H. Moser & Cie have long been one of my favourite independent watchmaking manufacturers, and their Pioneer collection has to be my favourite. From the time-only Centre Seconds model, to the Perpetual Calendar beast, the Pioneer is the most emblematic, most wearable and, to me at least, the most desirable. And now, we have the Pioneer Tourbillon. Simply put, this could very well be one of H. Moser & Cie’s best piece yet, and in the world of luxury watchmaking, I really believe that the Pioneer Tourbillon is one of those super understated, fly-under-the-radar pieces.
There is nothing like a tourbillon. As obscure and unnecessary as the complication is, it still very much reverberates with respect, admiration and adoration throughout the industry. And what the Pioneer Tourbillon does is place the focus of the tourbillon in full view, while giving this once-upon-a-time complication a very functional habitat to exist in. The 42.80mm wide, 10.80mm thick stainless-steel case screams functionality. It’s rated to a water-resistant depth of a whopping 120m and comes on either a black alligator leather strap or a black rubber strap. Add a point to wearability.
The midnight-blue fumé dial is exceptional, as it is in the Centre Seconds and the Perpetual Calendar models. It features a stunning sunburst pattern which serves as the perfect backdrop to the leaf-shaped hands, partially filled with Superluminova, ensuring legibility. The applied hour indices also feature the same luminescent material, and as a whole I can’t really fault the overall look of the Pioneer Tourbillon at all.
And that brings us to the next point: the movement! The Pioneer Tourbillon is powered by H. Moser & Cie’s HMC 804 manufacture calibre. The movement measures 32mm across and has a height of 5.50mm. An 18k red-gold rotor engraved with the H. Moser & Cie logo ensures that the movement is wound and ticking along. The red-gold rotor provides the perfect contrast against the cool and industrial look of the movement. I normally don’t enjoy an automatic movement powered by a rotor (as opposed to a micro-rotor), but in the case of the HMC 804’s skeletonised look, there is plenty of open space to see the movement.
The tourbillon is, of course, the highlight of the Pioneer Tourbillon. The HMC 804 actually features a double flat hairspring. This ensures that the movement of the point of gravity on each individual spring when it expands is corrected, which of course improves timekeeping accuracy. The dual hairsprings also distribute the amount of friction inflicted, improving their overall life-span. Oh, and with thanks to H. Moser & Cie’s ingenious interchangeable module design, in the event of future servicing, it’ll be as simple as swapping one part for another. Perfect.
H. Moser & Cie’s Pioneer Tourbillon is the perfect modern-day tourbillon. Dress it up or down, the Pioneer Tourbillon will be able to hold its own in any situation, at any event, and with any outfit. Pure brilliance!
The H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Tourbillon will feature at SIHH 2019 but is available for sale now for $79,000.