Purists will immediately, and rightfully, note that Black Tie as a dress code does not allow for the men to wear wristwatches. Yet those regulations come from an era in which Great Britain still had a King and every airplane a propeller. Times have changed, and so have watches. In 2011 Piaget surprised everybody by entering a DLC coated Altiplano skeleton into the Only Watch auction. True to the nature of this charity event, it was meant to fund the research for a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the Piaget was a piece unique yet at the same time also the very first true dress watch that came with a black DLC coated case.
Whereas a black Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating gives sports watches a bolder and more aggressive look, it tend to give dress watches a sense of understatement. It makes them blend in more, especially when combined with Black Tie, and as the statement their discreetness certainly has more impact. This is most certainly the case with the new H.Moser & Cie Perpetual Calendar Black Edition.
Any H.Moser & Cie watch by itself is an understatement. After all, they have elegant, round cases made of precious metals, house beautiful handmade movements and are topped off with sober dials and hands, all to tell time in a discreet yet luxurious way. The perpetual calendar is perhaps the most outgoing watch of the whole collection. This not just for its extrovert looks, but only because it has more hands than any other H.Moser & Cie.
As a perpetual calendar however, the watch almost seems shy in terms of its design, with many watch connoisseurs probably thinking that the watch only features a date, sub-seconds and power reserve meter when they see the watch for the first time. With a small, arrow tipped hand in the center of the watch H.Moser & Cie takes advantage of the fact that the twelve hours displayed on the dial happens to be the same amount as the number of months in a year. The leap year indication, the key feature that setta the perpetual calendar apart from the annual calendar, is located on the movement side of the watch. A smart move, since a perpetual calendar always displays the correct date and the leap year indicator is only truly needed when setting the watch.
A smart feature as well is that you can adjust the date of this watch back and forward. As simple as this may sound, most time-only movements don’t accommodate this feature, let alone complicated watches like a perpetual calendar. As classic as their watches may seem, H.Moser & Cie likes to innovate when it comes to their movements. All wheels and pinions feature specially beveled teeth to optimize the efficiency of the movement. To contribute even further to this the pallet fork and escapement wheel are made from solid gold and then hardened to obtain a very smooth surface. All this dedication to efficiency, combined with a double mainspring barrel, leads to a power reserve of more than seven days.
H.Moser & Cie offers their perpetual calendar in rose gold, white gold or platinum, with the only extravagance being their famed Fumé dial, where the color fades into a smokiness at the edges of the dial. With the new Black edition, H.Moser & Cie introduces a whole new material for the case; titanium. Coated with black DLC, this metal cannot be seen, but it can be felt! Considerably lighter than gold or platinum, it take understatement to a whole new level with the lack of weight making you forget that you’ve even strapped on a watch. The black case is matched by a black dial and a matte, hand-stitched alligator strap. The stroke of genius is that H.Moser & Cie fitted the Black Edition with rose gold hour markers and hands. This not only ensures legibility, but also maintains the integrity of the luxurious dress watch that is most suitably to be found underneath the shirt cuff of Black Tie outfit.
Want more Moser? Click here for an outstanding article, with live pictures, by Geo Cramer on the Moser Mayu!
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics