January 13, 2021
by Bilal Khan
Just released by H. Moser & Cie is the new Endeavour Minute Repeater Tourbillon, a follow up to 2019’s debut piece that is “lighter” in a couple of ways. This high-complication piece now comes in a titanium case with an all new “Electric Blue” dial that cogently demonstrates another side of Moser’s minimalist aesthetic when compared with the original white gold case with a black lacquered dial model. Limited to 20 pieces, this Minute Repeater Tourbillon not only shows off the brand’s watchmaking prowess but also serves as an excellent case study for Moser’s truly special design ethos.
Most brands would choose to go in a more decorative or ornate direction when designing such a technically impressive halo piece. Just earlier this year, Patek Philippe released the 5303R Minute Repeater Tourbillon Grand Complication watch, an elaborately finished beauty that ironically enough is its first to have the striking mechanism on the front of the dial. I’d say this is about all it has in common with the Moser (who did do this first, to be fair). Well, that and the multi-six-figure price tags for both.
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Moser’s “concept” dials are all about getting to the essence of what makes a watch beautiful — and leaving none of the filler. With no text or markers on the dial, all we see are the hour and minutes hands, the flying tourbillon, and the chiming mechanism with its captivatingly curved gongs and hammers. The new “electric blue” dial color is a bright sunburst blue that foregoes the brand’s signature fumé dials. That is well enough for me, as I appreciate restraint in not always using every tool in the toolbox.
I can’t speak to the weight of this Endeavour Minute Repeater Tourbillon, but the titanium case will almost certainly feel disconcertingly light at first. Measuring 43mm-wide and 14mm-thick, the case doesn’t get too bloated, though it’s certainly not the slimmest out there. The sliding bolt is done in a Teflon runner and built into the main plate, saving some space. They widened the middle of the Endeavour case so as to allow for the movement as well as create the necessary soundbox for the chiming. This being a halo piece from Moser, they obviously designed everything with the optimization of titanium’s rigidity and low density in mind.
The HMC 903 is a manual-wind caliber consisting of 400 parts and done in collaboration with Timeless Manufacture SA for the chiming mechanism. (The seemingly identical HMC 903 found on the previous Endeavour Minute Repeater Tourbillon was done in partnership with MHC; I will try to update this article if I learn more about this change.) The hand-finished HMC 903 is classically Moser with the signature double-crested Geneva stripes on the bridges and plates. Operating at 21,600 vph, it has a 90-hour power reserve, which is considerably more than the 40 hours of the Patek 5303R.
Though it sounds contradictory to my praise for Moser’s minamalist style, I can’t help but think the finishing of the HMC 903 is missing just a little bit of drama. A more elaborately finished movement would likely raise the price, but I doubt the Moser-lover buying this piece would bristle at a premium for something that would elevate the piece that one elusive step between greatness and masterpiece.
That said, the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Minute Repeater Tourbillon is a stunner in titanium with this new Electric Blue dial — a flex that few brands can achieve, and even in a style uniquely their own. Limited to 20 pieces, the Endeavour Minute Repeater Tourbillon is priced at CHF 330,000. You can learn more at h-moser.com.