Discrete, elegant styling is an agreeable trait evinced by many of the timepieces in the H. Moser & Cie. catalogue. The Swiss brand has recently produced ‘concept’ watches, including the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Concept Funky Blue launched earlier this year. This new timepiece eschews indices, some functions and branding to deliver a minimalist aesthetic.
I am sure many parents will agree with me when I say that children have a heightened awareness of brand names. Whether it is a brand of soft drink, make of training shoe or designer name gracing a shirt, young consumers will often champion the virtues of trademarked product names, endeavouring to justify to their cash-strapped parents the price premium demanded.
Children are not alone in their adoration of H. Moser & Cie specific brands. Cars are often selected by men because of the symbol gracing the bonnet and what the would-be driver perceives the marque says about them. Some ladies will swear undying love for a brand of shoe or luxury handbag because of the visible nomen or logo displayed.
In reality, hordes of consumers gravitate to familiar brands. In some cases the absence of virtue negates the premium demanded and can elicit comments such as ‘you’re just paying for the name’. Conversely, a branded product which has surpassed the purchaser’s expectations in the past, is more likely to be selected again. Indeed, in this latter case, the branding has provided reassurance and peace of mind.
The business argument for branding is that it helps differentiate a product from competing lines, encourages customer loyalty and helps justify increased pricing. It therefore seems unusual that H. Moser & Cie. has unveiled its ‘Concept’ watches in recent months, deliberately eschewing branding.
Last year, H. Moser & Cie. revealed four versions of its Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept. The model was a limited edition variant of the company’s standard ‘Endeavour Centre Seconds’ but with two distinct differences. Firstly, the dial of the ‘Concept’ watch dispensed with the standard model’s hour markers. Secondly, the maker’s name was absent from the dial.
On one hand, the resultant appearance proved to be very clean; the three hands presented, floated over a sumptuous fumé dial, absent of any distracting detail. However, the omission of indices with this limited edition timepiece was not quite as user-friendly when determining the prevailing time.
The Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Concept Funky Blue
This year, H. Moser & Cie. has repeated the ‘Concept’ idea with its sublime Endeavour Perpetual Calendar. I have to reveal at this stage that the standard Endeavour Perpetual Calendar (formerly called the H. Moser & Cie. Perpetual 1) is one of my favourite watches.
Perpetual Calendars can often overburden the wearer with too much information, making interpretation difficult, however, no such criticisms could be levelled at the standard Endeavour Perpetual Calendar. A short hand, sharing the same axis as the leaf-shaped hour and minute hands, points to one of the hour markers and, in so doing, indicates the current month.
In addition, the standard Endeavour Perpetual Calendar features a small seconds display above 6 o’clock, a power-reserve indicator at 9 o’clock and a large date display. On the movement a leap year cycle indicator features, mitigating the number of functions on the dial and according a welcome neatness.
In common with the Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept, the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Concept Funky Blue forgoes hour markers and the company’s nomenclature. Furthermore, this latest ‘Concept’ watch goes further, using a scalpel to remove the standard model’s small seconds display and power-reserve indication.
H. Moser & Cie has enlarged its portfolio of models by releasing watches such as the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Concept Funky Blue, bestowing more choice, which in itself is no bad thing. I am sure that there will be many would-be buyers who prefer the minimalism of the ‘Concept’ models. Indeed, I concede that the preference for the aesthetics of either the ‘standard’ or ‘concept’ timepieces is a matter of personal taste.
Personally, I continue to crave the standard Endeavour Perpetual Calendar and consider it to be a horological masterpiece. Moreover, like any piece of art I would like the canvas of my dial to bear the signature of its creator, H. Moser & Cie. I implore the watch company from Neuhausen am Rheinfall not to be shy, proclaim the name of your founder, a remarkable individual whose soubriquet should be celebrated.