The dark side of technology
Over the years, H. Moser & Cie has established itself not just as a prominent brand in the independent watchmaking sphere, but also one that is not afraid to take a stance regarding the issues that plague the industry. There was the Frankenwatch to shine the spotlight onto unnecessary marketing, the infamous cheese watch to call into question the term “Swiss Made”, but before all that, there was the Swiss Alp Watch, created to address the question of whether the smartwatch will kill the mechanical watch industry. If you are on this site, you already know the answer to this question.
The Swiss Alp collection was famously modelled off the shape of the Apple Watch but made to house a beautiful mechanical movement. And this year, after putting a tourbillon and a minute repeater into this case, they are finally announcing the end of the Swiss Alp saga with one last concept watch. Introducing the H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade.
For this one-of-a-kind conceptual piece, Moser offers up a Vantablack dial. For the uninitiated, Vantablack is the blackest material in the world, composed of a forest of vertical tubes “grown” on a substrate capable of absorbing up to 99.965% of visible light. This material is so black that when you see it in real life, it plays a trick on your eyes, making whatever it coats look like there is just a void in space.
So you can imagine that for this timepiece, the Vantablack dial makes the blackened leaf-shaped hands appear to be floating within the case. This trend of black also continues on to the case – steel with a black DLC coating – and also to the strap in black alligator leather. Another interesting element of the watch is the small seconds indicator at the 6 o’clock made to resemble the Apple loading icon giving the dial an illusion that it is forever trying to load.
Of course, the movement is a gorgeous hand-wound mechanical movement, the manufacture calibre HMC 324, that offers a power reserve of 100 hours. The Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade, which represents the link between the digital and mechanical watch is now perhaps more important than ever. As Moser puts it, “Current events serve as a daily reminder that the virtual world will never outshine reality, that electronic devices will never replace people, and that technology must remain a means and not an end.”
As brilliant as this watch is, what’s even more astounding is that the idea actually came from a fan of the brand. “This idea was conceived by a customer and friend of the brand, a true enthusiast and fan of the Swiss Alp Watch collection. He came to visit us with an extremely precise design and we immediately wanted to create this model, perfectly in line with our philosophy, with a touch of humour and a hint of provocation”, explains Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie.