Blue Fumé H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Centre Seconds
I often the more archetypal, restrained offerings from a house the more attractive options. This Pioneer, for example, is a distilled essence of Moser. The Pioneer offers a classic Fumé dial with a contemporary case, crown, and handset design. Zero frills. Instead, Moser focussed on perfecting their craft in execution. The smoked dial steals all your attention anyway.
Yes, that dial. But there’s more. The Pioneer is a sporting watch if not a sports watch, water resistant to 120 meters. Independents are doing so many things right yet, generally speaking, water resistance is surprisingly uncommon in the category. In that robust 42mm case lies the hand-finished in house HMC200 caliber. To call it in-house is actually a bit of understatement, Moser even manufacture their own hairsprings. This is almost unheard of. The quality of finishing is bar none. Its balance beats at 21600 vph and that slow bleed of power allows for a three-day power reserve in what is a more classic movement design. To finish it off, the rotor winds bi-directionally through a reversing gear. More capable than your average indie take, all contrasted against that traditional dial.
What love most about modern Moser, though, is that the brand has bar-none independent watchmaking credentials with a sense of humor. This is rare. The Swiss could use an annoying little brother to laugh and point at the absurd occasionally. CEO Edouard Meylan has been doing that masterfully during his tenure. I highly recommend listening to his interview over at the esteemed Scottish Watches. It appears there is boundless creativity and very little limitation at Moser today. In my view, that’s a key function for independent watchmakers though often forgotten. Yet, when they focus, they can clearly still get the details precisely right. As demonstrated here.
This example sports only light, hardly visible surface wear. Produced in 2018, it has lived its four year life gently thus far. It comes with a full set, from a small Polish retailer.
Find this Pioneer Centre Seconds here from Gingin Media for 14200 USD.