H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic With Full Metal Bracelet: Inspiring Amnemori!
For your consideration I present: amnemori (/äm’nā’môrē/), noun (Latin, Greek).
The love or desire of something new inspired by a trigger memory.
“Thinking of those late-night car rides cuddled against the velour wrapped seats inspired a feeling of amnemori for this ugly, yellow, fuzzy track suit.”
I’ve written previously about nostalgia, the melancholy desire for an earlier, simpler time in the past. It’s a bittersweet feeling, never fully happy or sad, always with a tinge of longing.
Sometimes this longing is for a time you’ve never personally known, a time that you have never experienced yet feel a pull toward a sepia-tinted warmth. The term for that is anemoia, a relatively new word making its way around the interwebs and into the wider consciousness.
Inspired by a recent personal experience, I’d like to propose something similar: amnemori. A new word referring to the feeling of a strong experience of love for something or someone new because of a loose connection to something else, a memory that bubbles up the moment one sees said subject.
It is a form of nostalgia, but not associated with any hints of sadness or pain. This separates it from bittersweet feelings toward an idealized past and instead focuses on a weirdly strong connection one might develop to an entirely new object because it is obliquely reminiscent of something he or she has fond memories of.
This happened to me recently when I first saw an image of the H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic.
The watch immediately brought on a wave of memories of a cheap Timex Indiglo watch I wore for much of my high school years. I wore the Indiglo daily for a few years until a teacher broke it during class (weird story for another day).
It was a fairly odd stainless-steel bracelet watch, very early-2000s design with a rotating bezel tied to the alarm function and a curved groove running down the center of the bracelet.
This watch is only barely related to the Streamliner Chronograph visually and in no way mechanically, but a bit of the essence of that Timex shot through my mind when I first laid eyes on the new piece from H. Moser.
This has caused me to fall hard for the Streamliner Chronograph. And even though it is an awesome watch for a lot of reasons (which I’ll get to shortly), the underlying love comes first from my almost forgotten memories of a watch I wore in high school, long before I was into watches.
Strangely enough, I still had the watch packed away in storage as old “junk” that I still haven’t been able to part with. So I dug around for a bit to pull it out, and sure enough it is pretty much nothing like the Streamliner. But I immediately felt a kinship between the two in my mind.
And that feeling had to wear off a bit before I could start looking at the Streamliner objectively.
Once I felt more levelheaded I found ample reasons to completely dig the new watch, but it will always hold a special place in my heart now simply because of how it created that feeling of amnemori in me.
H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Chronograph
H. Moser started 2020 with a bang by creating an entirely new collection and introducing a new style to the brand. Aside from the Swiss Alp watch, all H. Moser watches follow a concise theme of the simplest, cleanest lines possible, understated elegance, and minimal branding allowing full appreciation of the watch without the distractions of logos and text on the dial.
This has proven very popular and has led to a variety of models that speak to this certain aesthetic. The Streamliner collection, with the Flyback Chronograph Automatic as the inaugural model, takes an approach in which the classic lines come not from pre-mid-century styling, but the slightly funky and futuristic lines of the 1960s and ’70s that have become classic in their own way.
The first model focuses on a quasi-bullhead style tweaked in a Moser way. The cushion-esque shape feels classic and futuristic at the same time, while the fumé dial and incredible movement offer the usual hallmarks of H. Moser & Cie.
The Streamliner Flyback Chronograph is about firsts for Moser: its first chronograph complication, its first bracelet, its first cushion-shaped case, a brand-new dial, hands, and a new movement.
The Flyback Chronograph breaks the Moser mold, clearly standing on its own as not just a line evolution, but a completely new direction. The idea originated as a search for a steel case with an integrated bracelet, and from there Moser was off to the races.
Moser partnered with industry darling Agenhor, known for developing creative retrograde complications and the innovative AgenGraphe chronograph, and built on that foundation: the Flyback Chronograph is the first automatic chronograph caliber to have a flyback mechanism for center-mounted second and minute counters.
This layout works perfectly with the ideology of H. Moser & Cie. as it seeks to keep legibility high and visual details as minimal as possible. And since it is a chronograph it definitely needs to keep things as pared back as possible.
All too often a chronograph dial is cluttered and over-populated with indices and scales, so finding a minimalist presentation providing full functionality is a big priority. With a simple offset hash mark scale and the inner and outer track of numerals, the dial is extremely well restrained yet feels very capable. With the centrally mounted seconds and minutes, reading the chronograph is intuitively easy and allows for the watch to feel understated yet functional.
Love for a memory of a bracelet
I love that H. Moser & Cie. has finally made a chronograph, and with Agenhor no less, but that still isn’t the most surprising aspect of the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph. It isn’t even the unique case shape, though that stands out as well.
What grabbed me from the start was the bracelet, and that is when the amnemori began.
Depending on how you look at it, the bracelet takes on different shapes. The shape of the overlap for each link is not straight across but instead a sort of wavy scallop. On the bottom edge of each link, which is overlapped by the link below, is a small chamfer that is brightly polished against the bold brushing on the rest of the link.
This highlight, when combined with the shape of the edge, provides an optional illusion that the bracelet’s surface has a dip in it. And making it even more complex, the links overlap rather than simply butting up against each other like traditional Oyster-style bracelets.
But the links are perfectly smooth across the surface and slightly domed at that. Yet the optical illusion is strong, and with the scalloped edges the bracelet takes on a fish-scale look. And when worn, the overlapping sections protrude out a little and look like scales.
The appearance, deceptive as it is, reminded me of that Timex bracelet, which also had an overlapping assembly method and felt like scales wrapped around my wrist. And even though there is no actual dip or groove in the surface of the bracelet like my Timex, its appearance is marginally similar, which led to triggered memories and the feelings of amnemori.
Once I had explored that feeling I returned to a more objective assessment of the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph and was impressed with the details like the inset on the sides of the case that maintained a continuity of theme with the rest of the Moser pieces while making it a bolder design choice. With its large chamfered edge, the sapphire crystal creates a vintage aesthetic without ever feeling old or pandering, that’s a tough tightrope to walk.
Built to disrupt
But out of every detail the most drool-worthy has to be the movement. Based on the AgenGraph, the Caliber HMC 902 chronograph movement has all of the impressive bits exposed on the rear thanks to the tungsten rotor being sandwiched between the movement and the dial.
As a refresher, the basis for this movement was an attempt to solve as many existing problems with chronographs as possible, resulting in unique mechanisms that create safe, precise, and accident-resistant functionality.
The finishing is impeccable, up to typical Moser excellence, while Agenhor imparted some of its own whimsy into the movement’s shapes of bridges and levers. The entire package was treated with the utmost care and dedication during development and production, and that is why it is so disruptive.
Moser chose to break its own mold, but unlike the playful joke pieces produced for publicity, this collection makes a bold statement in a more subtle way.
The brand knows a spectacle when it sees one, so it can also avoid one in search of the next great addition to the collection. This dramatic shift from previous models may seem somewhat out of character, but when your history includes being behind the watch made of cheese, a 1970s-inspired chronograph fits right in with the regular collection.
Having spent some time with this watch before it launched, I have to say that it was like putting on an old friend that you had just met for the first time. Very atemporal in the experience of it, both in and out of time, it was truly enjoyable.
The watch I wore was a prototype so there was some sharpness to the bracelet where it protruded like fish scales, though I imagine it may have been smoothed over in production versions. I also haven’t seen the production dial in person; the watch I borrowed had the wrong color dial.
That said, the finishing and effect of the unique dial was awesome, and I can imagine it with other more appropriate colors making a strong impression on many people.
It appears as though the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic is set to fill a niche within H. Moser & Cie. – the ever-present stainless steel sport watch – and as long as the brand doesn’t make a solid blue dial it might escape the dreaded vortex of “blue dialed luxury sport watches” (see Watch Design: Originality, Similarity, Or Imitation?).
I feel as though the inspiration and direction behind the Streamliner has already kept it from being another copycat, and if further models within the collection stay true to Moser ideals and not to matching the market, it could become a strong seller.
For me, it will always hold those feelings of amnemori, keeping it evergreen in my eyes.
While the feels are fresh, let’s break it down!
- Wowza Factor * 8.4 The memory hit me hard and made my mind spin!
- Late Night Lust Appeal * 84.9» 832.585m/s2 The lust for this came out of left field but it was more than welcome to stay!
- M.G.R. * 69.7 Any watch based on an AgenGraphe base movement from Agenhor will be high up on the geek rating scale!
- Added-Functionitis * Moderate Technically a chronograph is usually only counted as one added function, but since it measures two things with flyback capability, I’ll say you need regular strength Gotta-HAVE-That cream for a surprising amount of horological swelling!
- Ouch Outline * 11.1 Falling asleep where you shouldn’t and waking up with a pinched nerve in your neck! Seriously, just get up and go to bed, all you sleepy people out there. Otherwise you might regret it when you wake up at 5:00 in the morning, drool all over your shirt, head dangling above the desk with an aching pain that you know won’t go away for multiple days. Though I guess it would be worth it if I got ahold of another Streamliner chrono!
- Mermaid Moment * Um, that bracelet, it’s calling to me! A feeling so strong I need to coin the word amnemori just to describe what happened when I fell head over heels!
- Awesome Total * 766 Begin with the number of pieces in the limited edition (100) and multiply by the dynamic depth rating in atmosphere (12), then subtract the number of components in the movement (434) for a seriously surprising awesome total!
For more information, please visit www.h-moser.com/en/streamliner.
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic
Case: 42.3 x 14.2 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber HMC 902 developed with Agenhor, column-wheel chronograph, 60-hour power reserve, peripheral rotor under the dial
Functions: hours, minutes; chronograph minutes, flyback seconds
Limitation: 100 pieces
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