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Review: H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar in Funky Blue

The mechanical smart watch.
by Peter Chong on August 10, 2017
Positives

Amazing aesthetics. The blue fume dial is gorgeous.
Beautifully laid out dial, with clean clear graphics, and class leading legibility for a perpetual calendar.
Probably the most advanced perpetual calendar mechanism to date.

Negatives

Pricing may be seen as less approachable than some other perpetual calendars, but in our view is quite acceptable for the innovation it carries.

Review: H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar

We have been fans of H. Moser & Cie ever since they burst into the scene in 2005. One of the products introduced at launch was the Perpetual 1, which featured the revolutionary perpetual calendar with an ultra clean dial design, and many outstanding technical innovations. It won the GPHG Complicated Watches category in 2006. The same movement, the in-house Moser caliber HMC 341, is largely unchanged (how does one improve perfection?) and now appears in the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar in a white gold case.

 

Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar, in a white gold case, with the signature Moser fume dial in blue.

 

Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar

The Perpetual Calendar by Moser is perhaps one of the most advanced of all perpetual calendars in the market today. The design was initially done in collaboration with Andreas Strahler, and later brought in-house by the Meylan family who currently own the brand. It had an ultra clean dial, which looks like only has a time and date display with a power reserve to visually balance the date aperture. But on a closer examination, the dial does indicate the month. This is the minimal information needed to be displayed, and the resultant dial is clean and totally uncluttered, much unlike almost all other perpetual calendars in the market, save a few which we discuss in the Competitive Landscape section below. The other essential information required to set the perpetual calendar is the leap year indicator, which is displayed on the case back. Not extraneous information is offered, nor needed for a perpetual calendar. Very neat.

 

The case, dial and hands

The case of the Endeavour collection of Moser is a rather classical round case with the sides gently curving into the lugs. The case is either forged or more likely stamped. In our review sample, this was in white gold, and it is a rather massive case, with a substantial weight. Perhaps more similar in feel to platinum than white gold.

 

The case, showing the scalloped sides which accentuates the curves on the case. The crown is embossed with a M logo.

 

The crown’s function is also of interest. What Moser calls the Double Pull crown, it works like this. Pull the crown and it returns on release, but the watch is put into setting mode. The first pull is to set the date which can be quick set anytime during the day (no black out hours as in the case of classical lever perpetual calendars), and works in both directions. The second pull is for full hand setting of the hour and minutes, and hacks the movement.

 

The case slide curves beautifully into the lugs. This curve help to make the Moser wear smaller than its dimensions. The curve is also on the sapphire crystal on the rear, making it a nice comfortable fit over the wrist.

 

The dial is where the magnetic personality of the watch shines. The blue fumé, a signature of Moser (the fumé), is stunningly beautiful. Drop dead gorgeous. The blue is a wonderful hue which fades from light in the center to dark at the sides in an absolutely mesmerising way. A really stunning dial. Even more stunning in the flesh, than in the photographs.

Read also:   Baselworld 2016: H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Perpetual Calendar, with Pricing

 

The dial. Magnificent and truly a blueprint to which all perpetual calendars should follow.

 

As mentioned, the dial side is as clean as it can be, especially for a perpetual calendar. All the information that is required is there, and no more. No moon phase, no day of week information is displayed. Even information which is required for setting the calendar, and not used in a day to day manner is moved to the back – that being the leap year indicator. All to reduce clutter and to produce the prettiest and uncluttered dial for a perpetual calendar ever.

 

The case features a sensuously curved case side which blends into the lugs.

 

The hour and minute hands are very elegant swallow hands in almost perfect proportions. The subsidiary seconds hand and the power reserve indicator also similarly sleek. A small arrow shaped hand peeks out from the center pinion, jumping from hour marker to hour marker, and this is the month indicator, as co-incidentally, we do have 12 months corresponding to the 12 hour markers. Quite clever, and almost every one encountering the Moser for the first time seems to miss this clever detail.

 

The Flash Calendar

The Moser perpetual calendar features what they call the Flash Calendar system. This is the first of its kind when it was introduced in 2005. At the end of every short month (those months with either 28, 29 or 30 days), the calendar jumps instantly at midnight from the last day of the month to show 1. In contrast, the classical perpetual calendar would show 30, 31, 1 in a sequence which can take up to 25-30 minutes, and begin as early as 11pm. But the Moser date shows the last day of the month until 11:59:59, and then in a subsecond, jumps to show 1.

This flash calendar works for February too. In a non leap year, it will show 28 just before midnight, and instantaneously jump to 1 March at the stroke of 12. And for a leap year, it would do the same as it crosses midnight from 29 February.

See the video for an explanation of how this works.

 

 

This style of calendar (we dub this the flash style calendar…flash and calendar with small letters as they are not proper names) was not seen in earlier perpetual calendars, including the most advanced at that time, which was the Ulysse Nardin Perpetual Ludwig. And to date, to the best of our knowledge, only the A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar, the  Greubel Forsey Quientieme Perpetual and the MB&F LM Perpetual offer this instant jump at the end of the short months without displaying the intervening non-existent dates.

The Moser Flash Calendar is capable of being adjusted forwards and backwards, which is not always possible in lever style perpetual calendars found in classical watches. As mentioned, classical lever perpetual calendars also have a specific time window when date adjustment is allowed. Adjusting the calendar outside this time window may damage the mechanism. The first perpetual calendar to feature the ability to do so, and solely via the crown is the Ulysse Nardin (see below), and of course, the Moser has that capability as well.

Read also:   The Hour Glass Special: Double Happiness: Gifts for Chinese New Year x Valentine's Day

 

The movement: HMC 341

The movement is an in-house design, initially done by Andreas Strahler. And we understand has remained largely the same since its introduction in 2005. The salient features of the movement are highly technical. The first is the Flash Calendar which we discussed above.

 

The Moser movement. Classical lepine style movement with a few tricks up its sleeve.

 

The movement finishing is top drawer. All the haute horlogerie details are executed in fine detail. The anglage on the edges of the bridges and cocks are nicely done – nicely polished to pick up the gleam of light, and evenly applied throughout. The use of gold chatons held by screws with black polished heads is another visual element which adds to the drama and beauty of the movement. The visible springs are all beautifully polished and feature sharp beaks for better engagement precision.

We could have wished that Moser would have used less wordings on the movement plates, but this is perhaps nitpicking, as to engravings which are there, though too many, are done well. The overall movement aesthetics is outstandingly beautiful, and a joy to behold.

 

The movement features beautiful curves, including many inward and a few outward angles. The chatons held by black polished screws also add to the visual drama.

 

The movement also features another Moser exclusive: the Moser removable escapement. The entire escapement is a module which can be removed for servicing and cleaning without the watchmaker needing to dismantle the entire movement. The hairspring paramagnetic and is an original Straumann hairspring manufactured by Moser’s sister company, Precision Engineering AG.

 

The escapement is built as a module which can be completely detached for regulation. The Breguet overcoil is visible in the photograph.

 

The movement is equipped with double barrels for a 7 day autonomy with the escapement beating at the classical 18,000 bph.

 

The Competitive Landscape

At  S$83,790 with GST for the Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar in white gold, the pricing is well positioned. It is somewhat middle ground for perpetual calendars. However, if we additionally consider the ingenuity in the features and design, especially in a complication hundreds of years old, it becomes quite a standout. And in fact, quite a spectacular performer.

 

The leap year wheel, essential in setting the perpetual calendar, but not used on a daily basis is relegated to the back of the movement to reduce dial clutter.

 

The regular perpetual calendars can be found in almost every manufacture, from the likes of Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger LeCoultre, IWC, Montblanc, et al. But for this landscape discussion, we focus on two characteristics of the Moser viz a viz the clean dial side display, and the flash style calendar. And the field narrows. Considerably.

We begin with the Ulysse Nardin Perpetual Ludwig, the least expensive inhabitant in this proverbial landscape. The gold version retailed for US$25,000 circa 2006 (we note, anecdotally that the Moser Perpetual 1 in gold was also about the same price then). The Perpetual Ludwig is currently only available in stainless steel for a relatively approachable S$30,500.  The UN is fully adjustable forwards and backwards by the crown. But does not have a flash style calendar, and will show the intervening dates on short months.  But it does carry information on day of the week as well as the year on dial. A full review of the latest Classic Perpetual in stainless steel here.

Read also:   Review: IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary”

 

The Ulysse Nardin Classic Perpetual Calendar is based on the Perpetual Ludwig introduced in 1996. We will be carrying a full review of this watch this week.

 

Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar also feature a very clean looking dial, though still more busy than the Moser. The calendar consists of an outsized date, retrograde day-of-the-week and leap-year displays and a peripheral month ring; not forgetting the moonphase display at 7 o’clock.  The Lange calendar is also instantaneously jumping in the style of the flash calendar, progressing from the last day of the short months almost immediately to show the 1 at the stroke of midnight. The watch also features a tourbillon which is only displayed on the case back, and at S$345,000 its priced at the higher end of the spectrum.

 

The Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar is another perpetual calendar with an unusual display. The base of the Lange 1 is used as a blueprint, but unlike the Moser, all essential, and typical but non-essential information is displayed on the dial.

 

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual (Red gold – S$226,000 with GST) is another perpetual calendar to feature the flash style calendar. The dial aesthetics is excellent, but the layout is crammed with information. All the usual perpetual calendar display is present, including the day, date, month, retrograde leap year and power reserve indicators. The dial is undeniably beautiful, but very busy and legibility suffers.

 

The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual.

 

Greubel Forsey Quientieme Perpetual á Êquation is perhaps an outlier as it is priced above S$1,000,000. But the ingenuity of the Greubel Forsey goes beyond the flash style calendar of the perpetual display, but also that it is based in a mechanical computer which can be adapted to show other functions, including complex astronomical displays from the same base movement, albeit in a different watch. The mechanical computer is Greubel Forsey’s 7th Invention, and quite a remarkable feat. Couple with the double axis tourbillon, the price is pushed beyond the means all but the most well heeled of collectors.

 

 

Concluding thoughts

In conclusion, the Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar has much to love. We loved the simple display on the dial, the bold decision to get rid of all extraneous information from the dial. Only the most critical data is retained, and the only one not needed on a daily basis is relegated to the movement side visible from the case back. We find this approach to be extremely elegant, and a masterful stroke. The addition of the Flash Calendar (though the flash style calendar is not unique to Moser, as can be seen in our Competitive Landscape, the other inhabitants who possess this capability are far more expensive) makes for a compelling argument for a collector to part with his S $83,790. And if he needs a bit more gentle persuasion, the fumé blue dial is magnificent on its own and almost qualifies for the price of entry, though not quite as Moser offers a similar dial in time only watches.

At 40,8mm diameter, with curved lugs, and a curved crystal on the back, it sits very comfortably on the author’s wrist. We tried it on our lady writer’s 5.5″ wrist, and it too looks amazing on her. Look up our Instagram @deployant for pictures of the Moser on a feminine wrist.

 

At 40.8mm in diameter the Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar is almost perfectly sized for the Chief Editor’s wrist. And what a beautiful glow the dial exhibits. Extraordinarily beautiful.

 

H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Technical Specifications

Reference 1341-0207, white gold model, sky-blue fumé dial, kudu leather strap
Case
18-carat white gold, three-part
Diameter: 40.8 mm, Height: 11.1 mm
Curved sapphire crystal
See-through sapphire crystal case-back
Screw-in crown adorned with an “M”
Dial
Sky-blue fumé with sunburst pattern
Applique indexes
Leaf-shaped hour and minute hands
Month indicated with a small arrow-shaped centre hand
Small second offset at 6 o’clock
Date window
Movement
Mechanical hand-wound in-house calibre HMC 341
Diameter: 34.0 mm or 15 lignes
Height: 5.8 mm
Frequency: 18,000 Vib/h
28 jewels
Power reserve: minimum 7 days
Hacking seconds
Double barrel
Moser teeth for all wheels and pinions
Interchangeable Moser escapement
Original Straumann Hairspring® with stabilised Breguet overcoil
Gold escapement wheel and pallet fork
Movement and components hand-finished and decorated
Functions
Hours and minutes
Small second
Perpetual calendar with date and month
Big date display
Month indicator via central hand
Power reserve indicator on dial
Leap year cycle indicator on movement side
Strap
Hand-stitched beige kudu leather strap
18-carat solid white gold folding clasp with engraved Moser logo

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