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New release with hands on review: H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept

High precision moon phase display.
by Peter Chong on September 17, 2018
H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept

H. Moser releases two new moon phase watches with a movement which is one of the most precise moon phases available, deviating only one day every 1027 years. Two new models are announced in the new Endeavour Perpetual Moon. One in a stainless steel case and a blacker than black dial from Vantablack. And a gold model with their signature fumé dial in midnight-blue . We got an extended hands on session to photograph and examine these new watches. Here is our report and photographs.

 

 

H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept

Fascinating, mysterious. For generations, people have always found the moon to be captivating. often consuming our entire imagination. From the legends concerning the moon – her many charms is seductive, to finally landing on the lunar surface in 1969, mankind have held the moon in a certain poetic manner which has escaped all other heavenly bodies. And it is no different in the world of watchmaking. The moon phase is perhaps one of the most desired and coveted complications to be had in a wrist watch. And the new Moser imagination, this moon is showcased in a large window at 6 o’clock. It is also one of the more precise moonphase displays to be conceived, out by only one day every 1027 years.

 

In Vantablack, the darker than black dial oozes a mysterious charm of its own.

 

The case, dial and hands

The case is the standard Moser Endeavour case. Available in either stainless steel or red gold, both are rather elegant at diameter of 42 mm and a height of 12 mm, The case design is sensual, and features the smooth lines of the Endeavour. The signature of the scalloped line across the side to the lugs are present and endows the case with an elegance which is rather fetching.

 

The case is the classical Moser Endeavour case. Nuanced with curves and scalloped sides.

 

The dial is also the signature Moser Concept dial, which is sans logo or indices. The large moon shines through a window at 6, and is allowed the center stage. Surrounding the moon display is negative space, seemingly to depict interplanetary space.

 

The moonphase display provides visual focus to the otherwise blank dial.

 

This effect is enhanced on the dial of the steel version by a material called Vantablack®. The black colour is such that it appears astral, abyss-like: An undeniable black hole at the centre of which shines the moon. The Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept in steel has an elegant, serene and refined moon phase display. A contemporary and bold design equipped with a black leather strap.

 

 

The Vantablack dial.

 

Vantablack is a patented material, which is among two or three variants which is reported to be blacker than black. The material is supposed to be the darkest of all substance, and does not reflect any incident light. We covered a similar material in the Panerai Lab ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days PAM00700 using a similar technology but not the same material. A small independent watchmaker called MCT, now defunct was perhaps the first to use Vantablack on their dials in 2017.

But the Vantablack is true to its claims…at least it appears to be very black. The material is composed of carbon nanotubes that are vertically aligned next to each other and is capable of absorbing 99.965% of light. It is the darkest black dial to be produced yet.

 

In rose gold, the midnight blue dial looks almost black, especially in photographs. But in real life, the fume effect is subtly there, and but the midnight blue – a colour thought to be darker than black in artificial lighting has a vibrant blue kick to the hue.

 

The rose gold version is altogether less mysterious, but still retaining the negative space to allow the moon display take limelight. The dial is a midnight-blue fumé, with deep lustres which also portray a twilight sky.

The movement

The movement is the HMC 801 hand-wound manufacture caliber equipped with the interchangeable Moser escapement. It has a power reserve of 7 days which is indicated by a gauge on the movement side.

 

 

The moon phase system has a precise way to set the display, where it is possible to set and set the display to within a minute. The system can be easily adjusted using a push-button on the side of the case. On average, the moon’s orbital period lasts 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.9 seconds. The Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept’s intricate wheel train portrays this interval so precisely that the gap is a mere 0.23 seconds per day, that is to say one day’s deviation after 1027.30 years.

Although the literature accompanying the watch is not specific, we were told by Bertrand Meylan that the moon is in constant motion, instead of the more usual displays which are updated once a day.

 

The bridges are ruled with a double fauss cotes, and anglage is beautifully made. As are the polished countersinks for the jewels.

 

Movement finishing is typical of Moser, and carries all the high end haute horlogerie detailing.

 

Detail of the in-house manufactured balance wheel. Note the beautiful gold chaton held by screws at the bottom right of the photograph.

 

The competitive landscape

The press material distributed by Moser suggests that the one day deviation every 1027 years is the most accurate moon phase display made for a wristwatch. This is not strictly true. While compared the standard precision for moon phase display is 1 day deviation every 122 years, the Moser Perpetual Moon display is much higher precision. But there are watches which have higher precision.

The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Moonphase (introduced in 1999) and the 1815 Moonphase in Honey Gold (introduced in 2010) retains a very similar precision of 1 day deviation every 1058 years. Both Langes have been sold out for many years, and secondary market prices have remained very high. For example, Phillips sold one in their Geneva Seven Auction recently for CHF 36,800 in pink gold over a presale estimate of CHF 15-25k.

However, the most precise moon phase display belongs to the Andreas Strehler patented moon display. This remarkable watch is able to keep a precision error of only 1 day every 2.045 million years! The Strehler system uses a vernier scale to precisely set to the age of the moon to within 3 hours.

The Andreas Strehler Lune Exact.

The Strehler movement is featured in at least two of his watches. The Sauterelle à lune perpétuelle (CHF 98,000 in red gold) and the Lune Exact (CHF 112,000 in red gold).

 

Concluding thoughts

 

The H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept looks absolutely elegant and understated, but embodies fine technical complexity worthy of the haute horlogerie label. The Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept is conceived by H. Moser in their characteristic style which always include a twist to the traditional. In this case, especially for the steel mode, the use of a blacker than black dial in Vantablack to set off the show of the moon phase display is a masterstroke. The Moser Concept idea works very well with this watch. Only the time and moonphase is visible. Minimalist? Certainly. Daring? Absolutely! Beautiful? Most assuredly so!

 

In the semi-darkness, the Vantablack dial turns mysterious. The Concept design works very well with this watch, and only the barest minimum is allowed to shine through. Allowing the owner to read the time, and the moonphase. Nothing else matters.

 

Available in steel or red gold, the Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept is available in a limited edition of 50 pieces for each of the two references. Interestingly, both have the same recommended retail price of CHF 35,000 or S$ 54,310.

 

H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept – Specifications and Price

Reference 1801-1200, steel model, Vantablack® dial, black leather strap, limited edition of 50 pieces
Reference 1801-0400, 5N red gold model, midnight-blue fumé dial, brown alligator leather strap,
limited edition of 50 pieces
Case
Steel or 18-carat 5N red gold
Diameter: 42.0 mm, height: 12.9 mm
Sapphire crystal
Screw-in crown adorned with an “M”
Dial
Vantablack® or midnight-blue fumé with sunburst pattern
Leaf-shaped hour and minute hands
Centre seconds and AM/PM hands
Moon phase window
Movement
Hand-wound HMC 801 Manufacture calibre
Diameter: 34.0 mm or 15 lignes, height: 6.5 mm
Frequency: 18,000 Vib/h
28 jewels and screwed gold mounts
Power reserve: minimum 7-day with a double barrel
Bevelled ring and Moser teeth for all wheels and pinions
Interchangeable Moser escapement
Original Straumann Hairspring®
Traditional screw balance wheel with gold adjusting screws
Gold escapement wheel and pallet fork
Functions
Hours and minutes
Centre seconds hand and hacking seconds
AM/PM indicator – Hours 12 to 6 o’clock representing AM and 7 to 11 o’clock representing PM
Large moon-phase indicator display
Power reserve indicator on movement side
Moon-phase adjuster push-button on the case flank
Strap
Hand-stitched black leather or brown alligator leather
Steel or 18-carat 5N red gold pin buckle engraved with the Moser logo

Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept, reference 1801-1200, steel model, Vantablack® dial, black leather
strap, limited edition of 50 pieces CHF 35,000 or S$ 54,310
Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept, reference 1801-0400, 5N red gold model, midnight-blue fumé dial,
brown alligator leather strap CHF 35,000 or S$ 54,310

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