It’s hard to believe H. Moser & Cie could make a perpetual calendar any more minimalist than 2021’s Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue, but the master of minimalism has reached a new level of austerity. The Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel delivers all of the functions of a traditional perpetual calendar without all of the fuss on the dial.
The new model has the same tiny triangle of a hand in the centre to indicate the months, date window at 3 o’clock, power reserve at 9 o’clock and small seconds at 6, but the seconds dial is now barely there, with the hand pared down even more, and the index ring removed altogether. And with the exception of two long hash marks at 12 and two short ones at 6, the hour indicators on the central dial have been removed altogether. There is no day-of-the-week indicator as on traditional perpetual calendars; Moser assumes you know that. And because the primary (actually the only) decorative element of the dial is the dial plate itself, there is no moon phase to detract from its purity. As in previous Moser perpetual calendars using the same movement, the leap year indicator is removed from the front dial altogether and instead, positioned on the caseback.
The manual wound calibre HMC 800, a reasonably slim movement housed in a 42 mm x 13.1 mm case. It has been used in this form as far back as 2017 in a very similar Endeavour model and features Moser’s “flash calendar,” an instantaneous date-change mechanism that clicks the new date over instantly at midnight. It can be adjusted forwards or backwards at any time of day. Two mainspring barrels give it a power reserve of seven days.
Like most Moser watches, the focus of the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel is the dial. It looks a bit like crinkled tin foil but has been achieved through an arduous process of grand feu enameling to create a lustrous, carefully modulated glow, another take on the brand’s famous fumé aesthetic. It starts with a pattern engrained onto a gold base in what would be called flinqué if the base were finished in a guilloché pattern. In this case, the surface looks as if it has been hammered. It is then coated with four different translucent colour pigments that are washed, finely crushed, and then applied over the gold in a way that creates an ombré effect. The pigments are added and fired one at a time so that they meld together when heated in the furnace, without any pixelation. The dial is fired 12 times in all to gradually create the fumé effect. Each dial is unique.
The blue really pops next to the tantalum case—a first for Moser—because of its dark, bluish-grey colour. Tantalum is a highly dense and extremely strong metal that develops a fine layer of oxidation that Moser says protects it against “aggression.” Tantalum is anti-corrosive, tarnish-free and does not react to most chemical agents or dissolve in acid (good to know). It’s hard, yet ductile, with a melting point of around 3000 °C, which means it can be easily drawn out and worked precisely. “It took more than two years of testing before we found a way to polish the surfaces of the case, a feat that few have been able to match, with most preferring to sandblast or satin-finish tantalum,” says H. Moser & Cie CEO Edouard Meylan.
The Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel comes on a hand-stitched gray kudu leather strap with a steel folding clasp. It is priced at CHF 75,000 (about RM357,000) and not limited.
Previously published on Robb Report.