Introducing the H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

Introducing the H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

Beyond their indisputable skills as a watchmaker, Moser is best known for something generally lacking in the Swiss watch industry — a sense of humour. In 2016 the Schaffhausen-based manufacture thumbed its nose at the just-released Apple Watch with a perfectly pitched parody that managed to simultaneously celebrate Swiss traditions while gently poking fun at the po-faced delivery that surrounded Silicon Valley’s latest gadget.

In the end, though, it was Moser who laughed last, as the Swiss Alp Watch was a hit, both commercially and critically, and what began as a one-and-done limited edition quickly became something of a staple in the Moser catalogue. Over the years we were treated to numerous editions, colours and complications continuing the Swiss Alp Story.

The time has come for that story to end. But it’s a story that Moser is ending on its own terms, and it’s going out with a bang, rather than a whimper. A singular watch which combines all the elements that made the Swiss Alp Watch so great; humour, style and solid watchmaking. The Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade.

Just like its predecessors, the Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade is inspired by the modern design of smartwatches, yet it is completely mechanical. The watch is powered by the hand-wound HMC 324 Manufacture calibre, which promises a minimum power reserve of 100 hours.
Just like its predecessors, the Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade is inspired by the modern design of smartwatches, yet it is completely mechanical. The watch is powered by the hand-wound HMC 324 Manufacture calibre, which promises a minimum power reserve of 100 hours.

For its shape, it takes the ubiquitous rectangular pebble, in steel with a black DLC coating. Dark though the case is, it can’t hold a candle to the dial, which is in the popular, and impossibly black Vantablack, with blackened hands and a black alligator strap. Not everything on the watch is an ode to the absence of colour. The sole relieving feature is the small seconds feature at six. In the language of horology this small seconds has been achieved with a shaded grey disc made up of openings to evoke the constant passage of time. For users of Apple hardware the sub seconds has a different meaning; the slowly progressing spoked icon that you typically see when you update your device.

The small seconds feature at 6 o'clock is modeled after the update wheel seen on Apple devices
The small seconds feature at 6 o'clock is modeled after the update wheel seen on Apple devices
The Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade features the power reserve indicator on the movement side
The Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade features the power reserve indicator on the movement side

When it was first released, the ‘joke’ of the Swiss Alp Watch was potent — funny and on point. Over the years though, the humour played second fiddle to the creative melodies Moser wove. With the final upgrade, the funny is back in full force, this has been the first press release in some time I’ve chuckled when I’ve opened it, the resemblance to the update wheel is so spot on, and the parallels of passing time are so apt — a perfect fit for Moser. The concept was apparently the idea of a valued customer and friend of the brand — that person deserves a pat on the back for their creativity. Edouard Meylan and the creative team at Moser also deserve a pat on the back for having the courage and the appropriate attitude to take a risk with a watch like this. At this point I think it’s safe to say the rewards have been worth it.

H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade
H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

Technical Specifications

Movement

Hand-wound calibre HMC 324, frequency 18,000 Vib/h, power reserve of 4 days, interchangeable Moser escapement, Original Straumann hairspring.

Case and dial

Steel with black DLC coating, 38.2mm x 44mm, height 10.5mm, sapphire crystals front and back. Vantablack dial, blackened hands.

Strap

Black alligator leather strap

The Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade is limited to 50 pieces.

H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade
H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade
H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade
H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

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Felix Scholz

Felix Scholz has spent the last decade covering watches from his home in Australia. Given this, it's surprising that he still struggles with time zones. Over the years he's become a firm believer that less is more when it comes to watch design – except when a rainbow bezel is involved. He's written for numerous titles including Hodinkee, GQ, A Collected Man and more. These days he looks after the Australian edition of Revolution and takes a break from writing about watches to talk about them, as the co-host of OT: The Podcast.

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