March 8, 2019
by Kenny Yeo
The Pioneer collection from H. Moser & Cie. was expressly conceived as a high horology timepiece from an independent watch brand that would stand up to the rigors of daily wear. To that end, it has one feature that many other pieces from independent brands lack: a suitably high water resistance. For 2019, H. Moser & Cie. is introducing two new models to the collection with the brand’s signature fumé dials. Meet the new H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Tourbillon And Pioneer Centre Seconds watches with Midnight Blue fumé dials.
H. Moser & Cie. calls these “all-terrain models,” and a key feature in both is that their cases feature screw-down crowns and are water resistant to 120 meters — such a high level of water resistance is not usually found on watches from independent brands. They also come with black rubber straps. While I wouldn’t call these outright sports watches (the overall design is actually still fairly elegant), it is clear that H. Moser & Cie. wants owners to feel confident that these watches are up for anything — even a swim in the pool.
Let’s begin with the Pioneer Centre Seconds. The case is 5N red-gold, 42.8mm-wide, and around 10.6mm-thick. The case also features black DLC-finished titanium components, most notably on the inside of the lugs, the screw-down crown, and the caseback. Sapphire is used for the crystal, and it also features a sapphire display caseback. The dial is simple and effective. It is Midnight Blue and features a smoked finish that H. Moser & Cie. has become known for. The hour, minute, and seconds hands, as well as the applied hour markers, are all red-gold. To aid in reading the time in the dark, the hands and hour markers feature Super-LumiNova.
The movement within the Pioneer Centre Seconds is the in-house caliber HMC 200. Visible through the sapphire display caseback, owners can appreciate the signature Moser “double stripes” decoration on the bridges and plate. Notice also the sturdy balance bridge, which offers more stability than a balance cock. The movement features hacking, beats at 3 Hz, and has a generous power reserve of 72 hours.
The Pioneer Tourbillon is largely similar to the Pioneer Centre Seconds. It also comes in a 5N red-gold case with titanium accents, and the case size is also 42.8mm but it is slightly thicker, at around 10.8mm. Water resistance is 120 meters and it comes with a rubber strap. The dial is largely similar, too. You have a Midnight Blue dial with a smoked finish, red-gold hands and hour markers, and Super-LumiNova on the hands and hour markers for legibility in the dark. The only difference is that you have a large one-minute flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
The Pioneer Tourbillon is powered by the in-house self-winding caliber HMC 804, which is visible through a sapphire display case back. Dominating the view from the caseback is the large bi-directional winding 18k red-gold rotor with the company’s logo. Beat rate is 3 Hz and the HMC 804 has a power reserve of at least 72 hours when fully wound.
H. Moser & Cie. has certainly never been afraid to take the path less traveled. I think these two watches are a good representation of the company’s spirit and philosophy. These two watches are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but for the select group of enthusiasts who’ve always wanted a high horology piece from an independent house that is tough enough for daily wear, I can’t think of many other watches that fit the bill. Plus, the blue fumé dials look gorgeous. The H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds is priced at $19,900, while the Pioneer Tourbillon is priced at $59,900 and is limited to 50 pieces. Visit h-moser.com to learn more.