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Hands-On: H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Tourbillon

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H. Moser & Cie announced the new Pioneer Tourbillon today. We were given the opportunity to get up close and personal with this particular piece at our Lunch with H. Moser earlier this month. All pictures in this article are ‘real’ (no renders) and taken in a non-studio environment.

What’s in a name

As the name suggests, it’s a Pioneer with a Tourbillon. The Pioneer line is a tribute to H. Moser’s pioneering spirit.  The original Pioneer, at its inception, was the first Moser watch to defy gravity. It was launched in ‘zero gravity’ as they took product-testing for the Pioneer to another level. And that is to be taken quite literally as you can see here in their video documenting the event. I find it therefore quite poetic to now see this gravity defying complication, the tourbillon, make its way to the Pioneer. The addition of the tourbillon to the Pioneer-design results in a contemporary & sporty watch, that is still clearly and unmistakably an H. Moser & Cie watch:

pioneertourbillon

Wearable and Haute Horlogerie don’t always go together, yet here it passes that test with flying fumé colors. The blend of hyper traditional elements (tourbillon) & sports elements make for a striking, versatile and wearable watch. The Pioneer with the addition of the Tourbillon is undeniably a modern watch, with its 42.8mm steel case, applied indices and superluminova on all the essential bits. Note also the Moser specific detailing of the steel case. It is an overall elaborate & interesting case design with sculpted sides. The case design execution is top notch, as was also confirmed by the audible whispers of sheer amazement echoed by the attendees at the lunch event:

pioneersidecase

sidecase

Not very visible on the picture above – despite my best of efforts – is the nicely curved sapphire crystal. It flows very organically from the case and is a perfectly flush fit. The Pioneer Tourbillon keeps its 120meter water resistance, true to its roots. One of the ways the water resistance is achieved is by the screw-down crown (nicely decorated with an ‘M’). It is a detailed, refined yet robust looking crown design as you can see below.  It is executed in a well proportioned size relative to the case’s overall dimensions:

mosercrown

The movement powering the overall watch is the HMC 804 Manufacture calibre. This particular calibre is a wonderful movement to look at. We’ve covered this movement with macro photography previously, and I stronlgy encourage you to go see it here. The HMC 804 is quite a bit different from the HMC 200 which you’d find in the Pioneer Center Seconds, and I don’t just mean the addition of a tourbillon complication. The overall finishing and detail of the HMC 804 is quite a bit more fancy across the board:

endeavourtourbillonback

H. Moser & Cie stands for Haute Horlogerie, and that is obvious when looking at the (in-house) movement’s design & finishing. First thing you will note is the tourbillon. It is a flying tourbillon to be exact, located at the 6 o-clock position, featuring their (in-house) Straumann© double hairspring. Look closely and you will also see the tourbillon’s lovely skeletonised bridges. The tourbillon is in fact an interchangeable modular tourbillon. Developed by – and unique to – Moser. Developed for ease of adjusting, cleaning & servicing, “enabling the watchmaker to remove the existing module, clean and oil the rest of the movement before installing a new pre-adjusted module”.

pioneertourbillonmovement

The skeletonised oscillating weight in 18-carat red gold, engraved with the H. Moser & Cie logo makes for an enticing visual contrast against the scintillating backdrop. The bi-directional pawl-winding system helps the watch wind quickly and power up that (minimum) 3 day Power Preserve. Looking at the details, jewels are either set in gold chatons, or nestled in nicely polished countersinks.

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All the little details combined make for somewhat of a visual feast. Below a close-up of Moser’s detailed finish and use of gold chatons in the HMC 804 calibre:

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Other details that we can see are the typical Moser Geneva stripes.  The Geneva stripes alternate between wide and narrow, which is a decoration found across Moser’s Calibres. In addition, pay close attention to the wheels, which feature ‘Moser Teeth’. Moser teeth differ from usual teeth as they are stronger & more difficult to manufacture. Visual clue to them is that they feature round bottoms:

tourbilloncurves

Finally, the listed specifications are as follows:

  • Pioneer Tourbillon, Midnight Blue Fumé, Steel (3804 – 1201)
  • Self-winding 
  • Diameter: 32.0 mm or 14 1/4 lignes, Height: 5.5 mm
  • Frequency: 21,600 vibrations/hour
  • Automatic bi-directional pawl winding system
  • Oscillating weight in 18-carat red gold 
  • Power reserve: minimum of 3 days
  • Original double hairspring Straumann ©
  • One-minute flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock with skeletonised bridges

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It comes on a black alligator strap or black rubber with a steel folding clasp (engraved with H. Moser & Cie. logo)

A Very Rare Pioneer Tourbillon limited to 50 pieces, retailing at CHF 49.900.- more info can be found at h-moser.com

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8 replies »

    • 120m waterproof tourbillon, its really something else 😀 Great to read you here and I was happy I wasn’t the only one still awake around midnight awaiting the reveal 😀

  1. Beautiful write-up and even more beautiful pictures Jan! Count me in the camp of people who had no idea you could take a Moser watch swimming! Not even mentioning a tourbillon… Now how badly do I really need two kidneys…

  2. Waanzin! The sides of that case, instant-want! Tourbillon is definitely not in my budget (and my kidneys, unlike Brian’s, are likely worthless) but this has re-sparked my interest in the standard Pioneer. Any hands-on with that one? Also, these pics are background worthy bro..

    • First time you call me Bro, must really be a good watch (and set of pictures) hah 🙂 Silly enough I didn’t take close up pics of the Pioneer, I’m not quite sure how that happened. I covered most of the watches they brought, yet that one somehow slipped. I definitely wanted to see the HMC 200 from up close. Overall though, I held the watch there and if you like this version, there is no reason why you wouldn’t love the Center Seconds – in my opinion. It has the added ‘complication’ that you can keep both kidneys too! 🙂

  3. Great write-up amigo! Not a huge tourbillon fan myself, but this does look good.
    P.S. : Knowing you, I’m sure it was hell to keep this ‘secret’ until you were allowed to post 🙂

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