H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner

This High-End Swiss Watch Brand Surprised Everyone with a Sporty Chronograph

January 9, 2020 Watches By
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Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) and Baselworld 2020 are canceled but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. To stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases, visit our tag page.

Not many people likely saw a sporty steel watch with an integrated bracelet coming from typically formal and high-end Swiss watchmaker H. Moser & Cie. Introducing a new product family, the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph watch is a first in almost every respect for the brand. According to Moser’s CEO, the impetus for the design and the whole concept “started with the bracelet.”

An integrated bracelet means that the watch head is designed specifically for its bracelet and attaches to it with proprietary components. (This is different from the case with standard lugs found on the majority of watches which can accommodate bracelets but also third-party straps.) The result can be a remarkably sleek and cohesive design, but strap-swapping can be difficult. Integrated bracelets are a big part of what characterizes watches like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus, but not every integrated-bracelet watch has become such an iconic successes.

Following the bracelet, Moser then designed the watch around the chronograph function. Much like the brand’s famously minimalist take on the perpetual calendar, the Streamliner has a cleaner dial than most chronographs, which tend to be busy with multiple subdials. Here, both the chronograph’s seconds and minutes hands are mounted in the center of the dial.

The HMC 902 automatic movement was developed by Swiss movement maker Agenhor, and is visible through the case back. Chronograph movements are some of the most complicated and are thus fun to look at, and this one is further complex due to the addition of a flyback function. It might at first resemble a hand-wound movement because no rotor obscures the view of its complicated clockwork, with column wheel and double barrels offering 54 hours of power reserve. It is automatic, in fact, but the rotor is mounted on the dial side of the movement to leave the case back view clear.

The cushion shape if the Streamliner’s 42.3mm-wide case is another unexpected choice, and the chronograph pushers positioned at 10 and 2 o’clock like ears make for an even more distinctive look. It’s also sporty, with 120m of water-resistance and chronograph pushers that can be used underwater. The net result of all these unusual elements make the Streamliner rather unlike almost anything else on the market, and that seems consistent with Moser’s personality.

An unexpectedly sporty new watch line emphasizing its steel bracelet from a brand otherwise known for relatively formal watches — this all feels familiar, following A. Lange & Söhne’s recent Odysseus. The Moser Streamliner really isn’t much like the Lange Odysseus except in its product positioning, but the timing of its release is interesting. Could this be indicative of a larger trend for 2020? We’ll know soon enough. The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph is priced $39,900 and limited to 100 pieces.

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Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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