The Horological ‘Middle Finger’ to Smart Watches – The New H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade bids adieu
In a Nutshell: The Vantablack® technology used in the new H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade — as seen previously in the likes of the Endeavour Tourbillon Vantablack® Black Hands reference 1804-1206 — somewhat connives with a shape reminiscent of the Apple faux-watch to provide horological enthusiasts with a one-off timepiece that’s both daring and understated at the same time.
But most importantly given the unique small seconds counter mimics a loading icon of the so-called “smart-faux-watches” the timepiece is an eccentric and quirky way for a mechanical brand to hit where it would hurt a technology brand the most – poking fun at the slow irritating perennially loading icon.
When and Where
Wednesday 3rd February as a one-of-a-kind conceptual piece retailing for $30’800 USD. To browse the watches on the offical e-commerce platform, head here.
Who Is It For
For the seasoned watch collector who is serious about his collection but knows when to have fun with it.
In the brand’s own words, it is “pays tribute to the codes of connected watches, incorporating refined Vantablack® technology with traditional, fine mechanical watchmaking”.
If you ask me, given that I do see the place for connected accessories but refuse to call them timepieces, this is a perfect ‘middle finger’ to the concept of smart watches concept.
The H. Moser & Cie Vantablack® 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 black watches go beyond merely telling the time, they are designed to elicit a personal bond between the wearer and the watch.
I realise it goes with the blacked out look, but the blackened leaf-shaped hour and minute hands don’t seem to provide with much legibility, at least in the media photos.
The heart used in the ref. 5324-1205 is the hand-wound HMC 324 Manufacture calibre featuring hacking seconds, Moser teeth for all wheels and pinions, an interchangeable Moser escapement, original Straumann® Hairspring, gold escapement wheel and pallet fork, and is finished with Moser stripes.
The 32 x 36 x 4.8mm movement comprises of 27 jewels, boasts of an impressive (min.) 96 hours power reserve, beats at the frequency of 2.5Hz (18’000 A/h), and offers the functions of central hours and minutes, offset small seconds at 6’o clock displayed as a disc, and a power-reserve indicator on movement side.
The calibre HMC 324 is encased inside a 38.2 x 44.0 x 10.5 mm steel case with black DLC coating and comes with a hand-stitched black alligator leather strap with a steel pin buckle with black DLC coating and engraved with the Moser logo.
How Does It Do
The use of a 100% Swiss Manufacture movement, power reserve of 96 hours, and a dial with no logo or indices, all combined with stellar looks define the new H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade.
The use of Vantablack® is an added welcome touch that ‘upgrades’ this collection. 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 put, Vantablack® is the blackest black ever produced by artificial means and as a result, the new H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade is an absolutely stunning black watch.
Another quirky design feature that garners attention on the dial is the style of depiction of small seconds at 6’o clock – the offset small second has been rather uniquely designed as a shaded disc made up of openings that evoke the constant passing of time.
“This idea was conceived by a customer and friend of the brand, a true enthusiast and fan of the Swiss Alp Watch collection. He came to visit us with an extremely precise design and we immediately wanted to create this model, perfectly in line with our philosophy, with a touch of humour and a hint of provocation”, explains Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie.
What I personally love about this redesigned second’s counter is that again in the same vein of saying ‘[email protected]#$-off’ to the smart watches, this looks like a processing counter or page loading icon of a digital device, waiting for some action to occur! Instead here, the action is already occurring – it’s telling the time!
Check it out yourself in the video below to see what I mean.
Timepieces like this open up a new world of horological Pandora’s Box that reveals H. Moser & Cie’s successful attempt at re-inventing the Haute Horlogerie world.
Farewell, Adieu, Aufwiedersehen. The new H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade is the epic finale that wraps up the tale of the Swiss Alp Watch saga, a journey that thankfully countered the existence of dime-a-dozen connected or smart faux-watches.
For more information on this watch and other H. Moser & Cie watches, head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are ©MOSER SCHAFFHAUSEN AG. All Rights Reserved.