H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Perpetual Calendar: Simply Perpetual27 September 2021
Confucius said that “life is very simple, but we persist on making it complicated.” In watchmaking, there are those who try to make it easy and really succeed, even with a perpetual calendar. H. Moser & Cie., for example. Their simplicity has a name: Streamliner Perpetual Calendar.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE PERPETUAL CALENDAR
To start off, remember that in watchmaking the perpetual calendar is a type of calendar that allows the timepiece to show the exact date, considering also the length of the months, including February which changes according to the cycle of leap years.
Despite this, however, the calendar is not completely perpetual, because it does not consider those so-called “secular” years (i.e. divisible by 100) which, according to the Gregorian calendar, are also leap years: those divisible by 400. The first problem would arise in 79 years: at the end of February 2100, a watch with a perpetual calendar would have to be adjusted manually.
Watchmaking engineering has thus invented the perpetual secular calendar, a system using a satellite with four tips, three long and one short, which performs a complete rotation over 400 years, distinguishing between secular leap and non-leap years.
In short, a problem for those who love simplicity. To show all this information, a watch with a perpetual calendar has always required a consistent number of hands, windows, counters. With the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar, however, H. Moser & Cie. completely changes the technical, aesthetic and functional approach to this superb measurement of time.
PERPETUAL 1: THE BEGINNING
It is not the first time that the brand has dealt with a perpetual calendar. It was 2005 and H. Moser & Cie. was returning to the world of haute horology: what better way to do it than by working on this fascinating complication? A complication that, with the Neuhausen am Rheinfall brand, becomes paradoxically… simplification.
The perpetual calendar of 16 years ago was the Perpetual 1; with its clean lines, its classic touch and simplicity earned H. Moser & Cie. the first prize in the Complicated Watch category of the 2006 GPHG. Today, the brand innovates the HMC caliber 341 of the Perpetual 1 and switches from the small seconds version to the central seconds version to adapt it to the modern spirit of the Streamliner collection, embodied in the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar.
THE STREAMLINER PERPETUAL CALENDAR’S CALIBER
It’s not by chance that we mentioned the movement now. Usually, we first talk about the aesthetics of the case, dial and bracelet, then we move on to the caliber. With this timepiece, on the other hand, both aesthetics and technique have so many features of the highest level that we have chosen to start from the heart of the watch: the hand-wound HMC 812 caliber, developed and produced in house.
Like its predecessor, this movement also uses the hour indexes to indicate the months, through a small central red and white hand. The caliber has a double barrel that provides up to 168 hours of power reserve. It beats at 18,000 vibrations/hour and is equipped with the hacking seconds system.
H. Moser & Cie. paid particular attention to the date display at 4 o’clock in the design of the caliber, as pointed out by the CEO of H. Moser & Cie., Edouard Meylan, during the digital presentation of the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar to the Italian press.
Meanwhile, the window displaying the date is large, aligned with the crown, and has excellent visibility. The display system works thanks to two superimposed discs which operate one after the other, from 1 to 15, then from 16 to 31. The date window is positioned at an unusual angle which required the numerals to be tilted to 26 degrees in order to ensure proper visibility. As expected from such a watch, the date changes in a flash at midnight and can be adjusted forward or backward at any time of the day without affecting the functionality of the mechanism.
Of course, the caliber is visible through the sapphire crystal of the caseback: the finishes are worth the price of the watch. The HMC 812 caliber of the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar maintains the traditional Moser double horizontals stripes and an anthracite grey PVD coating on the balance bridges, train wheels, barrel and escapement plate. The main plate is microblasted and features anthracite rhodium plating.
A VERY MOSER DIAL
Also, the dial is precious in the finishes, and balanced in its simplicity. The fumé finish immediately brings it completely into the creative philosophy of H. Moser & Cie. The black color fading to dark gray contrasts with the white and red on the small parts and with the white on the hour and minute hands. The latter arecurved, three-dimensional, with inserts in Globolight, a ceramic-based material containing Superluminova which ensures perfect readability.
At 10 o’clock, the hand indicating the power reserve – in a position that, together with the crown and the large date, turns into an imaginary diameter that captures the eye of the wearer. The H. Moser & Cie. logo at 12 o’clock is made of transparent enamel and tends to fade from the overall view of the watch, as per the brand’s philosophy: first comes the watch, then, if anything, the brand.
But, where is the leap year indicator, so important in a perpetual calendar? In order not to crowd a dial that is a proof of essentiality, it is positioned on the side of the movement and visible through the caseback; a solution already used successfully in Perpetual 1.
SOFT AND SEXY
Finally, the case and the bracelet: the real benchmarks of the Streamliner line inspired by the first high-speed trains of the 1920s and 1930s, to which the collection owes its name. The rounded and soft, almost sensual shapes are clearly visible in the 42.3 mm steel cushion case, waterproof up to 12 atmospheres.
The curves of the case extend into the integrated bracelet, also in steel. The design of the mesh leads it to arch slightly to follow the line of the wrist, even if thin. The links are articulated and alternate vertical brushed finishes with polished surfaces. Even the bezel, which complements the discreet design of the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar, has a sunray finish, as does the case, which alternates with polished surfaces with hollowed and satin shapes on the sides. The sapphire crystal that covers the case is slightly rounded, like a Glassbox type, and gives further softness to the overall shape of the watch.
H. Moser & Cie’s payoff is “Very Rare“, and the company likes to highlight that their creations are “irreverent haute horlogerie“: looking at the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar and wearing it on your wrist, you can easily understand why… (Price € 52.400)
By Davide Passoni