H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton: Having A Funky Good Time On Your Own Terms
by Martin Green
I have the fortunate privilege of occasionally dining in some of the best restaurants in the world. What surprises me the most is when the chefs there take a unique approach to common ingredients. With tremendous creativity anchored in skills, experience, and craftsmanship, these chefs can make something as common as a carrot “worthy of a special journey,” as the Michelin guide writes about the restaurants it awards three stars.
And that is precisely what H. Moser & Cie did with its Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton.
Common transformed into rare
I know it is a slippery slope to call a tourbillon common, but please bear with me on this one. A tourbillon was a rare sight when I first got involved in the watch world in the late 1990s. Few brands made them, often not with more than one or two in their collections. And their captivating power was undeniable.
As interest in mechanical watchmaking soared to new heights the tourbillon became one of the poster children, and now most of the brands in the top tiers of the watch market have at least one in their collection – and often more than one. This makes competition fierce, challenging manufacturers to develop more creative ways to utilize the tourbillon.
After initially seeing Moser’s Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton at Watches and Wonders 2022, I later got more intimately acquainted with it in the back seat of the brand-new Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII. This was quite an appropriate setting as with the Phantom Rolls-Royce has proven for decades that it can turn something as ordinary as a car into an exceptional experience. This is in the spirit of founders Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, who set out to make “the best car in the world.” While I don’t expect to hear such a statement from Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie., I believe that his goal is nothing less.
The challenge for brands that are rooted in tradition is how to apply a modern edge. Rolls-Royce did this with the Phantom VIII in part with its design, although it is still reminiscent of previous generations of this mythical model. Inside it doesn’t dazzle you with a ton of touchscreens but encapsulates you in a relaxing, comfortable cocoon. The technical prowess is there, but it is so good that you hardly notice it. Rolls-Royce even introduced a feature called The Gallery, which allows you to include your own piece of bespoke art in the dashboard.
It is a bit more obvious what the Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton has in store for you as it is skeletonized. The cylindrical tourbillon is reminiscent of an exploded image! The fact that this one is actually in motion makes it all the better.
H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton: technical details
The tourbillon is made by Precision Engineering, a sister company of Moser under the MELB umbrella that supplies independent brands with hairsprings. Moser cut away a tremendous amount of the movement’s bridges and main plate, leaving just the minimum required for strength and rigidity. The organic shapes lure your eyes even deeper inside the case, with the skeletonized oscillating weight in gold adding a dash of movement and color.
The technical nature of the Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton is underscored by the Funky Blue fumé subdial for time with Globolight block hour markers. Globolight is a high-tech ceramic fused with Super-LumiNova, lighting up even in the lowest of low-light conditions.
Unique is also the fact that the Moser Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton is water resistant to 12 ATM. This brings the Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton almost into sports watch territory. The question is, do you really want to take it there?
Even though the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII is also capable of impressive acceleration and traveling at high speeds, it seems almost inappropriate. Particularly because both the Rolls-Royce and the Moser have been created for those with the luxury to enjoy time on their own terms.
For more information, please visit www.h-moser.com/product/pioneer-cylindrical-tourbillon-skeleton.
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton
Case: 42.8 x 15.3 mm, stainless steel
Dial and hands: Funky Blue fumé with Globolight hour markers and hands
Movement: automatic skeletonized Caliber HMC 811; 21,600 vph/3 Hz frequency; one-minute flying tourbillon with cylindrical hairspring; power reserve 74 hours
Functions: hours, minutes
Price: CHF 79,000 (before taxes)