H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Concept For Only Watch 2017: The Purest Form Of Horological Joy
Since its launch in 2005, Only Watch has been one of the most significant auctions in the watch world. A biennial charity auction founded by Luc Pettavino, Only Watch is organized by the Monegasque Association Against Muscular Dystrophy (MAAMD) under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Brands donate unique timepieces to be auctioned; the proceeds are used completely to help finance research against Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a debilitating and life-threatening genetic disorder that affects around one in 3,500 boys, including Pettavino’s own son, who died of the disease in November 2016.
H. Moser & Cie. is one of the 50 watch brands taking part in this year’s edition of Only Watch by Christie’s, which will be held in Geneva on November 11, 2017.
Collectors of sophisticated and complicated timepieces may have already desired one of Moser’s ingenious perpetual calendars, a timepiece that raised the bar for the sought-after complication in terms of cutting-edge technology and innovative spirit, of which it offers plenty (see H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar On The Wrist).
One innovative element both the brand’s perpetual calendar and the gorgeous Venturer Concept for Only Watch have in common is an escapement module that allows for easy adjustment and service, including the brand’s own Straumann hairspring.
For reference, only a handful of manufacturers can pride themselves with producing a hairspring, one of the most difficult elements to manufacture in the watch movement. H. Moser & Cie. mastered this challenge way back in 2007 thanks to its sister company Precision Engineering.
Other clever elements include a double-click crown for easy setting and adjusting both forward and backward – an invaluable, forward-thinking element, in particular when talking about complicated perpetual calendars – and an instantaneous date christened the Flash Calendar, which originated in the mind of independent watchmaker Andreas Strehler.
The exceptionally clean layout of Moser’s indications also differentiates the brand’s offerings from the busy dials of average watches. Moser often discretely positions its functions so that visibility of the main displays are as clean as possible and the design remains pure.
Simplicity in perfection
The Venturer Concept for Only Watch does not offer the complex technology of the brand’s Endeavour Perpetual Calendar. In fact, with the mere indication of hours and minutes one might consider this ultra-minimalist timepiece in a precisely opposite manner.
It skillfully continues the idea of a truly minimalist dial reduced to the bare essentials by dispensing with numbers and even the brand’s signature or logo. But it is not only the technical composition of this watch that is stunning, but also the decorative aspect. H. Moser & Cie. decided to utilize one of its incredibly expressive fumé dials featuring a subtle gradient effect that creates increasingly intense color nuances from the center to the dial periphery.
Seizing the day
The minimalist purity of the dial of the Venturer Concept for Only Watch puts the essence of a wristwatch into the spotlight, which, after all is said and done, still must tell the time as well as remind us of its fleeting and fragile nature.
This carpe diem message is gracefully accentuated by the vibrant red referencing Monaco’s flag, a red beautifully offset by the white-colored finish of the hour and minute hands.
While the dial of the H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Concept for Only Watch may be minimalist, the hand-wound movement is beautifully finished to high levels, making it a feast for the eyes. With the brand’s signature double stripes, polished and beveled edges, a funky red balance bridge, and the aforementioned innovative technical features, the Venturer Concept for Only Watch represents Swiss excellence and authenticity at its best.
Although this is a time-only model from the front – the power reserve indicator is carefully hidden on the back to keep the watch’s minimalist theme pure – it is my personal favorite among the 50 timepieces in the auction. I love the distinct and deeply straightforward character that results from the well-considered design approach.
After all, it is not a secret that simplicity is often harder to achieve than complication since every single element has to be perfect.
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Concept Only Watch
Case: 39 x 11.9 mm, white gold
Dial: red fumé with sunburst pattern
Movement: hand-wound manufacture Caliber HMC 327 with Moser teeth for all wheels and pinions; Straumann hairspring with stabilized Breguet overcoil; 2,5 Hz/18,000 vph frequency; power reserve 3 days
Functions: hours, minutes; power reserve indicator
Limitation: one unique piece
Estimate: €18,000 – €27,000 / $20,000 – $30,000 / 19,500 – 29,500 Swiss francs
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Also published on Medium.