H. Moser & Cie x The Armoury Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse: The Dark Side Of Elegance
by Martin Green
While H. Moser & Cie might be a staple on these pages, The Armoury might not be known to all our readers, which came about when Mark Cho and Alan See founded it in 2010 in Hong Kong with the sole purpose of revitalizing classic tailoring.
Cho and See do so with passion and craftsmanship fueling their success but even more importantly by making the point that tailored clothing is still relevant. No wonder they found a like-minded partner in Moser’s smartly-dressed CEO, Edouard Meylan.
Meylan’s approach to watchmaking is rather similar to the course Cho and See have plotted.
A case for modesty
Modesty is also something both have in common and the watch reflects it: the front of it lacks any brand names and the back is mainly used to showcase Caliber HMC 327.
This manual wind movement is a tribute to the rich history of watchmaking in general and Moser in particular, yet at the same time it is a modern caliber that includes all the trappings: hacking seconds and a generous power reserve of three days appeal to the practical side of our brains, only to further seduce with beautiful architecture and an in-house Straumann hairspring.
The case of the Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse is 38 mm in diameter. While this may sound rather small, it is actually perfect. Not only does this size complement the movement, which is 32 mm in diameter, it also allows the watch to maintain elegance. Less is more both in tailoring and watchmaking.
Moser offers the watch in two limited editions of 28 pieces each. One comes in stainless steel with a stainless steel ring around the perimeter of the dial, while the other variation features this ring as well as the hands and hour markers in red gold.
While the latter may be less understated than the former, its rich look offers an appeal all its own. This is probably also why The Armoury favored the precious red metal over the more traditional yellow gold.
As the resident gentleman of Quill & Pad, this watch should have my name written all over it. Yet when I first saw the watch, I didn’t boil over with excitement. This is not the first logoless, minimalistic watch that Moser has made, so what does it add to what already exists?
In essence, The Armoury did exactly what my tailor always tends to do: propose something along my style that I will be a bit hesitant about, only to realize that it fits me like a glove when I try it on.
With the Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse, form and function complement each other; the watch is as legible as it is stylish. The dot markers for the hours take up their task in an understated way, while the Breguet hands add a sense of elegance. Because the Vantablack dial absorbs 99.965 percent of all the light, it seems as if they all float in space. That turns out to be quite an addictive proposition as it is far more captivating than I expected it to be.
Those hour markers are also a technical marvel as the request to have them on the dial offered Moser quite the challenge. As Vantablack is made up of carbon nanostructures, it cannot come in contact with anything else on the dial. Moser had already mastered Vantablack dials in 2018 so was able to create the design The Armoury had envisioned.
Like a well-tailored suit, this Moser remains mainly a private pleasure, adding to the sophistication of one’s overall look, something that also might be appreciated by those around you. However, the Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse is not a watch you buy for others, it is the one you get to please yourself. That its qualities might not be instantly recognized by others, even fellow watch connoisseurs, is part of the appeal – even I didn’t appreciate it at first.
On a final note: The Armoury allocated the watches sold through the shop by lottery. Every person who wanted to purchase the watch at retail was asked to pay a fully refundable deposit and their name was entered into the draw. The names that were pulled were able to purchase the watches, and the deposit was quickly refunded to the others.
Perhaps a system for other brands to consider, whose models are simply unobtainable at retail? I know it is not foolproof, but at the very least it increases the chances of such watches ending up with enthusiasts who thoroughly enjoy them.
For more information, please visit h-moser.com/product/endeavour-small-seconds-total-eclipse and/or thearmoury.com/total-eclipse.
Quick Facts Moser x The Armoury Endeavour Small Seconds Total Eclipse
Case: 38 x 9.9 mm, stainless steel
Movement: manually wound Caliber HMC 327 with three-day power reserve and Straumann in-house hairspring, 18,000 vph/2.5 Hz frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, (hacking) seconds
Limitation: 28 pieces in stainless steel and 28 pieces in stainless steel with a red gold chapter ring, hands, and hour markers
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