In 2020, when H. Moser & Cie. released both the original Streamliner chronograph and the Streamliner Centre Seconds, if you had told me the latter of the two would get a salmon dial in three years, I would have said, “You think it’ll take that long?” So, when Moser finally got around to a salmon dial earlier this year, I felt it had missed the boat a bit. Salmon dials (or copper or peach or whatever you want to call them) have been hot over the past five or six years, with every brand from Louis Erard to Greubel Forsey throwing its hat in the ring (to say nothing of every single microbrand). There was only one thing for me to do: try the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Centre Seconds Smoked Salmon for myself.
This is not a new watch, just a new dial, so we’ll start there. Moser is calling this one “Smoked Salmon.” The color was apparently inspired by a type of salmon that eats flamingo feces, gets massaged every day by a specialist (weird job), and is smoked using Scottish whiskey (you can hear H. Moser & Cie. CEO Edouard Meylan talk about it here). I’ve never seen pictures of this alleged rubbed-up whiskey salmon, so we’ll have to trust the brand on its color. There are the occasional vantage points from which the dial has more of a pale orange appearance that one might associate with smoked salmon. But there are also times when it’s a rich butterscotch and times–especially at sharp angles—when it dies altogether and you’re left with an almost black void (not the intentional kind like was done with the Streamliner Vantablack).
That’s the beauty and the tragedy of Moser’s signature fumé dials: A single dial can play so many different ways, but so reliant is it on light that it can also refuse to play at all. With the color and brightness constantly shifting, you may find yourself flapping around madly until the light hits just right and the dial pops the way you like. On balance, I’d say it’s the brushed smoked salmon is absolutely stunning about 70% of the time, pretty good 20% of the time, and spends its remaining 10% being downright ugly (These are the same proportions as I get when I try to make actual smoked salmon). Though, as I type, I realize the ugliness I’m perceiving is really an effect of knowing how beautiful it can be, the disappointment of unmet potential.
Outside the color, there’s one small change that Moser has made. Instead of the printed white logo found on the original Streamliners, the dial features the logo in a clear lacquer. Much like the dial itself, the logo is affected by the light, sometimes disappearing completely. It’s far more difficult to coax out the logo than to get the dial color to shift the way you want, however.
The dial otherwise remains the same as the original, offering Moser’s luxurious take on minimalism. Applied hour markers are set amid a staggered minute track, while the polished hands get Globolight luminous ceramic inserts affixed for a syringe shape and a decent but not spectacular glow. Of note, this logo application isn’t new, having been introduced in the Pioneer line two years ago. It also appears to be making its way into all new Moser models, furthering across its entire catalog the brand’s commitment to minimalism. I think Moser should go even further with the clear lacquer and use it for the minute track. I understand this would make precise setting and reading of the time more challenging, but it would look awesome, and that’s far more important.
The case is identical to the original — 40mm across, 12.1mm-thick, and 39mm lug-to-lug. There are no hard angles to speak of, just smooth lines staying true to the namesake Streamline Moderne style of the 1920s. The cushion-shaped stainless steel case is finished as you’d expect from Moser, with crisp transitions and well-defined brushing. The Streamliner gets a screw-down crown and a curved sapphire crystal to help achieve its 120m of water resistance (which is the standard for this type of watch). Despite the apparent blocky shape of the case, it sits well on the wrist.
The bracelet is incredibly comfortable, dramatically sleek, and pairs perfectly with the case. It looks like fish scales or insect armor or something “biomorphic,” as my colleague said in the initial release coverage. The main complaint about the bracelet is the butterfly clasp; I’ve spoken to owners who love this watch but simply cannot get a perfect fit. Another shortcoming is the lack of some quick-release mechanism (the bracelet can be removed with a standard tool, but it’s a bit harrowing). Moser doesn’t make straps for the Streamliner but, you know, the brand is as far behind on the proprietary quick-release game as it was on the salmon dial game.
The Streamliner Centre Seconds Smoked Salmon is powered by the H. Moser & Cie. caliber HMC200. Like all Moser movements, it is made entirely in-house, including the hairspring manufactured by Precision Engineering AG, Moser’s sister company. It has a three-day power reserve running at 21,600vph and is fitted with an 18k gold rotor. Decoration includes polished bevels, perlage on the base plate, and Moser’s signature striping.
Whatever you think this color should be named—I think I’ve landed on “Shifty Butterscotch”—this new dial is another chromatic spectacle from H. Moser & Cie. It’s not going to change whether you like this watch, but as the only current model of the Streamliner Centre Seconds, and the second ever offered, it’s a pretty great look. If you’re not a fan, just wait three more years and I’m sure Moser will release another dial for the three-hand Streamliner. The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Centre Seconds Smoked Salmon is priced at $21,900 USD. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.