Moser was on-trend and in tune with the horological zeitgeist of 2020 when it launched its integrated bracelet sports watch, the Streamliner. Then the Covid-era saw many watches reach dizzy heights that we all look back on with both head-scratching bewilderment and, hopefully, relief that we didn’t go too deep into the madness. The Streamliner was something new, however, and far from being an established behemoth from the pen of Genta, it was a watch that was as fresh as it was important for the brand. And now Moser has rewarded it with the ultimate sports watch facelift that they all want when they grow up; it wears a rainbow.
I don’t need to go over old ground, as we are all reasonably familiar with the H Moser & Cie story. It’s genesis in 1828, when the brand was founded by Heinrich Moser in Russia, was followed over by a century of watchmaking before being revived in 2005 by Heinrich Moser’s great grandson Roger Nicholas Balsige and Dr. Jürgen Lange. Seven short years later, however, the brand was in dire straits with a back-breaking deficit and on the cusp of bankruptcy. It isn’t easy to cast one’s mind back to the early twenty-tens, but at that time, brand recognition was at an all-time low.
Into the frame steps the Meyer family, the owners of the MELB independent Swiss family group, who saw an opportunity to revive the once illustrious brand. What it lacked in sales, the brand more than made up for with its assets; a fully integrated manufacture that had been built on over a century of fine watchmaking. Under the leadership of Edouard Meylan, a man familiar to us all as an affable yet focused CEO, the brand has become a serious player and has carved out its own niche in the haute horology sector. Says Melan about the buyout, “The idea was to draw on what had already been done well – and there were lots of good things – and to further improve this by adding a bit of our own personality. Respecting the past but incorporating a contemporary and occasionally irreverent edge“.
It’s this latter point that’s fascinating to me. There is no arguing that Moser is taken seriously in the industry. The original Streamliner took a prize at the 2020 GPHG and if you’ve seen Moser’s signature fumé dials, you know they mean business. Whilst the industry takes Moser seriously, Meyer et al don’t. Or at least they do, but they can also enjoy a bit of fun in a way that many such entities couldn’t. This has been demonstrated on a number of occasions, including the multi-homage Swiss Icons Watch, the swiss cheese cased Swiss Mad watch and the highly irreverent Swiss Alp Watch. They’ve achieved a lot in 10 years. But let’s talk about the latest Streamliner.
The Streamliner is dominated by lines that are soft and harmonious and, well, streamlined. A large part of its aesthetic appeal is thanks to the brand deciding against a bezel on the watch, giving it a clean and fluid look. As mentioned above, the first model, the Flyback Chronograph, took a prize at the GPHG in 2020 and was followed in the same year by the Centre Seconds. Where the chrono was sporty and aerodynamic, the centre seconds creation was utterly elegant thanks to the fumé dial. Two years later and coinciding with a decade since the Meylans took the reins, the watch now has a Rainbow bezel, a tourbillon and one of those delightful fume dials in the steel watch.
The 40mm case is available in either 5N red gold or steel with, naturally, a matching bracelet. Both models are equipped with a one-minute tourbillon that sits proudly at six on the dial. In red gold, the dial is Ventablack, a substance that is reputed to be the darkest substance in existence. Used extensively in astrophysics for telescopes and the like, it has been used and mastered by Moser. If you opt for the steel model, you will be treated to one of the house-special fume dials with a sunburst finish.
The real star of this show, however, is the “halo” (as the brand refers to it) that frames both pretty faces. Each watch is set with 60 baguette-cut sapphires, each one cut in a unique shape to allow for the cushion form of the midcase onto which the gems are set. I make no secret of my love for rainbow bezel watches in any guise and this example highlights the skill, patience and time that will go into each piece. Finding and selecting the stones for such a watch is a big job, but the cuts required to put this piece together so beautifully lifts the watch to the next level. What a way to celebrate your tenth anniversary!
Streamliner Tourbillon Rainbow
Movement: HMC 804 automatic Manufacture calibre
Functions: Hours and minutes
Case: 40mm 5N red gold or steel with case middle set with 60 baguette-cut coloured sapphires (2.90 carats)
Dial: Rose: Vantablack® dial Steel: Fume dial with sunburst finish. Both with hour and minute hands with Globolight® inserts
Strap: Integrated bracelet in 5N red gold or steel