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Q&AOn Complications, Collections, Accolades And More—In Conversation With H. Moser’s CEO

Edouard Meylan, the CEO with a sense of humour, talks about the new Vantablack watches, H. Moser’s approach to collections and complications, his own favourite complication and more in an interview that we recently conducted with him. Here are some excepts

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What are the two new 2023 Vantablack Endeavours all about?

We have two main novelties which are a part of the Endeavour collection, in rose gold. There’s the 40mm Vantablack tourbillon, with the tourbillon floating surrounded by the darkness of Vantablack. There’s also the Centre Seconds, which is a little different, because of the indexes. It’s a sandwich dial, where the indexes come from beneath the dial. I like the combination of rose gold with Vantablack. It’s a beautiful combination, very elegant. With a crocodile leather strap it’s formal, but a kudu leather strap would make it a little bit more casual. Then we have the Only Watch. It’s a part of our partnership with MB&F, two years in development. There’s a single movement in a single watch for the Only Watch auction.

“People didn’t have super-Luminova. They could use the minute repeater to tell the time in the dark. It’s super-smart,” says Edouard Meylan, CEO, H. Moser & Cie.

Talk about your association with MB&F?

It’s the second time we’ve worked with MB&F I’ve known Max for a long time, and we’ve been collaborating by supplying to them and developing hairsprings for them. So they’ve been our partners through Precision Engineering for a long time. And in 2020 we launched the Cylindrical Tourbillon Endeavour. Our teams work really well together. They’ve been creating amazing content and an amazing watch. I think it’s fun to work with people like this. We don’t have to meet often even. Max is in Dubai and in Geneva. I am in Zurich. We talk on a regular basis, exchange messages. And things work very smoothly between us.

"We have two main novelties which are a part of the Endeavour collection, in rose gold. There’s the 40mm Vantablack tourbillon, with the tourbillon floating surrounded by the darkness of Vantablack"
“We have two main novelties which are a part of the Endeavour collection, in rose gold. There’s the 40mm Vantablack tourbillon, with the tourbillon floating surrounded by the darkness of Vantablack,” Meylan says. This is the tourbillon he’s talking about

Are there any challenges that you face with partnerships and collaborations like this?

Yes, sometimes you differ on certain elements of design or technical aspects. We were in charge of developing the movement, so Max was a little scared. It was going to be fine, but I know he was going to prepare a back-up in case it didn’t work out. But there’s always a lot of trust and there are always discussions. We include the teams and then together we decide on the way forward.

Is there a reason why the Venturer line has been absent from the portfolio lately?

Yeah, it was announced a couple of years ago that we were going to discontinue the line because it was too close to the Endeavour and we wanted to focus on fewer and more distinctive collections and whether we would go with the Endeavour or the Venturer was a big discussion. We decided that Endeavour allows you to see the dial better with less refraction through the sapphire crystal glass, and therefore we decided that the Endeavour line was the one to go with.

How do you decide on which collections to focus on?

We try to balance things. To be honest, there’s a lot to consider. We have to be careful. We don’t want to be dependent on the Streamliner completely. And we know how difficult it is to source bracelets. That’s why, for instance, the cylindrical tourbillon was introduced in the Pioneer collection. That’s why the lime green concept dial was launched with the Endeavour collection. It’s all in attempt to ensure that all our collections get enough exposure and that we do not depend on only one.

The Watch Guide
The lime green 'Concept' Endeavour, with a dial made of beaten gold, to give it the texture of a lime

What are the challenges that you face while adding high complications and gemstones to a Streamliner watch, which is supposed to be a sport watch?

It’s not easy, but it’s also really about how people use it. It’s about presenting that resilience and the robustness of a sporty watch while also having the option of having high complications and gemstones. It’s really up to the customer, if they want a gemstone watch but also want the benefit and the water resistance of a sporty line.

The Watch Guide
"It’s really up to the customer, if they want a gemstone watch but also want the benefit and the water resistance of a sporty line." This is the Streamliner Tourbillon Vantablack Rainbow with gemstones and a tourbillon

What is your favourite complication aside from the perpetual calendar?

Besides, the perpetual calendar, it has to be the minute reporter. I’ve always thought that minute repeaters are smart and romantic. It was created many years ago for good reason. People didn’t have super-Luminova. They could use the minute repeater to tell the time in the dark. It’s super-smart. I like the sound, I like the way it is science and art at the same time. When we developed the minute repeater for Moser, I was always wanted to show the minute repeater. That’s why we developed the minute repeater and the tourbillon together in such a way so that everything appears in the front.

The Watch Guide
"When we developed the first repeater for Moser, I was always wanted to show the minute repeater. That’s why we developed the minute repeater and the tourbillon together in such a way so that everything appears in the front." This is the Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater

If you had to choose between the minute repeater and the tourbillon, which complication would you choose?

Technically a tourbillon is not a complication. Nevertheless, I would take the minute repeater.

What are some of the craziest ideas that you and the team have had—maybe something that has not been executed?

There are tons of them. For example, do you know how we do the ‘ugly sweater’ for Christmas? It’s not that ugly but it’s called the ‘ugly sweater’. My idea was to create an ‘ugly watch’ for Christmas. It would be an ugly watch that you would wear only for Christmas. But we never did that. It would be something that you would see typically on the lines of those ugly sweaters. For instance, a reindeer motif and those really strong, green, red, white colours on the strap as well.

Edouard Meylan wearing the ‘ugly sweater’

It’s been a while since you’ve made a statement like the Swiss Alp or the cheese watch. Is there a reason why we haven’t seen anything like that for a while?

I consider the Genesis to be a statement. But it’s also probably because we didn’t have a platform like Watches and Wonders, owing to the pandemic. Nevertheless, for us, these are products with which to explore new territories.

What do awards like the GPHGs mean to you?

It’s recognition from our peers, so it’s very important for the team. For me, it’s great to get those awards to go up on the stage and thank everyone. I remember last year when we won the GPHG, we all went out to celebrate. Everyone was very happy upon receiving recognition from peers. Awards will not change much in terms of sales. We will not sell a watch more because it’s won an award. But it makes everyone in the company very happy.

The Watch Guide
The Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon, which won the GPHG 'tourbillon watch' prize in 2022

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1 comments
  • Peggy May 26, 2024 at 8:47 pm

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