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H. Moser & Cie - Very Rare
To fully grasp the story of H. Moser & Cie., we must turn the hands of time back a couple of centuries, specifically, towards the end of 1805—the year Heinrich Moser was born. That he was born into a family of watchmakers in Schaffhausen, Switzerland was just his luck. By the time he was 21, it was only natural that the heir to a long line of Swiss watchmakers had already completed his training in horology. However, thanks to his youthful entrepreneurial spirit, a young Heinrich had bigger plans than to simply set up shop in his hometown. Not that he could, even if he wanted to. Because at the time, the town council denied his request for permission to open a workshop or maintain the town’s clocks, as previous generations of Mosers had done. So at the young age of 23, a fuming Heinrich set off to make his fortune abroad and, consequently, he established H. Moser & Cie., in St Petersburg, Russia.
Heinrich Moser’s passion to demonstrate brilliant craftsmanship and superlative mechanisms meant that his business prospered and it took less than fifteen years for the Moser name to dominate the watch trade in Russia. He had also set up a factory in Le Locle, Switzerland, which manufactured pocket watches for his businesses in European and Asian regions. In 1853, Heinrich returned to Schaffhausen, a successful and wealthy businessman. Eventually, all his operations were moved to Switzerland and he was instrumental in turning Schaffhausen into the industrial horological hub of German-speaking Switzerland as we know it to be today.
However, the Russian story doesn’t end there. After Heinrich’s death in 1874, the company was sold since none of his heirs were willing to take the reins. The new management continued Moser's activity in Russia but in 1917, they were forced to leave due to the October Revolution, a period of political and social upheaval, which eventually culminated in the establishment of the Soviet Union. For the better part of the 20th century, Moser remained dormant, even during the turmoil of the quartz crisis when quartz movements wreaked havoc on the Swiss watch industry. It then became a part of the Dixi Mechanique Group in 1979. But 2005 marked the roaring resurrection of H. Moser and Cie., when the founder’s great-grandson, Roger Nicholas Balsiger, revived the company. It debuted three models, the Monard, Monard Date and Mayu—timepieces that paved the way for the modern Moser look that we now know and love. The Swiss watch industry was still recovering from the quartz crisis, and watchmakers were producing over-the-top designs and mechanisms in their watches in order to compete and stay relevant. But Moser gracefully entered with clean, minimal, and richly-coloured dials, offering a beautifully restrained alternative to the excessively complex timepieces dominating the market at the time. H. Moser watches have been divided into collections termed Streamliner, Pioneer, Endeavour, and Heritage.
In 2012, the former CEO of Audemars Piguet, Georges-Henri Meylan, took over the brand and appointed his son Edouard as boss of the revitalised company. This point in the timeline, since the brand has been with the MELB Holding Group of the Meylan family, marks the turn of Moser into the company we’ve come to know and adore. H. Moser & Cie. put into service their motto ‘very rare’, and with good reason. With only a few thousand watches made every year, their timepieces exemplify the brilliance of small-scale craftsmanship, attention to detail and creativity. Running quite an impressive operation, it’s evident that Meylan has invested a lot into the company, with the brand developing, constructing and hand-finishing their timepieces in-house. What’s more impressive is the fact that the movements powering these watches are developed in-house too.
The watches created by H. Moser & Cie. are undoubtedly modern but pay homage to more than 200 years of the brand's watchmaking legacy. This is clearly seen in collections such as the Venturer and Heritage. But on the other side of the spectrum, representing the present and the future, lie collections such as the Endeavour, Pioneer and the Swiss Alp Watch. What’s common, however, to each and every watch crafted by the brand is that they’re recognisable before you even see an emblem, which is interestingly absent altogether in several signature pieces from H. Moser. These watches without so much as a monogram of their makers are the Concept editions, which speak to the brand’s stark and minimal aesthetic—a bold approach indeed. A distinctive design philosophy binds all their timepieces together—one that is restrained, understated and yet impossibly elegant.
What we love most about the H. Moser & Cie. is the humour and lightness it brings to the otherwise largely serious and business-driven world of Swiss watches. Every year, without fail, the brand manages to completely divide the industry, and inevitably becomes a major talking point for horologists, with the release of a ridiculous timepiece right before SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie), an event where the watch industry meets and the year's new trends are revealed. For example, in 2017, Moser created the most Swiss watch ever, with a case made out of Swiss cheese. The year after, we saw the creation of the ‘Frankenwatch’, which featured distinctive design elements from almost every iconic watch brand in the world. And for 2019, Moser created the ‘Nature’ watch to remind the greater Swiss watch industry of the importance of sustainability, with a stone and lichen dial and a case adorned by plants native to Switzerland.
It’s that never-ending quest for perfection that H. Moser strives for and the Streamliner collection is a homage to that. Borrowing its inspiration from the automotive and locomotive designs of the 1920s, the Streamliner collection affectionately amalgamates the stance of a locomotive and the finish of a premium automobile. The effortless aesthetics are born with meticulously placing each of the bracelets with utmost precision. The dial boasts H. Moser’s heritage and essence.
With the tagline pertaining, “From the wetsuit to the three-piece suit and everything in between.”, the Pioneer collection is a statement with subtle hints of ruggedness.
The Pioneer collection is classified as a sports watch. Whilst being a sports watch, the Pioneer collection holds down the values and bearings of the H. Moser heritage and tradition.
Embalming the art of minimalism, the Endeavour collection is a hotbed for being simple but not mundane. The flavour lies in the craftsmanship of H. Moser and entails the centuries-long architecture and tradition.
H. Moser & Cie.’s story is one with countless twists and turns, but the brand has come full circle some 200 years after its inception. The brand will be loved by horologists who like to appreciate the lighter side of life, with a healthy dose of a clean design language and an intricate legacy that's hard to replicate.
Important H. Moser & Cie. Collections
Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)
What is special about H. Moser & Cie.?
The magnetic persona of the timepieces created by H. Moser & Cie. has attracted horologists around the world for decades. Keeping a fine balance between minimalism and grand illusions, H. Moser & Cie. offers elegance and grace to your wrists.
Which are the most popular H. Moser & Cie. collections in India?
The most popular H. Moser & Cie. collections in India are:
Which are the most popular H. Moser & Cie. watches for men in India?
The most popular H. Moser & Cie. watches for men in India are:
Which are the most popular H. Moser & Cie. watches for women in India?
The most popular H. Moser & Cie. watches for women in India are from the Endeavour collection.
Where can I get my H. Moser & Cie. watch serviced?
One of the best luxury watch service centres in India is operated by Ethos Watches. Ethos Watch Care | Shop No 118-120, First Floor, Square One Mall, District Center Saket New Delhi - 110017 | Phone: +91 11 4142 1691, +91 93190 95793 | E-Mail: email@example.com | URL: https://www.ethoswatches.com/repair-and-service/