The takeover of H. Moser & Cie by the MELB Holding family group is starting to bear fruit. Appointed to head the Schaffhausen-based manufacture a year ago, the young CEO Edouard Meylan is striving to change the ultra-classic perception of the brand, which although highly respected in the world of watchmaking has until now been restricted to a rigorously traditional aesthetic. There is an obvious breath of fresh air at H. Moser & Cie. The proof?
It comes in the form of an “electroshock” reinterpretation of the brand’s famous perpetual calendar: a model with unequalled purity and an astonishing simplicity of operation, in other words perhaps the most beautiful perpetual calendar on the market.
But in addition to the delays that built up after its launch, the Protestant rigour of its aesthetics restricted it to a clientele of absolute purists. It now reappears in identical yet unrecognisable form. Clothed in black, right down to the heart of its movement, the Perpetual Calendar Black Edition takes on a new contemporary vigour and demonstrates that you can maintain the greatest of elegance without necessarily having to use rose gold.
All the constituent elements of the original model are there, both technically – the movement and its operation are identical – and on the case, with the same subtly taut and sculpted lines, but this model gives off a radically different impression. In other, more direct, words it has become sexy. The black coating on the movement components, which are finished with the same high level of artisanal care, shows off spectacularly the architecture of the movement, with the red of the rubies in their settings (one of the brand’s traditional signatures) boldly standing out.
But this is just one of the first signs of change taking place at H. Moser & Cie. In Basel we will discover a new collection, the Venturer, which recalls the aesthetics of the 1960s. With a pebble shape, this new timepiece with its totally “clean” design is characterised by its “Glassbox” type crystal that gives it a resolutely vintage look. Under this dome the dial, which is also domed, has just two central hands, a reworked small seconds and bâton style hour markers of the greatest finesse. The movement itself has also been reworked and the amount of engraving drastically reduced to give it the greatest sobriety.
The ultimate aim, Edouard Meylan tells us, is “to have three collections, the classic one that we know, this new ‘vintage’ collection and, later on, a third collection in titanium that will comprise more ‘everyday’ watches. We have not increased prices and we are still very competitive. But we have done a huge amount of work to drastically streamline the production and assembly of our six in-house calibres. To do this we had to re-engineer our calibres to create some synergies and simplify their assembly, which was way too complicated and costly.
You can also expect some technical innovations from us, as well as some pieces that will undoubtedly be talked about.” A new advertising campaign, a clean-up and realignment in the markets, new tools for monitoring sell-out on a daily basis, creation of subsidiaries for distribution in Hong Kong and later the USA… the brand is undergoing a wholesale restructuring. “Since November there has been a new dynamism, our teams have understood what is at stake and there is now a new kind of enthusiasm, a new creativity. We have also invested a lot in marketing and we can feel that the markets are taking off again and that H. Moser & Cie is once again sought after,” Edouard Meylan affirms.
That is all that we can hope for for this very beautiful brand.
Source: Europa Star April - May 2014 Magazine Issue