We have been drowning in steel sports watches with integrated bracelets. Aside from offering dials in a rainbow of colors, there may be no bigger trend right now. What seemed isolated to a handful of brands—namely Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe—has become an at times exhausting parade of brand after brand trotting out their take on Gerald Genta’s 1970s classics. That’s what most of them are, aren’t they? There’s little originality when it comes to these new models, most of them featuring the same predictable angles and bracelets, with only tiny variations, seemingly put there to avoid being accused of overt plagiarism. Even Moser—a brand known for bucking tradition, and sometimes for flipping an aggressive bird to the rest of the watch industry—has been pulled into the trend. Unsurprisingly, though, Moser actually has done something new and different. With its Streamliner collection, and especially with the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Perpetual Calendar, it brings to the conversation a perfect blend of its signature characteristics and penchant for new ideas.
When Moser released the Pioneer Centre Seconds in 2015, it took a small step into the murky and crowded waters of sports watches. Clearly, the success of that watch gave the brand a boost of confidence, because in 2019 it released the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph, a watch so unapologetically modern and sporty that it seemed to be cannonballing into the deepest part of those waters. With its bold cushion case, brushed dial, and integrated bracelet, the model was something new to both Moser and the watch world. The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Perpetual Calendar was released in 2021 and is the third model in the Streamliner family (a Centre Seconds was released in 2020), and signals a commitment to the collection and an evolution thereof.
The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Perpetual Calendar features the same case design as its sibling, but with more modest proportions, which makes sense as it doesn’t have to house an automatic chronograph movement. The Streamliner Perpetual Calendar case measures a manageable 42.3mm in diameter and only 11mm thick, making it quite wearable. It should be noted, however, that the cushion case shape will give it the illusion of wearing larger. The case itself is finished in a striking contrast of brushed and polished surfaces: a brushed sunburst bezel on top with polished rims flanking a brushed recess on the side (almost every Moser watch has a recessed case like this). The screwdown crown at 4 o’clock is signed with the Moser ‘M’ and ensures 120m water resistance, and opposite at 10 o’clock is a leap year corrector. One of the wonderful things about the Streamliner case is how it manages to hit the steel integrated bracelet trend so well without being derivative, as many of its contemporaries are.
The seamlessly integrated bracelet gives the watch an approximate lug-to-lug of 48.1mm, well within the realm of reason. The bracelet itself is nothing short of a work of art. Off the wrist, it moves in waves, and on the wrist it contours perfectly. It features brushing to match the case, and the internal facets and external bevels are high-polished. The external bevels continue the polished edge of the case and are uninterrupted by the butterfly clasp. Looking at the caseback, one can note that this does not appear to be a true integrated bracelet (one that is not designed to be and/or cannot be easily removed). Instead, the bracelet is attached with what appear to be traditional springbars between hidden lugs; this can be considered a fitted bracelet which will undoubtedly make it more flexible than its truly-integrated sports watch competitors.
Seen under the cambered sapphire crystal, the dial of the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar features much of what we expect from Moser, with a bit of sportiness to keep in character with the Streamliner family; it’s simplicity with a bit of flair. The dial itself features a radiant sunburst gray that fades into black at the edges and is picked up by the case’s brushing. The only dial text is the hardly-there Moser logo in a transparent lacquer above the handset. The handset is carried over from the other Streamliners: partial polished steel extended with ceramic “Globolite” lume, which is proprietary to Moser. Their pill shape is echoed by the applied hour markers around the periphery, which are unlumed and set on a racing-style minute track. What is lumed, however, is the oversized date: each numeral is printed with luminous material. The date itself consists of two superimposed wheels to allow for the size. At 10 o’clock, the hour maker is replaced by a power reserve indicator. Finally, underneath the handset is a small red-and-black hand that indicates the month.
It may be difficult to decide which is more beautiful: the case or the movement. Certainly, they are different types of beauty, one mechanical and complicate, one structural and almost minimalist. Designed by renowned watchmaker Andrea Strehler, the HMC 812 is seen through a sapphire caseback and is made entirely in-house. It features a power reserve of 168 hours facilitated by twin mainspring barrels, a free-spring balance under a full balance bridge for added durability, and beats at 18,000 vibrations per hour. The bridges and plates feature Moser’s signature double striping and have all been coated in an anthracite gray PVD. The perpetual calendar functionality is where Strehler’s genius shines: it has been developed to allow for bidirectional adjustment and is immune to the damage that can arise in other perpetual calendar calibers. Likely to reduce the clutter it might add to the dial, the leap year indicator is on the movement side.
Versus the Competition
As is often the case with Moser timepieces, there’s little competition in the looks department. Let’s look at the other end of the spectrum, though, where everything is on the dial in a more traditional perpetual calendar layout. We can find such an example in the jumbo-sized IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar. The Big Pilot is nothing like the Streamliner: it’s big, chunky, and the dial is chock full of displays. One thing that IWC adds to the mix is the year display, which can go up to 2099.
A cleaner take on the perpetual calendar comes in the Patek Philippe 5236 In-Line Perpetual Calendar. Arguably one of the simplest QP’s that still displays everything on the dial, the 5236 lines the day, date, and month up as if written out on the dial. Combined with the brushing of the dial itself and the sharp case, it’s about as modern as Patek gets, even if that seems dated next to the Streamliner.
There’s really no replacement for the Streamliner, though, is there? As such, you might be drawn to another model from the collection, say the H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Flyback Chronograph. The watch that introduced the collection has a larger case than its QP sibling and a decidedly sportier look, with its additional features from the chronograph. There’s nothing like the original.
As with any Moser, and especially the Streamliner collection, the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Perpetual Calendar is about balancing modernity with subtlety. This is undeniably a sports watch, and will handle most things the wearer can come up with. That said, it’s also a perpetual calendar and there’s a cache in that. Think of this model as an ideal piece for someone on the bleeding edge of whatever they may endeavor to do.
The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Perpetual Calendar shows once again that Moser is in a league of its own. One of the few brand’s that can create both unique dials and cases, while also being legitimately in-house, and clearly having fun, its watches stand alone. The Streamline Perpetual Calendar captures not only the brands ability to push the envelope, but with its movement, a commitment to some of the finest watchmaking available.