorated, and the miniature turntables, fitted on the axis of the minute repeater hammers, spin in time to the rotation of the mechanism.
FUSING THE BEST OF TWO WORLDS
The Streamliner Pandamonium is a compendium of elements taken from both brands. The case is taken from Moser’s Streamliner collection. Appearing in 2020, it was the brand’s sophisticated and original take on the luxury sports watch with an integrated bracelet and sophisticated, highly fluid lines. A year earlier, Moser had also presented its minute repeater complication executed with signature Moser minimalism with the entire chiming mechanism – hammers and gongs – exposed dial side.
The beautiful Aquamarine (new colour) sunburst fumé dial, another hallmark Moser trait, reveals the chiming mechanism and MB&F’s sculptural and kinetic suspended balance wheel sits proudly centre stage. As the most recognisable feature of the Legacy Machine family, incorporating the balance wheel posed an additional challenge because the gongs had to be bent to allow them to pass over the balance wheel bridge. The double hairspring of the beating heart is, in fact, produced by Moser’s sister company, Precision Engineering AG. With so much kinetic and sculptural action on the dial, it’s easy to overlook the time function discreetly conveyed by the leaf-shaped hour and minute hands at 2 o’clock.
Although the proportions and curves of the stainless steel cushion-shaped case of the Streamliner (42.3mm diameter x 12.7mm thickness without sapphire crystal) have been preserved, a sliding bold had to be added to activate the minute repeater mechanism. Built into the mainplate to save space, the bolt is fitted on a Teflon runner to ensure a smooth slide. Another adaptation to amplify the sound involved hollowing out the case middle. Despite the complexity of the movement and the incorporation of MB&F’s balance wheel, the beautifully brushed and polished case remains water-resistant to 50 metres.
Certain modifications were also required to incorporate Moser’s hand-wound HMC 906 calibre. As it was not possible to case up the movement from below, a removable bezel was devised, allowing it to be integrated from the top of the case. Beating at 18,000vph, the HMC 906 guarantees a power reserve of 54 hours. Contemporary anthracite rhodium plating on the bridges and mainplate complements the horizontal double Moser stripes.
The estimate is set at CHF 300,000 – 400,000, and you can be sure that this Streamliner Pandamonium will be going, going, gone before the Panda can play his first mix. For more information, please consult h-moser.com and mbandf.com.
Created in 2005, Only Watch is a biennial fundraiser for research on muscular dystrophy – Association Monégasque Contre les Myopathies (AMM). Organised under the patronage of HSH Albert II de Monaco, the watches of the 10th edition will be auctioned by Christie’s on Saturday, 5 November 2023, in Geneva at Palexpo. More details at www.onlywatch.com.