Meet the absolute black watches. Now you see it, now you don’t: the re-invention of time through the new H. Moser & Cie Vantablack®
The Endeavour Concept is H. Moser & Cie’s legacy to the world of horology – it shows how the other house from Schaffhausen has mastered the art of telling time without the need for conventional indexes or branding on watches.
In-fact, it has done this so brilliantly that now when I look at my personal collection of ‘regular’ watches, they seem to have too much unnecessary clutter.
There is something so pristine and clean about H. Moser & Cie’s dials that it paints the picture of the untampered beauty of silent pond waters in the midst of unhampered by humans civilisation.
Or even the waters of Venice these days given they have cleared up for the first time in forever due to the COVID-19 drama.
Almost mythical, this clean beauty of the dials is usually embodied through different colours like Funky Blue and Burgundy. The colours add a vibrant spark to the dials, as if encouraging them to come alive.
Meet (Joe) Black
The new H. Moser & Cie Vantablack® watches are in stark contest to the colourful dials we have gotten so accustomed to.
They are stark black. Dark. But within this darkness lies their appeal, a sort of soul searching quest into a tunnel that doesn’t seem to end.
There is something so intricately overwhelming about the combination of black Vantablack® dial with blackened hands that it takes a while just to accept the idea that this is a watch designed to tell time.
But once you accept it, it opens up a new world of horological Pandora’s Box that reveals H. Moser & Cie’s successful attempt at re-inventing the Haute Horlogerie world.
Following up on their other 2020 releases — Streamliner & Endeavour Concept — H. Moser & Cie has revealed three new editions models as part of their Endeavour & Venturer families. It is hard to believe but despite featuring no colour, embellishment, indices or logo, these black watches still manage to stand out.
So what’s Vantablack®
Vantablack® is an innovative material developed for astrophysics that has previously found use elsewhere in telescopes and in the military through its efficiency in creating thermal camouflage.
H. Moser & Cie describes it as an artificial material that is composed of carbon nanotubes that are 10,000 times finer than a human hair, aligned vertically alongside each other.
This gets a bit a technical but when a photon hits Vantablack®, this material absorbs 99.965% of the light. As humans eyes need reflected light to perceive what they are looking at, Vantablack® is perceived as the absence of matter, a black hole.
Simply out, Vantablack® is the blackest black ever produced by artificial means and as a result, the new releases are absolutely black watches.
The announcement also marks a first for the company: the new black watches have been released to accompany the launch of H. Moser & Cie’s online shopping platform.
With the way things stand in the current pandemic ridden climate of the world, brands are introducing new ways to interact with their stakeholders. You can now buy a Patek Philippe online. IWC Schaffhausen has introduced an online platform to engage by telling stories and showcasing speeches.
Joining them is H. Moser & Cie with this new e-commerce page.
The brand is going to use this to get closer to its customers that are currently isolated in their respective worlds. Fans of the brand can now purchase its creations through this new online sales platform which features a selection of models including these black watches available from now on.
The H. Moser & Cie Vantablack® is being released in variations of:
- Material – white gold, steel or steel with black DLC coating
- Sizes – 39mm, 42mm, or 43mm
- Mechanisms – power reserve indicator or tourbillon movement
- Editions – Limited and non-limited
- Collections – Endeavour or Venturer
In total the new release offers three new black watches made up of the above combinations. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Version 1: Venturer Vantablack® Black Hands, reference 2327-0222
The heart used, calibre HMC 327, is a hand-wound manufacture movement beating at the low frequency of 2.5Hz (18’000 A/h).
The movement is encased inside a 39.0mm diameter and 11.90mm thick 18-carat white gold case. The 32mm diameter movement comprises of 29 jewels and boasts of a very decent 3-day power reserve.
To get into more detail, it features a Moser balance and original Straumann® Hairspring, hacking seconds mechanism, Moser teeth for all wheels and pinions, with all components hand-finished and decorated.
On the display case-back side, there is a power reserve indicator that can be admired along with the decorated movement through the sapphire crystal.
The watch face features the Vantablack® dial with blackened leaf-shaped hands that are covered by a curved sapphire crystal. The dial shows the traditional functions of hours and minutes.
- The crown at 3’o clock is adorned with an “M”
- It comes on a complimenting hand-stitched black alligator leather strap with 18K white gold pin buckle that is engraved with the Moser logo.
Version 2: Venturer Vantablack® Black Hands XL, reference 2327-1213
The heart used — hand-wound manufacture calibre HMC 327 — is the same as the above 39mm version.
The difference is in the case material and size.
The movement is encased inside a larger 43.0mm diameter and 11.90mm thick steel case.
The watch again shows the traditional functions of hours and minutes on the front along with a power reserve indicator on the movement side.
Additional features like the crown at 3’o clock that is adorned with an “M” and black alligator leather strap remain the same as the 39mm model.
Version 3: Endeavour Tourbillon Vantablack® Black Hands, reference 1804-1206
The heart used, calibre HMC 804, is a self-winding manufacture movement featuring a tourbillon and beating at the frequency of 3Hz (21’600 A/h).
The movement is encased inside a 42.0mm diameter and 11.60mm thick black DLC-finished steel case. The 32×5.5mm movement comprises of 28 jewels and again boasting of a very decent 3-day power reserve.
To get into more detail, it is an automatic bi-directional pawl winding system featuring an original double hairspring and a H. Moser & Cie logo engraved 18-carat red gold oscillating weight.
It also features a one-minute flying tourbillon at 6’o clock with skeletonised bridges coated in black PVD. The tourbillon cage, cage wheel, balance bridge and escapement bridge are made from aluminium.
Like the Venturer models above, the watch face shows the traditional functions of hours and minutes only (alongside the aforementioned tourbillon).
- The crown at 3’o clock is adorned with an “M”
- Limited edition of 50 pieces
- It comes on a complimenting hand-stitched black alligator leather strap featuring a steel folding buckle with black DLC coating and engraved with the Moser logo
Watch Ya Gonna Do About It?
In comparison to other big guns of the Swiss watch industry, H. Moser & Cie only produces a bit over 1,500 watches every year. So when they take out a new release, you can surely count on it to carry the weight of exclusivity and uniqueness.
If you are looking for stealth black watches where the black hands simply appear to float and a tourbillon appears out of no where, you have come to the right place.
All the watches come in a daily wearable watch size of either 39mm, 42mm or 43mm. We can see that the Venturer Vantablack® Black Hands XL version has been designed to cater to the growing consumer base that prefers oversized watches in steel.
In terms of our picks, we would go with the reference 1804-1206.
The combination of the Vantablack® dial and the modular one-minute flying tourbillon at 6’o clock with blacken hands on a blacked out DLC-coated case is the standout version of these new releases.
The appearance of a tourbillon on an otherwise black dial — including the blacked case and crown — is just genius.
Given that the tourbillon black watches are limited edition, they are something that should sell out real fast, and if you reckon this is the right option for you, you shouldn’t wait.
The new H. Moser & Cie Vantablack® black watches with their black hole like appearance are a true testament to the brand’s power to create something out of nothing.
Clocking in a new level of stealth, these new black watches go beyond merely telling the time, they are designed to elicit a personal bond between the wearer and the watch.
Mr Black will see you now.