H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds
Angus Davies reviews the H. Moser & Cie Venturer Small Seconds in white gold reference 2327-0200.
This detailed review of the H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds includes live images, specification details and price.
I recently visited London and conformed to type, joining the madding crowds jostling with other passengers in order to alight the underground train post-haste. Rushing up the flights of stairs, ignoring the logic of using the escalator provided, I hurried to the exit without a moments hesitation.
It was only whilst vigorously walking along Piccadilly that I stopped and paused. I had joined the frenzied throng and was rushing through London’s famous thoroughfares without any thought, behaving like a mindless automaton.
Whilst rushing, I had failed to admire the fabulous architecture in my midst, I hadn’t absorbed the numerous floral notes of the flower seller’s stall and I’d overlooked the two taxi drivers having a humorous exchange, engaged in ‘East-end banter’.
Rushing, rushing, rushing…
As I edge ever closer to fifty, I can see the foolishness of rushing. It is only when we ‘stop and smell the flowers’ that we can truly appreciate life’s fragrant bouquet. Quite simply, we need to slow down, pause and savour each second.
The haute horlogerie maison, H. Moser & Cie understand the notion of taking time. Each one of its rare creations is the distilled outcome of protracted hand craftsmanship. The watch company based in Neuhausen in Rheinfall is a manufacture making sublime mechanical movements free of compromise.
The horological repertoire of H. Moser & Cie extends to incredibly complicated timepieces, including perpetual calendars and tourbillons. However, it is the virtuoso performance of this comparatively simple Venturer Small Seconds which has recently aroused the hairs on the back of my neck with its clean, crisp aesthetic.
The H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds was first launched at Baselworld 2014. The initial launch models were presented in 18-carat red gold with a choice of dial options including ardoise, argenté and red gold fumé.
The appearance of these launch models evinced a successful mix of 1920s Bauhaus design with the convex forms popularised during the 1960s.
However, whilst this latest model, presented in 18-carat white gold, continues to harness the aforementioned influences of the 1920s and includes said convex details, it appears more contemporary in character.
The dial canvas is a pristine white lacquered disc exhibiting an angelic air. Applied batons have been usurped in favour of slender, elongated Roman numerals, imparting a sense of grace to proceedings.
Despite feeling contemporary in character, H. Moser & Cie. has employed blued-steel, leaf-shaped hands which respectfully pay homage to traditional watchmaking craft. The sinuous form of the hands, neatly tapering at their tips, elegantly point to the relevant hour markers.
The small seconds display should be savoured. Each aspect of its composition is delectable. Firstly, the small seconds is presented on a subdial which sits lower than the adjacent dial surface, bestowing a lovely depth to the design. The union between the main dial surface and the recessed plane of the subdial is masterfully executed with a neat bevelled edge linking the two.
Again, the small seconds hand is delivered in blued steel and interfaces with neat, short black strokes presented at each 5-second integer.
It could be very easy to overlook other aspects of the dial composition in a moment of haste, which would be a shame. The dial surface gently curves near its periphery, empathising with the curved profile of the rounded sapphire crystal. The edge of the main dial surface is chamfered at 45°, revealing a lustrous metallic sheen and leaving a small channel between the white lacquered dial disc and the neat bezel of the watch.
The 18-carat white gold case is an exemplar of good taste. Nothing is gauche or excessively conspicuous. Those wealthy watch buyers seeking conspicuous consumption may well be advised to look elsewhere. Indeed, H. Moser & Cie openly admit that its ‘very rare’ watches are not for everyone. However, with an annual production capacity of 1000 timepieces and demand for its luxurious timepieces outstripping supply, it can afford to display such refreshing honesty.
Those who clearly appreciate the prepossessing sight of an H. Moser & Cie timepiece will undoubtedly adore the restrained design language employed. Prospective purchasers of an H. Moser & Cie watch do not consider acquisition for reasons of badge snobbery, but rather because the watches yield a high quotient of technical brilliance, coupled with an elegant mien.
The H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds measures 39mm in diameter, making it just a tad smaller than I would have ideally liked. Nevertheless, for the average-sized wrist the vital statistics of this timepiece should prove very agreeable.
Close examination of the caseband reveals a mix of both highly polished and brushed finishes. Moreover, whilst this watch is aimed at a younger clientele than the brand’s Endeavour collection, it continues to embrace some of the design language seen elsewhere in the company’s extensive catalogue of models. For example, the caseband features exquisitely polished, scalloped detail adjacent the lugs which gives way to the aforementioned brushed area surrounding the crown.
The screw-in crown is stylishly adorned with the company’s ‘M’ logo. The lugs are short, sharply tapering downwards and coaxing the strap to envelope the wearer’s wrist.
The hand-wound, in-house calibre HMC 327 can be observed via the exhibition caseback. Its appearance arrests attention with its seemly presentation of expert movement finishing and is gorgeous to look at.
The bridges are adorned with the watch company’s own unique ‘Moser Stripes’, a refreshing alternative to Côtes de Genève motif. Various rubies, gracing the bridges, sit resplendently adjacent polished sinks.
The creation of the calibre HMC 327 is matchless with each bevel perfectly executed. The internal angles share the same exacting appearance.
A power reserve indicator features on the movement, in common with other Moser timepieces.
An aspect of the movement architecture that I particularly appreciate is the unhindered view of the screwed balance wheel, fitted with a Straumann Hairspring® and Breguet overcoil. Furthermore, between the two large bridges is a notable gap which showcases the meandering path of the magnificent beveled edges, providing a glorious glimpse of the wheels beneath.
Prior to reaching this stage of a watch review, I have usually revealed my hand and confessed to either owning said brand or harbouring a strong desire to add one of its watches to my modest collection. On this occasion, I have been remiss. I want an H. Moser & Cie. timepiece and have vowed to my wife that one day I will dent our savings and part with the necessary promissory notes.
Would my Moser of choice be a Venturer Small Seconds in white gold? Probably not. The case of this timepiece is just a smidgen too small for my leviathan-like arms. However, this is no failure of the watch and says more about my penchant for consuming confectionery.
Nevertheless, the H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds in white gold is a superb watch. It is a timepiece for the discerning gentleman who does not feel a need to subscribe grandiose behaviour, but seeks excellence in a muted, tasteful way.
The H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds may not be the most complicated timepiece on the market, but it delivers an appealing blend of attributes which grants more than merely a small seconds display. Indeed, this is a watch which makes the wearer pause, reflect and appreciate life, eschewing the folly of rushing.
- Model: H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds in White Gold
- Ref: 2327-0200
- Case: 18-carat white gold; diameter 39.0mm; height 12.5mm; sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small hacking seconds.
- Movement: Calibre HMC 327, Hand-wound movement; frequency 18,000 vph (2.5Hz); 29 jewels; power reserve minimum 3 days
- Strap: Hand-stitched black alligator leather strap presented on an 18-carat white gold pin buckle
- Price: £13,700 (RRP as at 13.8.2015)