Watches: H. Moser & Cie Venturer Small Seconds Collection (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on May 16, 2014

With the Meylan family at its head, H. Moser & Cie has recently undertaken a three-part restructuring of its collections in connection with the life of Heinrich Moser, the founder of the brand. Recognising the personal and professional development of this talented individual, this trilogy started with the introduction of the “Endeavour” collection and Baselworld was the occasion to unveil the second phase with the “Venturer” line.

Whereas the “Endeavour” was more a way of unifying the six models introduced since 2005 (rebirth of the brand), the “Venturer” truly represents a new line. Don’t expect major upheavals though: H. Moser & Cie is a brand that has always been about sobriety, discretion and elegance and the new “Venturer” models are in line with these values.

The very convex sapphire, which makes it so difficult to take pictures

Aesthetically, the line draws upon design elements from traditional pocket watches as well as details reminiscent of the Bauhaus era or the convex crystals fashionable in the 1960s. So far, the collection only includes the Venturer Small Seconds model that was introduced in red gold with three dial variations in Basel.

At 39.00 mm in diameter for a thickness of 12.50 mm, the new case looks very classic with gentle curves and harmonious proportions. It features nice details like the fluted crown with the Moser “M” initial but what strikes me the most is the larger than usual bezel opening and curved sapphire crystal that give you a panoramic view of the dial.

Three interpretations are offered: silver or ardoise sunburst and a stunning red gold fumé. All three are characterised by a slightly convex shape perfectly enhanced by the shape of the gold baton hour markers and the long and slim hands subtly curved at the edge. The small seconds sub-dial has been placed as close to the bottom of the dial as possible.

The brand equipped this new collection with a brand new calibre, the HMC 327. Beating at the frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour, this manually-wound movement with a minimum power reserve of three days has been entirely developed and manufactured in-house. Its diameter of 32 mm is perfectly suited for the size of the case and the view through the sapphire back is of rare beauty.

Technically, connoisseurs will marvel at the presence of a silicon escape wheel and lever, a balance wheel with gold screws, an in-house Straumann hairspring with a hand-applied Breguet overcoil or the hacking seconds mechanism.

Those more inclined towards aesthetic beauty will notice the exceptional standard of traditional watchmaking finishing: bridges adorned with impeccable “Moser stripes”, chamfered and polished edges, beautiful and perfectly polished screws, or the company hallmark expertly engraved in gold.

For me the silver sunburst model was a bit dull in comparison with the beautiful ardoise sunburst version, but the most amazing model is clearly the one with the brand’s signature red gold fumé dial. One thing is certain, though, whatever the rendition, this is an outstanding example of traditional watchmaking at its best.