H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar: Elegant Minimalism
by Nancy Olson
The year 2005 saw a variety of memorable watches. To jog your memory a little, Vacheron Constantin’s Tour de l’Ile was awarded the Aiguille d’Or that year at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). And Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled the Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph, while Hublot launched its now-ubiquitous Big Bang in white ceramic one year after that watch’s debut.
Also in 2005, H. Moser & Cie introduced its understated take on the often-labyrinthine perpetual calendar with the Perpetual 1. Back then it appeared as a simple dial with date, which of course was the genius of it all. It received the Complicated Watch Prize at the GPHG in 2006 and soon became a flagship model for the brand (this watch later became known as the Perpetual Endeavour).
Fast forward to 2021, and the remodeling of the Moser perpetual calendar, which has retained its seeming simplicity while ramping up with some important details. The new Streamliner Perpetual Calendar, as its name confirms, has been reconsidered as part of the company’s Streamliner collection launched in 2020.
This is an interesting blend of design and mechanics, since the cushion-style case of the Streamliner delivers its own brand of minimalism inspired by the distinctive designs of 1920s autos and trains. Not so incidentally, the Streamliner chronograph model received the GPHG Chronograph Prize in 2020. (H. Moser & Cie also received the GPHG Audacity Prize that year for its Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon.)
“If you look at this piece, one might think it is a three-hand watch with a date,” Edouard Meylan, H. Moser & Cie CEO, said of the new watch. “Yet it is the most practical perpetual calendar ever developed.”
New watch, new movement
The hand-wound HMC 812 movement, which here replaces the HMC 341 fitted on the Perpetual Endeavour, incorporates a direct-drive central second hand. And, once again, multitasking hour markers indicate the 12 months of the year, this time via a tiny red-and-white central hand.
“In everything we do, we try to reinvent ourselves, to be innovative, to bring something different that has never been done before,” explained Meylan. “It can be a new material, a new design, a new movement. We want and we need to create the unexpected.”
A quick tour of the dial divulges the power reserve indicator at 10 o’clock and a large-format date at 4 o’clock (beholden to two superimposed disks that operate respectively from 1 to 15 then from 16 to 31).
The angled date window, which aligns with the offset crown per the Streamliner design, shows the date change “in a flash” at midnight thanks to the familiar H. Moser and Cie Flash Calendar instant date-change mechanism. Also familiar is the leap-year indication on the back of the timepiece to preserve the essentialness of the black or fumé dial.
The sapphire crystal case back offers a great view of the decorated movement, which, not surprisingly, is also elegantly understated. It comprises traditional Moser double horizontal stripes and an anthracite grey PVD coating on the balance bridges, train wheels, spring barrel, and escapement plate, while the main plate is micro blasted and features anthracite rhodium plating.
In further ode to the original Streamliner, the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar is offered exclusively on an integrated steel bracelet.
I was surprised by the meld of these two H. Moser & Cie collections, since each represents a very different perspective – at least to me. Yet perhaps that’s the very reason why this watch is poised to be another sensation in the making.
Reinvention, after all, is how we – and timepieces – often tease out our finest merits.
For more information, please visit www.h-moser.com/product/streamliner-perpetual-calendar.
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar
Case: 42.3 mm, stainless steel
Movement: hand-wound Caliber HMC 812, 18,000 vph/2.5 Hz frequency, power reserve minimum 168 hours; twin spring barrels, Moser teeth for all wheels and pinions; modular interchangeable escapement, Straumann hairspring; gold escape wheel and pallet fork
Functions: hours, minutes, direct-drive central (hacking) seconds; perpetual calendar with large date and month; power reserve indicator; leap year cycle indicator on movement side