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H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Tourbillon Midnight Blue

March 28, 2024

A limited-edition tourbillon from one of the most desirable brands in high horology

While only recently revived in 2005, H. Moser & Cie has quickly gained a reputation for incredible design, craftsmanship, and technical know-how. The brand has made considerable investments in manufacturing, even developing and producing its own hairsprings. The limited-edition Pioneer Tourbillon in Midnight Blue showcases the brand's exceptional watchmaking philosophy, combining technical brilliance and practical minimalism.

The Surprisingly Sporty Case

The case is fairly sizable, measuring 42.8mm in diameter. Several millimeters of the watch's 15mm thickness come from the sapphire crystal, which is dramatically domed. While the case is predominantly rose gold, Moser has chosen to fashion the lugs and crown out of black DLC titanium. Speaking of the lugs, the sides are hollowed and feature a coin-edge style pattern, adding visual interest. Although the tourbillon is associated with more traditional watches, the Pioneer features a sportier, perforated black rubber strap. In keeping with this practical feature, the case is also rated to 120 meters of water resistance.

The Striking Blue Dial

While simple, the dial is highly impactful. The dial features a fumé gradient in what Moser calls "Midnight Blue." Elegant, polished gold indexes mark the hours. Both the broad, leaf-style hands and the chapter ring feature Super-LumiNova. The minimal markings and text ensure that the tourbillon, positioned prominently at six o'clock, is the focal point. An aperture so large that the gears of the motion work peak through reveals the technical marvel.

The Movement

The Pioneer Tourbillon houses the HMC 804 caliber. As expected, the movement is finished to a very high standard, featuring striping, graining, anglage, and black polishing. The caliber is automatic thanks to a rose gold skeletonized rotor and offers a respectable 72 hours of power reserve.

The obvious highlight is the flying tourbillon which makes a full rotation every 60 seconds. The complication dates back to the days of the pocket watch when the movement would be adversely affected by gravity due to its vertical position in a coat pocket. In a wristwatch, the daily movement of the wearer's wrist balances out the effects of gravity for the most part. Although the tourbillon no longer provides a major enhancement in accuracy, the complication remains an impressive display of watchmaking prowess due to its complexity. Of course, it's also fun to look out. This particular tourbillon also features a patented double hairspring to again compensate for positional errors caused by gravity. While almost superfluous, the double hairspring, in combination with the tourbillon and Moser's precise regulation, makes the Pioneer incredibly accurate.

Closing Thoughts

The motto "Very Rare" that features below Moser's name aptly sums up the band's small-scale production, craftsmanship, attention to detail, and exclusivity. The Pioneer Tourbillon exemplifies these principles in its design, execution, and limited availability. While Moser is currently producing the model in other dial colors, the Midnight Blue edition was limited to 50 pieces and will never be made again.

In the Pioneer Tourbillon, Moser has masterfully created a visually striking piece, juxtaposing the simplicity of the dial against the complexity of the tourbillon. The tourbillon itself and double hairspring, which may seem like excessive features, contrast with the watch's unexpected practicality provided by the rubber strap, sporty case, water resistance, and automatic winding. It's evident that the Pioneer Tourbillon isn't just a timepiece to be admired and confined to a safe like many tourbillons seem to be; it's meant to be worn.

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