While most of the brands participating in Only Watch 2023 announced their creations nearly two months ago, a handful of others have delayed unveiling their timepieces to the public. Among those, one of the more anticipated pieces that wasn’t formally presented within the initial wave of announcements was the latest collaboration piece between H. Moser & Cie. and MB&F. Both of these brands are among the most popular names within the independent luxury watch scene, and whenever they team up on a model, it always generates strong interest among collectors. For Only Watch 2023, the two brands have collaborated once again on a one-of-a-kind timepiece, and the H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium takes Moser’s Streamliner case and fully-exposed minute repeater mechanism, combines it with MB&F’s suspended balance wheel, and then adds a tiny sculpture of a DJ panda bear.
The cushion-shaped case of the H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium (ref. 6906-1200) is crafted from stainless steel and measures 42.3mm in diameter by 12.7mm thick, although its overall height jumps up to 17mm if you count the heavily domed sapphire crystal that protects the dial-side of the watch. A winding crown adorned with a panda bear paw print sits at 3 o’clock, a slider for the minute repeater is positioned opposite it on the 9 o’clock side of the case, and the reverse side of the watch receives a screw-on display caseback that helps support its 50 meters of water resistance. The case is fitted with the Streamliner collection’s signature integrated bracelet, and aside from the heavily domed crystal and the slider for the minute repeater, the overall case profile of the H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium is very much in line with what people have come to expect from Moser’s Streamliner collection.
Given that it now includes a minute repeater complication, a number of updates were made to the design of the case in order to ensure that the H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium could maintain its signature appearance. The slider for the minute repeater is built into the mainplate to save space, and the middle case has been hollowed out to allow the sound from the repeater to resonate. Additionally, since the movement is essentially split on either side of the dial, assembly via the caseback side of the watch would not be possible, and Moser had to develop a removable bezel system that would allow watchmakers to integrate the caliber from the front side of the case. In addition to facilitating the assembly process, this redesigned bezel system also makes the interior of the case larger, which further helps the sound of its minute repeater resonate. All of that said, while the external profile of the watch follows much of the same core blueprint as the standard Streamliner series, the rest of this one-off piece is unlike anything else that you will find within the collection.
Looking at the face of the Streamliner Pandamonium, the dial offers an overall layout that is somewhat similar to what can be found on the Moser x MB&F LM101 collaboration piece from 2020. Representing a blend of both brand’s design DNA, the dial showcases an aquamarine-colored surface with a sunburst pattern finish that also features a fumé effect that darkens towards the outer edge. Sitting center stage under a sculptural V-shaped bridge is MB&F’s signature suspended balance wheel with double hairsprings, while the time is displayed by two small leaf-shaped hands that are positioned on the far upper right corner of the dial and dedicated to the hours and minutes.
Meanwhile, the upper left side of the display houses Moser’s exposed minute repeater mechanism, which has its gongs circling the outer perimeter of the dial. The structure that holds the hammers for the minute repeater has been turned into a tiny DJ booth, with each one of the turntables mounted on an axis of a hammer. When the minute repeater mechanism is activated, the turntables rotate to correspond with the motion of the hammers as they chime out the time, and the whole DJ concept is intended to represent the mixing of both brands’ styles in one single watch. Additionally, the panda bear has become somewhat of a mascot for MB&F’s Only Watch pieces, and controlling the DJ decks on the Streamliner Pandamonium is a 5.35mm panda DJ sculpture that is crafted entirely by hand in solid white gold, and it even features its own little set of headphones, along with tiny paw prints on each of the turntables.
Powering the H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium is the manually-wound Caliber HMC 906 movement, which has been developed specifically for this one-of-a-kind timepiece that will be auctioned this year at Only Watch 2023. Additionally, while some brands use their Only Watch pieces as a way to introduce a new caliber that will ultimately make its way into future releases, it has specifically been stated in the official press release for the Streamliner Pandamonium that this particular movement won’t be used inside any other models. The large balance wheel suspended above the dial beats at a frequency of 18,800vph (2.5 Hz) and when fully wound, the Cal. HMC 906 movement offers users a power reserve of approximately 54 hours.
While the anthracite gray plates and bridges of the Cal. HMC 906 movement are adorned with Geneva stripes and can be admired through the sapphire window in the caseback, the most interesting and dynamic components of this particular caliber — in this case, the balance wheel, escapement, and minute repeater mechanism — are all positioned on the dial-side of the watch in order to allow owners to admire their operation while wearing it. This approach has become a signature feature of the collaboration models between Moser and MB&F, and on the Streamliner Pandamonium for Only Watch 2023, it creates a highly dynamic appearance with the balance wheel constantly moving in the center and minute repeater mechanism chiming out the time next to the panda DJ on the dial.
Both H. Moser & Cie. and MB&F are premium brands that produce luxury timepieces with extremely high levels of execution and finishing; however, neither one takes itself too seriously when it comes to how they choose to present themselves. Moser and MB&F both seem to share a mutual understanding that detailed craftsmanship and high-end complications don’t always need to be presented in a stoic manner, and the H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium perfectly represents this lighthearted approach to very serious watchmaking. While the pre-sale estimate for the H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium (Lot 28) is set at CHF 300,000 to 400,000, these projections ultimately mean very little given that this is a one-of-a-kind timepiece, and the actual price of the Streamliner Pandamonium will be determined when the hammer falls at the Only Watch 2023 auction in Geneva on November 5, 2023. To learn more about the Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium watch, please visit the Only Watch website.