Earlier this month we had the pleasure to invite a great group of friends & watch enthusiasts to enjoy a nice lunch with us in downtown Brussels. It was our heartfelt & gastronomical way of saying thanks for the continued support. We enjoyed medium rare burgers and explored very rare watches. Invité d’honneur, was none other than H. Moser & Cie. While we all had high expectations for what Moser had prepared for us on that day, none of us were expecting the amount of horological abundance that we were about to be presented with.
The theme of the day was ‘Haute Horlogerie’ and H. Moser & Cie is without question the definition thereof, a true manufacture (very rare nowadays) and independent watchmaker. Never boring, always audacious and perpetually challenging the status quo. The type of rare watchmaker that doesn’t just sometimes think outside of the box, but really only gets warmed up after burning the box in the first place… Like Morpheus once said: “There is no box” (well not exactly, but you get the point – and I hope the reference too). From Vantablack dials to Swiss cheese watch cases, it seems where other companies simply say ‘No’ – Moser instead asks the question ‘Go?’
Now, before diving into the fumé dials and manufacture movements, let’s take a moment to appreciate the art of giving a great speech. Rule number one is to avoid competing with the Chef. When possible, always avoid to be the one having to give that most unrewarding of speeches, the ‘just-before-a-meal’ speech. This of course, because you then have the dreaded job of trying to grab & keep people’s attention when you’re essentially the reason that they’re not having their lunch right then and there. This was however the job given to the Moser crew on the day we had our Meet in Brussels. When exchanging ideas in the weeks leading up to the event, I had suggested to perhaps eat first and present afterwards for that very reason. They however, didn’t seem to shy away and fully embraced the challenge as if to say: “Don’t worry, we got this”.
Little did I know they were bringing an absolute horological arsenal that quite frankly defied even my wildest expectations. They didn’t just present us with ‘some’ watches. No. They presented us with ‘all’ their watches. Moser’s orateur du jour, Nicholas, was given the daunting task of capturing the undivided attention of the group. Armed with little else than a handful of slides, he took us all on a journey through time & the Moser universe. Safe to say, he succeeded with honors to keep us all entertained & interested (even Ms de Griff whom – trust me when I say this – isn’t the best of listeners when left in a state of hunger). In typical Moser fashion, the presentation packed a good punch, a healthy dose of humor and a wide range of very rare watches.
Once the presentation was over, H. Moser’s other weapon of choice was let loose on the unsuspecting audience: Olivier. He is a former watchmaker at Moser, since moved into the customer-facing side of things. Olivier had been casually standing near the bar while we were all positively enthralled by Nicholas’ presentation. He swiftly moved out of the shadows, into the spotlight and carried with him the appetizers for the day. By that I mean, he carried several trays of Moser watches and was armed with a breadth of horological knowledge. At this point, everyone forgot their good table manners. As soon as permission was given, we all went hands on with the many watches on display. It is one thing to see and read about these watches online, it is a whole other experience when getting up close and personal with them. Huge bonus was of course getting all the detailed information and technical insights from Olivier & Nicholas.
Perhaps you want to know how well the presentation & selection of watches was received. Let me tell you that it was in fact now the Chef who was facing the dreadful task of having to follow-up on Nicholas & Olivier. Yes – in an unexpected turn of events absolutely nobody was moving to the tables when asked (repeatedly, seriously – and the food was excellent). Everyone stayed in the bar area talking, inspecting & admiring the many watches on display. Only after re-assuring everyone that “The watches – and Nicholas & Olivier – will still be there during & after lunch”, did we manage to finally get everyone seated at the table…
A lot of watches look best in pictures or in their 3D renders, the Moser watches however look even better in the flesh. It is also quite striking just how different each color of these dials look (I’m a sucker for the ‘Funky Blue’ dial myself). By holding them in your hands, a lot of other details become much more apparent. Like the curved crystal on the back, making for a very comfortable fit on the wrist. Also the sculpted sides on their watches, which add an extra level of detail to admire. And then of course, when you look through the caseback, and you can see their manufacture movements, that’s when you really start getting weak in the knees. But, I have written more than enough… Scroll down to see the short Video Recap and the Photo Report.
On behalf of everyone who attended the lunch, a very sincere thanks to H. Moser & Cie for joining us in Brussels, we all had a blast & it was an unforgettable experience. And from us here at DE GRIFF, thanks to everyone for attending and not breaking any watches! 🙂
For more information on Moser, head to their website https://www.h-moser.com/en/
Pictures by Atelier de Griff and Riva Aquarama (thank you for the assistance dear friend!).