H. Moser & Cie. has developed a very specific “look” over the years often using a minimalist interpretation of time. Although you’ll see models of varying complexity throughout the different lines, some of the more iconic Moser watches lean heavily on a textured fumé sunburst dial with a surprising lack of branding or text. These models range in their colorways and case materials, but with the brand’s latest release, they’re injecting a surprising achromatic tint through the use of Vantablack and the addition of a large moon-phase complication.
The H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept comes in two iterations: red gold with a midnight-blue fumé dial — classic Moser — and the model in steel utilizing Vantablack. Vantablack is a remarkable substance that is renowned for being the darkest material known to man. It’s composed of carbon nanotubes that are vertically aligned next to each other and are capable of absorbing up to 99.965 percent of all light (Vanta stands for Vertically Aligned NanoTube Array). Some previous applications include being used to prevent stray light from entering telescopes used by astrophysicists and in a variety of artistic projects by Sir Anish Kapoor.
The effect that the material has on the dial is mesmerizing and is enhanced by the moon-phase located at 6 o’clock. The moon-phase is often considered the most poetic complication in watchmaking but has all too often been left by the wayside as an ancillary function to a perpetual calendar, or cut to the edge of a watch’s dial with no thought given to symmetry. Recently, however, there have been a number of watches where the moon-phase — and its lack of kinetic action — enhances the dial overall (for example, the MeisterSinger Lunascope). That’s definitely the case with the Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept, which uses its textured moon to break up the inky blackness of the dial and add a bit of levity to the watch itself. After all, if the dial was completely enveloped in the Vantablack aura then what would be the point of using it to tell time?
The moon-phase aperture grounds the grand ambition of the watch and is a reminder of its core functionality which boasts a pretty impressive caliber to go along with its genre-defying dial. Inside the watch is the hand-wound HMC 801 manufacture movement with a seven-day power reserve. The moon-phase is controlled by a push-button on the side of the case that can set its progression to the exact minute. The complication features an elaborate wheel train that maintains the moon’s accuracy to 0.23 seconds per day, meaning a single day’s deviation would take 1027.3 years. This, of course, means that the Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept boasts one of the more accurate moon-phase indicators in today’s market.
In the wrist shot below, you’ll notice what looks like a counterweight hanging slightly askew from the leaf-shaped hour hand. That subtle nub is actually an a.m./p.m. indicator. It does a complete rotation once every 24 hours so when it’s set between 12 and 6 o’clock, the watch represents the morning time; between 7 and 11 o’clock, the evening time. Another detail of note is a power reserve indicator found on the movement side and visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback. It’s a functional detail that should prove itself useful to someone not used to wearing a hand-wound timepiece.
Due to the scarcity and value of Vantablack, the stainless steel model is actually set at the same price as the sans-Vantablack version in red gold. Both watches are valued at $35,000 and come with a hand-stitched strap made from either black leather or brown alligator leather.