August 30, 2021
by Bilal Khan
Just released for Geneva Watch Days 2021 is the new H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar. The third iteration of the Streamliner, the Perpetual Calendar takes Moser’s most prolific complication and applies to it what has become the brand’s breakout collection. There are not many steel perpetual calendar watches with integrated bracelets and 120m of water resistance, especially at this price point. With Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendars selling well into the six-figures, the market is craving what brands like Moser are offering.
If you’re unfamiliar with the basics and background of Moser’s Streamliner, I recommend reading my article about the inaugural Stramliner Flyback Chronograph here and our David Bredan’s extensive review of the three-hand Streamliner Centre Seconds here.
The Streamliner Perpetual Calendar case/bracelet is done in the same brushed steel and style as its predecessors, though it’s significantly thinner than the flyback chronograph. Measuring 42.3mm-wide and 11mm-thick without crystal (closer to 12 with), it feels balanced and secure on the wrist due to the cushion-shaped case and that comfortable bracelet. I believe this Blackor fumé dial is the same anthracite gray that was introduced with the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph. Also, I am liking the new transparent lacquer logo on the dial that we first saw on the Pioneer Mega Cool earlier this year.
Back in 2005, then-newly relaunched H. Moser & Cie introduced itself to the watch world with the Perpetual 1 that debuted the HMC 341 Perpetual Calendar movement, which went on to win the 2006 GPHG Complicated Watch Prize. Its minimalist layout, ability to set the date forward and backward, and, yes, interchangeable escapement module, have made the HMC 341 Perpetual Calendar a mainstay of the Moser lineup.
Moser has released a couple of perpetual calendar movements in the 16 years since the debut of the HMC 341, with the HMC 800 and HMC 808 for the Pioneer collection coming to mind. With this release, we see the new manual-wind HMC 812 Perpetual Calendar movement that refreshes and updates the modern classic for the Streamliner without messing with what makes it so great. The most obvious update that Moser fans will notice is the removal of the small seconds subdial and the addition of a center seconds hand. Due to this, the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar has four central hands: hours, minutes, seconds, and month.
Moser’s Perpetual Calendar dial layout is an excellent example of economy of design. The 12 hour indices around the circumference of the dial also serve as indices for each of the 12 months of the year, with the small red and white central arrow pointing to the current month. It’s elegant in its simplicity. As with all Moser Perpetual Calendars, the leap-year indicator is found on the movement side with a red arrow designating whether it is a leap year or not.
At 10 o’clock, you’ll see the indicator that lets you know how much of the hefty seven-day (168 hour) power reserve is left, with a red zone for the final 48 hours. Opposite the power reserve indicator at 4 o’clock is the big date display that instantaneously changes at midnight. For anyone not totally familiar with Moser’s perpetual calendars, the ability to set the date forward and backward is so rare that I don’t believe any other brand does it.
The HMC 812 has movement finishes that are as impressive as one would expect from a higher-end Moser, and I’m a fan of the darker tones here. By alternating anthracite-gray PVD coating and anthracite rhodium plating, the HMC 812 has a moody and contemporary feel to it — thankfully, not too contemporary, though, as the old school touches like gold chatons and double-crested Moser stripes are on full display. Operating at 18,000 vph, the HMC 812 has a minimum seven-day power reserve, though I believe it can actually go for closer to nine.
The H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar is, indeed, a niche watch in theory, but handling one in the metal is essential, as it must be experienced in its entirety in order to be fully appreciated. Immaculate finishing on the case, bracelet, dial, and movement make for the total package, a must-try for buyers jaded with the hype around the usual suspects. The Streamliner Perpetual Calendar is priced at $54,500. You can learn more at h-moser.com.