H. Moser & Cie x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium: The Most Unique Watch in the Only Watch 2023 Auction
by Martin Green
In Geneva recently, I bumped into Luc Pettavino, who founded Only Watch in 2005 to raise funds for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a disease to which he has lost his son. Since its beginning, nearly €100 million has been raised for this cause, and I asked Luc if he ever imagined his project’s impact on the watch industry. Modest as ever, he admitted that it all went beyond its wildest dreams.
Apart from raising money for charity, Only Watch has also become a platform where watch brands show their prowess with the unique timepieces they donate for the auction. Over the years, things have gone pretty wild, with even more traditionally inclined brands, such as Patek Philippe, exploring new territory.
In some cases, brands collaborate, as is this year the case with H.Moser and MB&F.
Two brands, one watch, one movement
Both brands are led by visionary CEOs. Edouard Meylan at H.Moser has his finger on the pulse of watchmaking and cleverly combines traditional watchmaking with an avant-garde twist. Max Büsser made a lot of friends in the industry when he headed Harry Winston Rare Timepieces and worked with them to make MB&F one of the most innovative watchmaking maisons in the industry. When these two power moguls join forces, you get the Streamliner Pandamonium, which is their contribution to Only Watch 2023.
One of the major challenges in such a collaboration is that the DNA of both brands has to be incorporated in such a way that it remains recognizable. For this piece, they picked the case of the Streamliner, H. Moser’s sleek sports watch. The backdrop, a stunning fumé dial with sunburst decorations, is also a hallmark of the brand from Schaffhausen.
For Only Watch, H. Moser uses an aquamarine color that they have not used before. It is light and bright, perfect for setting the stage for the complication of this piece, a minute repeater, with the hammers and gongs exposed on the dial side.
The dial side is where MB&F comes in. For the last three editions of Only Watch, a cute little panda bear has been the MB&F mascot, and this time, they created a DJ booth between both hammers for him to play in.
The panda is sculpted from white gold and hand-painted. The turntables in his booth have paw prints on them and each moves to the rhythm of the hammer they are connected with.
The dance floor is dominated by a 14mm large floating balance wheel, one of the most recognizable features on MB&F’s Legacy Machines. Its signature bridge construction caused some challenges as it got in the way of the gongs. This was solved by bending them in a particular way. An added feature is the double hairspring, which can also be found in other H. Moser watches and which is produced by the brand’s sister company, Precision Engineering AG.
The time is read in the top right corner of the dial, with two small leaf-shaped hands.
For a minute repeater, the volume and clarity of the sound is important. In a twist of irony, many minute repeaters feature precious metal cases. These materials actually dull the sound and lower the volume. The Streamliner Pandamonium is both made from stainless steel and has hollowed-out segments inside the case to amplify the sound.
As the hammers and gongs are placed on the dial side, it also has the space under the crystal to resonate, making it one great-sounding minute repeater.
The movement, while based on H. Moser’s caliber HMC 906, a manual wound movement with a 54-hour power reserve, has been completely reworked to make it a unique caliber that can best be described as a horological delight. A modern twist is given to the horizontal double Moser stripes on the bridges by giving them a darker rhodium plating. This makes the gear train and gold chatons stand out even more and underscores that, although this collaboration has a fun side, it is still a very serious piece of Haute Horlogerie.
As the Pandamonium is a piece unique as well as a collaboration of two very desirable brands, the estimate of CHF 300,000 – 400,000 might be conservative. It perfectly combines the DNA of both brands and is very wearable with a diameter of 42.3 mm and a height of 17 mm, which includes the 4.3 mm for the domed sapphire crystal.
Those familiar with the H. Moser Streamliner know that its bracelet is among the best currently available, combining great looks with superb wearing comfort.
Another great feature, and testimony to the work that the brands’ work put into this watch, is that it is water-resistant to 50 meters. While this doesn’t sound like a lot, most minute repeaters are not water resistant at all, and this one even comes with a sapphire insert in the display back.
The Streamliner Pandamonium is not only a great watch, it highlights that Only Watch has given us so much more than just the dream of finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
For more information and/or to bid, please visit www.onlywatch.com/h-moser-mb-f
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium
Case: 42.3 x 17 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber HMC 906, 54-hour power reserve, Straumann double hairspring, MB&F 14mm suspended balance wheel
Functions: hours, minutes; minute repeater
Limitation: 1 piece
Price: estimate CHF 300,000 – 400,000
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