The H.Moser & Cie. Streamliner Perpetual Calendar watch hands-on
The Streamliner is a core piece of the brand's vision since the Meylan family acquired H. Moser & Cie, and the 2021 new Streamliner Perpetual Calendar broadens the collection by adding its trademark complication and one of the most advanced perpetual calendars available. The third iteration exemplifies, once again, the brand's philosophy: here is not a product variation rather a new take on the Streamliner, aesthetically and technically.
If we draw the Streamliner collection's Price to Complication diagram, we'd no doubt place the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar in the top right; from a design perspective, I'd set the new one in between, instead; from afar, it kind of looks like an oversized three hands Streamliner, but, from atop, feels like a stripped-down Flyback Chrono instead. The dial is as neat as the "base" model while housing Moser's hallmark perpetual calendar, whose minimalistic design is a call to action for the most demanding and expert watch connoisseur. It draws the chronograph's 42.3 mm case, stopping at 11.0 mm in thickness, given that the hand-wound "in-house" perpetual calendar movement has replaced the Agenhor-sourced integrated chronograph one.
As with an Endeavour, you'll find all the relevant pieces of information subtly displayed on the dial, with the central running seconds here replacing the original small counter at six. When the HMC 341 calibre came out, Moser shocked the industry with a no-frills design, boasting unmatched engineering and ingenious technical solutions. A tiny arrow-shaped central hand works as the month indicator and cleverly adopts the twelve indexes to mark the running month in conjunction with the date, while the leap year indication is placed on the movement's side.
A small gauge at ten o'clock marks the seven days' power reserve when the two barrels are fully wound. The dial first reveals where the 812 differs from its sibling: it comes with central running seconds, as mentioned above, alongside an off-centered crown and date window. Paired to the case is the industry-leading and much appreciated organic-shape bracelet: featuring links that rotate, each, on two points, it has a matte satin finish, from atop, while revealing thin contrasting polished edges between one link and the following one; when wrapping a Streamliner around my wrist I often think of an armadillo's armour, rather than industrial design objects like Aranda\Lasch and Terrol Dew Johnson's "Baskets", for instance.
As far as the Swiss watch industry is concerned, the bracelet reminds me of what Ebel did with the original Sport Classics. In summary, it prides itself on being one of the most comfortable and luxurious steel bracelets, whose engineering is terrific. I love how the clasp is hidden with the Moser arm of coats on top, but I equally think such a bracelet deserves additional detailing on the clasp's hidden part. As an example, an engraved H. Moser & Cie. inscription would be exquisite.
Developed from the glorious HMC 341, the new HMC 812 reminds us how ingenious and forward-thinking engineering and brand are. Moser's goal was to conceive an easy-to-use, error-proof consumer-oriented perpetual calendar. To make a long story short, you can adjust it in both directions as you would with an everyday three-hands watch, without damaging the movement whatsoever.
In this class of products, H. Moser & Cie. still is a class of its own; it has earned the watch community's admiration and brought the perpetual calendar to new heights, as never before. Another great example comes from MB&F (Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar), which recently partnered with H. Moser & Cie. The date change at midnight is instantaneous, and the date itself runs on two superimposed discs (one elapsing the days from one to fifteen, the second one from sixteen to thirty-one instead). It instantaneously jumps at midnight, alongside the small arrow-shaped hand, when you're jumping to the following month as well.
If you place new and "old" calibres alongside each other on a tray, you'll end up noticing the crown's wheel displacement and a few other things; new is the bridges' design and the grey-anthracite treatment to offer a sportier look. The lower part provides an enhanced view of the gearings, while gold chatons and engravings stand out against the greyish base, and their arrangement is now cleaner and more legible. The calibre adopts a Straumann hairspring, manufactured by Precision Engineering AG, a Moser Group subsidiary supplying the finest watch brands in the industry.
Here are two additional features: the first one is Globolight® adopted on hands and indexes. It is not any breaking news, but as far as I know, it still is a Moser's exclusive; Globolight® is the commercial name for a ceramic compound filled with luminescent material. According to H. Moser & Cie., it ensures more consistent and long-lasting performance when compared to standard Super-Luminova®. I think you'll all further appreciate how this thing glows in the dark as we release our following hands-on review, featuring a new Heritage timepiece currently under embargo.
The second one features the new transparent logo, resulting from an ultra-thin layer of translucent enamel deposited on the dial. We had to close up on the dial to help you get more details, revealing the peerless sunray pattern's craftsmanship and how it tapers towards the date window at four.
The Streamliner Perpetual Calendar was among the Geneva Watch Days' highlights and somehow expected considering what the perpetual calendar means to this high-end small manufacture. H. Moser & Cie.'s perpetual calendar mechanism stands as an industry leader and proves the brand's ingenuity, other than now offering a sportier option to an Endeavour or a Pioneer. Technical appeal and execution are top-notch inside and out, ready to meet the greatest expectations from either current Moser clients or newcomers. There's a kind of uniqueness to the value proposition you won't find anywhere else.
It might look bizarre, but the only detail I'd upgrade is the easiest to change, too, since it has nothing to do with craftsmanship, and that's the dial's colour. My opinion is that the approach was too conservative, and the smoked grey tone too dark, darker than the Chrono Launch Edition, thus not unlocking the timepiece's full potential. I hope we'll see a more colourful and vivid Streamliner Perpetual Calendar, by Moser's standards, moving forward. The new Moser Streamliner Perpetual Calendar comes as a non-limited edition model and retails for 52,400 Euros.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®