April 6, 2021
by Matt Reudink
H. Moser & Cie brings back the funk with its newly released Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Tiger’s Eye. Revealed today at Watches and Wonders and limited to just 50 pieces each, the Endeavour Tourbillon Concept harnesses the dynamic complexity of Tiger’s Eye in two striking new models that harken straight back to the 1970s. While complex guilloché dials and the myriad nature-inspired textures of Grand Seiko have seen a resurgence in popularity over the last few years, what we haven’t seen is a return to using natural materials like stone. H. Moser & Cie has decided it’s time for that to change, and if you’re looking for inspiration to integrate natural materials into dial design, there’s no better place than the 1970s. This was an era of experimentation in watch design, and the colors and textures afforded by stone dials created a nearly endless palette for watchmakers — from the inky black of onyx to the organic textures of fossil. But perhaps the most striking and dynamic material used on dials from that era was Tiger’s Eye.
A chatoyant gemstone, Tiger’s Eye gains its mesmerizing, light-shifting qualities from the parallel growth of quartz crystals and amphibole fibers that become replaced by silica over time through a process known as pseudomorphosis. Though Tiger’s Eye is typically golden or reddish-brown, H. Moser & Cie utilizes two of the less common varieties: Falcon’s Eye in a brilliant blue whose color is derived from fibrous crocidolite and silica, and Ox’s Eye in a deep blood red. Due to the challenges of sourcing stones with regular parallel lines and the difficulty of working with the material, H. Moser & Cie has limited this release to just 50 of each color. One of the beauties of working with natural materials like Tiger’s Eye is that the end result is, by definition, one of a kind.
CEO Edourd Meylan explains why H. Moser & Cie decided to employ a stone dial for this limited release: “Tiger’s Eye is a natural reinterpretation of Moser fumé dials, which have been a key part of the brand’s success. Its horizontal lines lend it balance and symmetry. It is a dynamic stone that seems to come to life as it catches the light. The richness of its details is revealed gradually; it must be admired from different angles to fully appreciate its beauty. Just like a Moser timepiece.”
In its usual elegant and minimalist style, H. Moser & Cie makes the dial the star of the show, eschewing text, indices, and a seconds hand. The only thing disrupting the dial is the one-minute flying tourbillon with skeletonized bridges at 6 o’clock. If you’re going to disrupt a dial this striking, adding a tourbillon is the way to do it.
Both colorways are complemented by precious metal cases and hands — red gold for the Ox’s Eye and white gold for the Falcon’s Eye. The cases measure 40mm in diameter with a slim 11.2mm case height. Both watches are paired with hand-stitched alligator straps featuring 18k red or white gold clasps engraved with the Moser logo. Powering the Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Tiger’s Eye is Moser’s in-house automatic caliber HMC 804. Thankfully, H. Moser & Cie put this gorgeous movement on full display behind a sapphire caseback. The HMC 804 beats at 21.6kbph, features Moser’s double-stripe finishing, an 18k red gold oscillating weight, original double-hairspring, one-minute flying tourbillon, and a three-day power reserve.
Though there are plenty of trends from the 1970s I’m more than happy to never see again, the use of natural materials on dials is one I’m thrilled to see back. Tiger’s Eye in particular is a luxurious and dynamic material that provides ample visual interest and simply works as a watch dial. And, as usual, H. Moser & Cie pulls it off with plenty of panache. Paired with the red gold case, the Ox’s Eye is particularly striking. Given that H. Moser & Cie embraces everything from traditional craft in the creation of its fumé dials to carbon nanotubes in its Vantablack dials, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise, at this point, that Moser would try something completely unexpected in the creation of the Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Tiger’s Eye. Both the Ox’s Eye and Flacon’s Eye dial versions are limited to 50 pieces each and are priced at $75,900 USD. For more information, visit the brand’s website.