H. Moser & Cie. is a small independent watch manufacture that produces only around 1,200 watches every year, and they are most well-known for their perpetual calendar watches. Unlike so many other perpetual calendar watches with busy dials, Moser’s are remarkably simple in design and easy to read. There are no complicated subsidiary dials for the months or date, just a large date window and a small pointer in the middle of the dial that points to the current month. Voilà - that's all. And in 2016, the brand started offering its perpetual calendar watches under its Pioneer collection, which is designed to be more casual and hardy. However, that model - the Pioneer Perpetual Calendar - was only offered in rose gold. Now, there’s an H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Perpetual Calendar watch in stainless steel.
Now, to be clear, this isn’t H. Moser & Cie.’s first perpetual calendar in stainless steel. That honor goes to the Perpetual Calendar Concept Funky Blue dial, which as you might have guessed from the name, has a fantastic brushed metallic blue dial. The new Pioneer Perpetual Calendar in stainless steel also has a blue dial, but it has a much more rugged and aggressive case design.
To begin with, the stainless steel case measures 42.8mm wide and roughly 11.3mm thick. Also, unlike most other perpetual calendar watches, it is water-resistant to 120m. Not only does this mean you don’t have to avoid getting splashed with water, you can even take it swimming if you want to. The higher water-resistance coupled with the more rugged stainless steel case, means this is a perpetual calendar watch that you can, quite possibly, wear every day.
The Pioneer Perpetual Calendar in stainless steel comes with a "midnight-blue" fumé dial and applied indices adorned with a small plot of Super-LumiNova on the flange. The leaf-shaped hands are quite large and also feature Super-LumiNova which, together with the Super-LumiNova on the flange, help improve legibility in the dark.
The configuration of the dial will be familiar to readers who are well acquainted with H. Moser & Cie.’s perpetual calendars. There’s a big date display at 3 o’clock and a small central hand that shows the month. 12 o’clock is December, 1 o’clock is January, and so on and so forth. There is also a power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock, which is important because perpetual calendars are a slight pain to set again if you forget to wind it and the mainspring winds down. The leap year indicator, in case you are wondering, is on the movement side.
The movement is H. Moser & Cie.’s caliber HMC 800. It is a hand-wound movement that provides a power reserve of at least 7 days or 168 hours, and it beats at 18,000 vibrations per hour. It relies on two mainspring barrels for power and, like most watches that H. Moser & Cie. makes, features an interchangeable escapement module that was designed to reduce servicing times. The movement is hand-finished and has many decorated components.
I must applaud H. Moser & Cie.’s decision to release a more affordable and rugged version of their popular perpetual calendar watches. The new Pioneer Perpetual Calendar in stainless steel certainly looks handsome, and I especially like the unique blue dial and also the ingenious perpetual calendar indications. The fact that the watch has a beefier 42.8mm case and is water resistant to 120 meters is just icing on the cake. The H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Perpetual Calendar in stainless steel is priced at $39,900. h-moser.com