Photos by Mike Razak and Jake Witkin

There’s no shortage of brands introducing “summer” watches. Usually, this involves changing the dial color to something that isn’t navy, black, or white/silver — giving the watch a fresh, bright palette for the hot days of summer. Sometimes, brands will even change a bezel insert for extra fun summery vibes. Earlier this year, just before Watches and Wonders in Geneva, H. Moser & Cie. released a watch that is so summery it makes other brand’s efforts look positively autumnal! The new H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Concept Citrus Green seems to capture the lightness of the summer months more completely. It could have been the citrus green execution of the brand’s signature fumé dial in citrus green or the added color the bright blue strap provides, but as I handled the watch, I think it all came down to the simple white ring encircling the dial.

The Pioneer line is Moser’s sportiest and most casual collection in the brand’s catalog. The Pioneer line offers the most complex case, with the most finishes and textures, and the watches are offered almost exclusively delivered on rubber or textile (with the exception of the Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton on leather). Launched in 2015, the Pioneer collection represented a pivot for the brand towards more casual yet no less luxurious watches. The Pioneer does not appear to compromise on the brand’s stated commitment to creating exceptional very much Swiss-made watches. The Centre Seconds Concept Citrus Green brings the brand’s pared-down “Concept” look to the Pioneer for the first time, doing away with everything but the essential elements of a time-only watch: the hands.

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The specs on the larger Pioneer can be daunting: 42.8mm wide and 14.2mm thick. But the watch, perhaps not surprisingly to those with Moser experience, wears incredibly well. The case itself is plenty attractive, with carved-out flanks that feature grooving echoed in both the bracelet clasp and the pin buckle, creating cohesion around the wrist. The watch has a massive dome sapphire that facilitates its generously curved silhouette, and the screw-down crown affords 120m of water resistance, which, together with the rubber strap or metal bracelet, make this an excellent go-anywhere, do-anything option.

The 22mm curved-end rubber strap is comfortable and has just the right amount of flexibility; it doesn’t stretch or twist too much, but neither is it too stiff. The watch is also available on alligator leather or textile with the same pin buckle as the rubber or a fitted steel bracelet with Moser’s proprietary built-in push-button micro-adjustment mechanism. Owing to the curve of the case, the 14.2mm drips away when the watch is on the wrist; this effect is even more pronounced when the watch is attached to the bracelet for a more seamless transition.

While the case borders on flawless, in my opinion, the dial seals the deal. One thing you can rely upon with Moser is to give you most of what you need to know about a watch right in the name. The Pioneer Centre Seconds Citrus Green tells you you’re getting a pared down (Concept) citrus green fumé dial with center seconds. The bright green is certainly citrusy, but the gradient from the almost-white center to the neon periphery recalls the coloration of a watermelon skin more than any citrus I’m familiar with; strap a bright red strap on here and I’d be looking for seeds. As it’s a concept dial, you won’t find any branding or markers of any kind. While this means that you’re always guessing at the exact time, that limitation is the result of a very intentional design choice as opposed to a flaw. For me, the beauty of the dial (and my own disregard for timeliness) make this a more than acceptable compromise.

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My only regret was that the particular model I got to handle was a prototype, meaning the white flange surrounding the dial was unlumed. On production models, this ring is lumed to match the hands and adds a totally unnecessary but absolutely awesome bit of quirk to the watch. If the lume on the ring is as strong as the hands (and it should be at least as bright, if not brighter), then the effect must be properly neat (I won’t say mesmerizing or anything like that. It is just a ring of lume, after all.)

One of the things about Moser is it doesn’t do any half efforts. Every piece is thought through, and every component impresses. While the case and the dial get most of the attention (obviously), Moser’s in-house movements are no slouches. Here, the brand uses the automatic HMC 201, which offers a 72-hour power reserve at 21,600 vph. The movement gets an anthracite finish with gold lettering, plus Moser’s signature double striping. They’ve also skeletonized a few of the bridges and the rotor to provide a more exposed view.

Aside from the heritage models, I don’t think I’ve encountered a Moser model I haven’t liked. The brand simply knows how to make beautiful watches in a way that few others do, with personality, beauty, and a bit of snarky marketing. This one is no different and had me wishing I had the $15,900 USD lying around to grab one up. For those who do, the H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Concept Citrus Green seems like a perfect summer watch. For more information, please visit the H. Moser & Cie. website

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