H. Moser & Cie. released the Endeavour Flying Hours earlier this year at SIHH 2018. Many fans of the brand would be familiar with their more classic offerings, but this latest flying hours marks the brand’s venture away from traditional time representation.
The case and dial
The Endeavour case is still employed, with the iconic sunburst dial. Cased in whited gold, it has a diameter of 42 mm and height of 12.3 mm. A signed crown bearing the ‘M’ initial is used. While a first for the brand, the wandering hours display is not completely unusual, considering collectors’ exposure to brands like Urwerk, and many avant-garde designs by independent brands of late. Perhaps the closest in terms of looks and the use of ‘discs’ display, is the Audemars Piguet Star Wheel. However, while the Audemars Piguet uses a central rotating carriage to spin the hour discs which lines up with a minutes track, similar in concept with the Urwerk satellite hours, the Moser Endeavour Flying Hours rotates both hour discs and a rotating central minutes track.
The dial side features several ‘planetary’ gears mounted on star wheels, with a minutes sapphire display in the center and three smaller discs which display the hours set beneath and around it. The minutes track mechanism moves along a 240-degree arc using a central rotating disc. The hour discs then rotate independently, with a single hour indicator at a time turning white and lining up with the minutes track.
There is a certain sporty elegance to the piece, accentuated by the choice of dial color, described as ‘Funky Blue sunburst’ and a less common Kudu leather strap. Kudu is a wild animal found in Africa, that resembles an antelope. Their hide is observed to be more ‘natural’, with distinctive blemishes as opposed to calf leather.
The Endeavour Flying Hours uses the Calibre C806, jointly developed by H. Moser & Cie. and Hautlence. H. Moser & Cie.’s HMC200 is used as the base for the movement which features a bi-directional winding system and a power reserve of at least 3 days. Interesting to note is the choice of a solid red gold oscillating weight. Parts of the movement are also produced in-house, in particular the escapement and hairspring are produced by Precision Engineering, a sister company of H. Moser & Cie. and Hautlence.
The finishing of the movement is sensible, with beveled edges and Genève lines for decoration. It is appropriate for the price point, and also throws more focus on the technicalities than the aesthetics of the movement. With that in mind, we would have to say that the beauty of this watch lies more in the front of the watch rather than the back.
The Endeavour Flying Hours is a well-executed timepiece with a clever conceptual shift in reinventing the wandering hours display. Stylistically, the watch is a product development through the Endeavour series, and uses the same case style as previous classic watches in its category. For some, it offers the classic watch wearer an avenue to explore a less conventional design without having to go all-out crazy. But for critics, they may have preferred to see a new case design which matches the new complication, perhaps a more adventurous case, with a sporty theme, for e.g. cut out lugs or a titanium case, in fact, Moser’s Pioneer case could have been a better choice to launch the new flying hours.
That said, it is great to see H. Moser & Cie.’s latest movement development and technical growth with the Endeavour Flying Hours. While we like the tongue-in-cheek style of their cheese watch, and other Swiss icons, Moser’s brand image is starting to become confusing for lovers of the more classic lines; the Endeavour in particular. It is perhaps a strategic move to not go head to head with major brands in a ‘technical’ or ‘artisanal’ brand image, but neglecting which, may endanger the staple product lines.
Brand: H. Moser
Model: Endeavour Flying Hours
Reference Number: 1806-0200
Case Material: White gold
Dial Color: Funky Blue sunburst
Indexes: Arabic numerals on rotating discs
Strap/Bracelet: Beige kudu leather strap with white gold pin buckle
Availability: By June 2018
Limited Edition: 60 pieces