It was inevitable. The H. Moser company as a watchmaker of note has come a long way, and as CEO Edouard Meylan says, is maturing. And with this maturity, it becomes evident that one day, they will make a stainless steel luxury sports watch. And today is the day. Moser announces a brand new line of luxury sports watches in stainless steel. As a debut, the new announcement is not for a time only watch but one equipped with a flyback chronograph. Here is our hands-on review of the H. Moser Streamliner.
H. Moser CEO Edouard Meylan told us about this new line (see the middle of the article for the chat with Edouard) when we last met up with him in Singapore in August 2019. And at Dubai Watch Week, he passed us his watch for the best part of the afternoon to wear, to examine, to photograph for this hands-on review. We hinted strongly about the Streamliner, but was sworn to secrecy, and was only allowed a teaser we published here. Unveiled today, the watch is the new Moser Streamliner – a luxury sports watch with integrated bracelet in stainless steel, with a flyback chronograph movement developed with none other than Jean-Marc Wiederrecht’s Agenhor.
H. Moser Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic
There is no mistaking the design. The Moser Streamliner has the handsome good looks which can only come from good breeding. The immediate impression is one with flavours of the 1970s case design and the waves on the bracelet which evokes the feel of the Ebel Wave.We mean that in a good way. The design gells in a way that many others failed.
To the touch, both on the wrist and as one runs one’s fingers on the watch, the Streamliner has a smooth, organic feel, much like a well worn pebble which has withstood the erosion of years of gentle water waves. It feels new and fresh, yet has the familiarity of the old. An interesting counterpoint.
The case, dial, hands and bracelet
The watch head is remarkable, the shape defies simple description, as it morphs from a round to a square with sloped shoulders, hinting at an octagon, though not quite. The lines are fluid, the curves geomatic resulting in a harmonious, complex shape. The visuals is made even more attractive by the balance of contrasts and textures.
The bezel’s complex form is further heightened by a slight curvature, topped with a gently domed sapphire crystal to a convex form. The bezel itself is finished in a lightly brushed, starburst pattern. This cleverly contrasts with the edge which features a polished, chamfered lip, overhanging ever so slightly over the brushed case middle. The case is closed in the rear with a polished steel back with a display sapphire crystal to showcase the movement.
The bracelet is integrated to the watch head, and extends out, perhaps like scales of an anaconda, but in our minds evokes an emotion highly reminiscent of the bracelet of the Ebel Waves. The bracelet is a single wide link design, again with a somewhat organic shape which is complex. The surface of the links are brushed, and as it flexes, reveals the polished insides. This is a particularly attractive visual. To the touch the bracelet is smooth, and on the wrist, it is very pliable and conforms to the contours of the wrist.
The dial is also rather special. It features not only the signature Moser fumé, it is also griffé (French for clawed, or scratched). The dial has a new anthracite shade of grey, which is darker at the circumference than the center, and the griffé, a texture which looks like brushed linear patterns from top to bottom. At 12 o’clock, an appliqué in the arabic numeral 60 dominates the center, a hint to the stopwatches of the Sixties and Seventies, when legibility and functionality were key. The dial is also marked with 5 minute markers in arabic around the dial. Around the circumference are two white and red minute tracks, the outer one measuring the seconds and the inner one counting the minutes. The outermost flange of the dial is marked with tachymeter readouts.
The design of the dial centers around legibility. Despite being a chronograph, or because it is based on the AgenGraphe, there are no subdials. The chronograph is designed with a central display. Indications of the elapsed minutes and seconds are via hands mounted coaxially from the center. Time is displayed as hour and minutes only. And the chronograph shows counters for seconds and minute totalizers.
The choice of hands to measure elapsed time have a thicker base and a fine tip, like those in precision instruments. A red chronograph seconds hand is used, and the chronograph minute hand is rhodium-plated. The hands are curved in 3 dimensions, and have inserts containing containing Globolight®, an innovative ceramic-based material which contains Super-LumiNova® and has never before been used on hands. These inserts are visible extending from the rhodiumed parts, with an Art Deco feel.
The movement: Calibre HMC 902
The movement is developed with Agenhor, and is based on the AgenGraphe which debuted in the Faberge Visionnaire Chronograph and later seen in the Singer Reimagined. The movement is very similar to the one used in the Singer Reimagined Flyback Concept announced last year, which was manual winding. The Moser Caliber HMC 902 features automatic winding.
The chronograph is column wheel controlled with a two stage mechanism. It features a horizontal clutch with a smooth friction wheel equipped with micro-teeth avoids intermeshing of gears. The clutch comprise of two tooth-free wheels engaging with each other. The power is transferred from one wheel to the other while coupled by friction. The micro-teeth of the wheels then mash with each other to provide a secure lock, but this happens only after both wheels are already mated by friction coupling and moving at the same speed. In traditional horizontal clutch systems, the two sets of toothed wheels mash against each other when the chronograph is activated and this can be seen as a jump in the seconds counter when activated. In practice, we are pleased to report that the Strealiner Flyback Chronograph starts, stops and reset smoothly, and noted the absence of this jump. We have covered the technical details in this article.
As mentioned in earlier reviews of the AgenGraphe, the movement design looks a bit messy, but this is a feature of the Agenhor design in that the entire chronograph works is fitted into an opening in the middle of the movement which surrounds it like a donut. Jean-Marc’s intent is to be able use the same donut shaped base movement to fit multiple complications.
Movement finishing is judged to be excellent, with all the standard haute horlogerie elements ticked off as “well done”. The signature double Geneva Waves of Moser is present on the sole bridge covering the double barrels, but also the smaller ones. Chronograph parts are in steel, and appropriately finished with a brushed surface and a high polished anglaged edge.
The feel of the chronograph actions are light, but positive. And the actuation, stop, restart and reset actions require more or less the same force.
A bi-directional winding Tungsten oscillating weight fitted on a ball bearing, placed between the movement and the dial winds the double barrel to provide 54 hours of autonomy.
The Competitive Landscape
At S$60k, the Moser Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic is favourably priced in the market, we think. But of course, you are the final arbiter and judge. Here are the lay of the land, so to speak.
The space of the luxury steel watch with integrated bracelets have recently swelled in numbers. The genre, initially started by the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in 1972 and whose flag is bourne by the illustrious Patek Philippe Nautilus is becoming crowded. In the last year alone, we saw the arrival of the rather magnificent Chopard Alpine Eagle, the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus, with the entry level covered by the Bell & Ross BR 05. All are magnificent watches, but none of the new entrants offer a chronograph. Only the originators – AP and PP offer chronograph variants.
Indeed the AP does offer the Royal Oak as a chronograph and for the rather very reasonable sum of only S$36,900. We reviewed the gold version here. The AP RO Chronograph is powered by the Selfwinding Calibre 2385, which is derived from the F. Piguet Cal, 1185. A highly desirable watch.
Patek’s Nautilus Ref. 5990 also exist with a chronograph, but with the added Travel Time complication. The Patek is equipped with a gorgeous, but more conventionally designed movement – the CH 28-520 C FUS. It retails for S$ 72’900 in steel. Also equally highly desirable.
However, desirable as they may both be, the Royal Oak and the Nautilus are practically unobtainium, and almost impossible to come by.
The Moser Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic is certainly a pleasure to handle and wear, even for an afternoon. To say we were impressed, is an understatement. This is a superlatively impressive watch. The package is very well designed, and Edouard and team demonstrated their maturity by going to a specialist rather than attempt to develop the chronograph movement on their own. And what a specialist – perhaps the most remarkable one of all. Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and his team at Agenhor has done an outstanding work in their AgenGraphe, and the co-development work with Moser resulted in a new combination of an automatic flyback chronograph not previously seen in AgenGraphe incarnations in Fabergé and Singer Reimagined.
The Streamliner is certainly a very beautiful watch. The design is coherent, and exudes class. The feel of the watch on the wrist, as it wraps comfortably around is exquisite. The textures as one runs one’s fingers on the watch and bracelet is sublime. The chronograph performs as expected – no jumps. Smooth, precise activation on starts, stops, resets, restarts. Nice even positive feel and pressure on the buttons. The bull head arrangement takes a bit getting used to, but we think it is part of the visual charm of the watch. Coupled with the excellent legibility of the dial layout and that magnificent fumé and griffé dial, we think this is an absolute winner! A piece of fabulous work by the Meylan brothers and the Moser team. Bravo!
Photo Notes: Photographed in Dubai with Fujifilm GFX 50S with GF 120 Macro lens, Profoto Compact 600 Strobe with Canon EX580II flash.
H. Moser Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic Specifications
Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic, ref. 6902-1200, steel model, fumé and griffé dial, integrated steel bracelet, limited edition of 100 pieces.
Steel topped by a gently domed sapphire crystal
Diameter: 42.3 mm
Height: 14.2 mm
Chronograph push-buttons at 10 and 2 o’clock
crown at 4 o’clock, engraved with an “M”
See-through case back, engraved “Limited 100PCS”
Dynamic water resistance to 12 ATM (allowing the chronograph and flyback function to be used underwater)
Integrated steel bracelet
Folding clasp with three steel blades, engraved with the Moser logo
Blackor fumé and griffé
Hour and minute hands with Globolight® inserts
Minute track for the elapsed seconds and minutes
Tachymeter on the flange
Calibre HMC 902 developed with AGENHOR for H. Moser & Cie., self-winding movement
Diameter: 34.4 mm or 15 1/4 lignes
Height: 7.3 mm
Frequency: 21,600 vibrations/hour
Tungsten oscillating weight fitted on a ball bearing, placed between the movement and the dial
Column wheel chronograph
Two-stage chronograph mechanism
Horizontal clutch with friction wheel; smooth wheel equipped with micro-teeth to avoid intermeshing of
gears and a resulting accidental jump when the chronograph is activated
Tulip yoke allowing the chronograph to be triggered or released
Power reserve: minimum 54 hours
Functions: Hours and minutes
Chronograph with central display and indication of the elapsed minutes and seconds
Flyback on the minutes and seconds