Last Call: H. Moser’s Swiss Alp Watch Gets A Final Hurrah

An iconic Moser collection bids farewell.

H. Moser Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

Every time we are asked which brand we think is the most innovative in the industry, we usually reply, “Moser”, without skipping a beat. There are many descriptors we could use as well: “irreverent”, “unconventional”, “creative”, “progressive”, and they probably are a combination of all those. But that’s really what makes H. Moser stand out in a sea of watch brands which, though rich in history and technical know-how, can often be staid, slow to embrace modernity, and (for want of a better term) boring.

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Having met CEO and owner of H. Moser & Cie, Edouard Meylan a few times, the creative passion in him is obvious. At the end of an interview a few years back, we asked what the brand planned to roll out next. To this, his eyes took on a mischievous glint and he teased us with something along the lines of I-can’t-tell-you-yet-but-we-have-something-special-and-it’s-a-bit-controversial. That “controversial” timepiece would turn out to be the Swiss Icons Watch, which got the industry up in arms and the copyright police all ready with their guns.

But that’s Moser for you—not afraid to think out of the box and disrupt with a cheeky sense of humour as they’ve done since the Meylans took ownership in 2012. One day, when Edouard Meylan found himself straddled with some leftover rectangular cases, he had the brilliant idea of creating a riff on the Apple watch with its iconic rectangular case and, at the same time, making a statement for mechanical watches. And just like that, the Swiss Alp watch was born in 2016.

H. Moser Swiss Alp Watch S
The Swiss Alp Watch S from 2016

Over the years, various iterations of the watch have appeared, including the Swiss Alp Watch Concept Black—a revolutionary minute repeater with no hands on the dial. This year, the brand has decided to present a unique piece as the grand finale to what has been an audacious collection, christening it the Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade.

H. Moser Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

True to Moser’s tongue-in-cheek style, the Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade is a last dig at the ubiquitous smartwatch, brought about by an idea from a customer. Completely mechanical (it runs on the in-house Calibre HMC 324), the watch boasts a design that mimics the look of the Apple watch, replete with a small seconds display at six o’clock. This is represented by a shaded disc behind a circle of slits in the dial, resembling the “loading” symbol we’re so used to seeing on our digital devices.

H. Moser Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

Keeping things in Moser's trademark understated style, the Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade comes with a dial in the blackest artificial material known to man—Vantablack. Paired with blackened hour and minute hands, along with the absence of any logo or markers, the watch is deceptively simple but speaks volumes to the ingenuity of the brand.

H. Moser Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

For haters who don’t get what Moser stands for, Meylan is unfazed. “For every collector who loves us, there are a few more who hate us,” he once revealed. “But that’s fine. At least it’s real. I like, and am proud that, our community of collectors are true to their tastes and beliefs.” While the Swiss Alp chapter may have closed, we’re certain exciting new concepts will continue to stream out from the brand. And we can’t wait.

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Managing Editor

Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".


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