Has H. Moser Gone Too Far?
Some think so.
A round of applause for H. Moser please. We knew we could always count on the independent Swiss watchmaker to make a ballsy statement about the watch industry. After all, it did create the Swiss Alp Watch in a thinly veiled dig at Apple. And who could forget the Swiss Mad Watch embedded with real Swiss cheese, created to hit back at the lax criteria for using the ‘Swiss made’ label?
Well this year, Moser has upped its game, lamenting the lack of creativity and use of irrelevant ambassadors in its latest creation, the Swiss Icons Watch.
The piece unique is a desire to honour the legends that shaped the Swiss watch industry, got through the quartz crisis and put their heart into creating beautiful watches. Calling it a ‘Frankenstein homage watch to authentic watchmaking’, the Swiss Icons Watch combines the most recognisable features of at least seven brands.
There’s Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak octagonal bezel with the Rolex GMT-Master II's ‘Pepsi’ iteration, and Patek Philippe’s striped Nautilus dial.
Panerai’s crown guard and Cartier's crown with blue cabochon.
Girard-Perregaux’s gold bridge tourbillon.
Breguet hands and spoof of IWC’s logo.
And we didn’t miss the nod to Hublot’s Big Bang rivets either.
But it’s not all about the icons of other brands. This watch also features some Moser signatures, like the funky blue fumé dial, a paramagnetic double hairspring and interchangeable one-minute flying tourbillon.
Like the special edition watches before it, the Swiss Icons Watch will be auctioned after SIHH 2018, with proceeds going to the Fondation pour la Culture Horlogère Suisse to support young watchmakers and apprentices, preserving expertise in the industry.
In our opinion, it’s not a pretty watch by a long shot and it probably wasn’t meant to be. But it’s a powerful statement, and one that resonates with so many of us who would love to see creativity displace crass commerciality. If that's too much to ask, at least we have brands like H. Moser to keep the conversation going.
UPDATE, 13 January 2017:
In a press statement issued on 12 January, just a day after the launch of the Swiss Icons Watch, brand CEO Eduoard Meylan said: "While our objective was to pay tribute to the great founders of our beautiful industry and warn against certain practices of others, the message was unfortunately sometimes misunderstood. As such, the Swiss Icons Watch will therefore no longer be presented and won’t be sold to raise funds to support education and training of young Swiss Watchmakers."
Well, it appears that a few brands think that H. Moser has gone too far, after all.
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