April 13, 2015
by Ariel Adams
The H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch is one of the first perpetual calendar timepieces that really captivated me because of its design and technical grace. This is the watch that really launched the modern brand as we know it, and it took the company, I believe, at least a year after the watch was debuted to finally release it. I first wrote about the H. Moser & Cie Perpetual Calendar back in 2010, being originally debuted in 2006, and now, almost a decade later, the watch still feels good-looking and relevant. I’ve finally spent some time with the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar for a full review.
In reviewing the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch, it is impossible to fully describe each watch in the collection. H. Moser & Cie. produced a series of versions in various case materials and with a range of dials. Here, we have the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch in 18k rose gold with a black dial – but I’ve also included some images of the black-colored titanium case model with rose gold hands and hour markers. Compare it to the recently released 18k white gold H. Moser & Cie Edeavour Perpetual Calendar version with their “funky blue” (yes, that is the official name) dial here.
The first thing that really became apparent to me about what makes the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch special is the movement. When you purchase a timepiece like this, what you are mostly investing in is the movement. The in-house made caliber HMC 341 is a fantastic little machine with some interesting features and what really sold me was something so simple – power reserve.
Yes, there is a power reserve indicator on the dial, and I find them extremely useful (if not downright necessary) on watches that are manually wound. What I am talking about, however, is the length of the power reserve, which totals about seven days. That is one full week of power reserve. Why was this important to me? Because I don’t wear the same watch all the time and it was fantastic to leave the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar for a few days and come back to find that the power reserve indicator hand hadn’t even dipped below the halfway mark.
I don’t typically wear a lot of longer power reserve mechanical watches, but when I do, boy do I feel the appeal. Most mechanical watches – especially automatics – have about two full days of power reserve. Adding an additional day for 72 hours of power reserve is nice, but when you start having watches with five or more days of power reserve, to you really begin to appreciate the appeal. Adding more power reserve to a watch movement isn’t as simple as including a larger mainspring barrel. There are issues like torque curves to deal with, and offering long power reserves is always a delicate balance of mixing movement frequency with the type of barrel system used.
Chopard, for example, uses four barrels (2 x 2 paired barrels) for their Quattro system to get eight days of power reserve, and the 50 days of power reserve in the Hublot LaFerrari comes from 11 stacked mainspring barrels. H. Moser & Cie gets away with seven days of power reserve with a double barrel of paired springs and a movement with a steady operating frequency of 18,000 bph. That’s a “slower” movement compared to the 28,800 bph (beats per hour) of most “standard” mechanical movements, but I found the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar to be pretty accurate. H. Moser & Cie even uses a fancy “Original Straumann Hairspring” with a Breguet overcoil in the regulation system to further maintain accuracy over time.
While the H. Moser & Cie caliber HMC 341 is a traditionally flat movement, a curved sapphire crystal over the back of the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar’s case gives it a rounded look. By the way, the crystal is curved in the interest of case wearing ergonomics. More so, the crystal causes light to play off the movement surface in a unique way, so looking at the movement in this H. Moser & Cie watch is going to be a unique experience among most timepieces you’ve probably played with.
Finishing on the HMC 341 is pretty good, and I like details like the gold chatons around the large-sized synthetic ruby jewels. The movement surface as seen through the rear of the case is also where the leap year indicator for the perpetual calendar complication is located. I particularly like this choice of placement since this is a necessary element of a perpetual calendar, but not something that you need to look at on a regular basis. In fact, most other perpetual calendar watches go to some lengths to “hide” the leap year indicator so that it isn’t obtrusive to the overall design. Placing this indicator on the back of the watch is just one of the many little things that feels quite sensible about H. Moser & Cie.’s design sense.
Over on the dial-side of the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar is where things get a bit more interesting. I liked calling the watch the “stealth perpetual calendar” because very few people knew that the watch even had this complication. One of the best features of the dial design is that it simply doesn’t look like a busy perpetual calendar watch. At a glance, you would be forgiven for believing that the dial only had the time with subsidiary seconds, date window, and power reserve indicator.
Actually, the dial of the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch has one more hand, which is a small arrow-style indicator in the center of the dial with the hour and minute hands. This is the month indicator and simply uses the hour marker track to indicate the month. 1 o’clock is January, 2 o’clock is February, and so forth. It amazes me how often people simply did not understand this, as the concept of the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar feels so simple to me. No, the HMC 341 movement doesn’t offer things like the day of the week, but in terms of offering an ultra-minimalist perpetual calendar display, the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar is a serious winner. There are other impressive elements about the watch movement as well, including the ability to change the date both backwards and forwards! And if you are familiar with setting perpetual calendar watches, that is sort of a big deal. I loved this feature and also appreciated H. Moser & Cie’s “flash calendar” which instantly jumps the date disc at midnight.
On the wrist, the H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch is 40.8mm wide and 11.1mm thick. For me, that is a really nice dress watch size, and I found it to be very comfortable looking even with short sleeves (I very rarely wear long sleeves). I mention this because a lot of the time, smaller watches look extremely petite if you aren’t wearing long sleeves. For this reason, in colder cities with a more business environment, people wear smaller watches to go with long sleeves and in warmer places like Los Angeles and Miami where it’s more of a “leisure culture,” you have mostly short sleeves people wear larger watches.
Attached to the case of each H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch is a nicely fitted alligator strap of various colors, and I like how the end of the strap matches the curve of the case. At prices like this, you should expect such details. The watch gets high marks for comfort as well as style – look closely at the case and you’ll see a range of interesting curves and lines which are much more interesting than the standard round-shaped watch case.
While the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch is a stellar timepiece on most levels, I do find that some versions have legibility issues. In theory, the dial design of the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar is clean and super easy to read, but H. Moser & Cie uses some shiny surfaces and a domed sapphire crystal whose particular shape and AR-coating simply lend themselves to too much light reflection. More so, the polished hands and hour markers can easily get lost on the dial in various lighting situations. My hope is that the pictures I took of the M. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar cast it in a flattering light, but it can certainly benefit from some texture and finishing refinements to ensure better legibility.
This latter issue I am referring to is by no means contained to brands like H. Moser & Cie. Proper dial legibility (for a number of reasons) is the most difficult thing to get right on many of today’s watches and is something that requires a huge amount of successful finessing with suppliers. While H. Moser & Cie produces their own movements, elements like dials and hands are more than likely purchased from suppliers. This can make matching all the elements and getting a final product that the brand wants difficult. On other version of the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar this is less of an issue, but I think that with just a bit more effort, the brand can refine the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch collection to be truly flawless. Even so, it is a great timepiece collection with prices that, in my opinion, are certainly fair. Price for this reference 1341-0102 H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch in 18k rose gold is $60,000, and the full price list of the current Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watches is below. h-moser.com
– Rose gold, argenté dial 1341-0103 $60,000
– Rose gold, black dial 1341-0102 $60,000
– Rose gold, fumé dial 1341-0107 $60,000
– Platinum, ardoise dial 1341-0300 $70,000
– Golden Edition,gold fumé dial 1341-0101 $110,000
– Black Edition, matte black dial 1341-0500 $52,000
– White gold, argenté dial 1341-0204 $60,000
– White gold, fumé dial 1341-0205 $60,000
– Palladium, blue fumé dial 1341-0601 $54,000
>Brand: H. Moser & Cie.
>Model: Endeavour Perpetual Calendar
>Price: $60,000 (as tested)
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Looking for a classy, yet complicated dress watch from a cool brand that still gets a nod from watch snobs.
>Best characteristic of watch: Wonderfully laid out perpetual calendar display and fantastic movement.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Overly reflective sapphire crystal and shiny dial elements which inhibit optimal legibility.