Dial trends are some of the easiest to capitalize on, as the dial is generally one of the cheaper parts of a watch to manufacture, especially when you’re just changing the color of an existing dial. We have, of late, been inundated with green dials. Every brand has one, from the most affordable to the most extravagant. H. Moser & Cie. got on board relatively early with its Cosmic Green dials, introducing the color to its Venturer XL model in 2017. A year later, the brand added the striking color to its Pioneer sports watch, releasing the H. Moser Pioneer Centre Seconds Cosmic Green.
It’s sometimes hard to pinpoint when a trend really emerges, but with green dials it was arguably 2021, when everyone and their mothers piled on the verdant bandwagon in search of the perfect shade with which to tempt buyers. The trouble with green is that humans are able to perceive more shades of it than any other color (those that study these things attribute it to our early evolution in forested climes). This means that brands can choose from British racing green, pea green, mint green, hunter green, olive green, and a million more, and all come up with something new. Never mind the different finishing techniques that will have one color look different on each of three (or more) dials. What Rolex started in 2003 with the release of the Submariner 116610LV “Hulk” took years and a 5-year blue period to emerge as a full-on trend. Always ready to buck convention, but never one to miss a trend, Moser got a head start when it started creating its beautiful fumé dials in Cosmic Green, and the Pioneer Centre Seconds Cosmic Green is an excellent example thereof.
The Cosmic Green appears as it does on Moser’s other executions of the dial: a brilliant radiant green with the brand’s signature fumé effect. The smoky effect makes the dial constantly change as the light hits it at different angles. Although not part of the Concept line—which eschews any unnecessary dial obstruction—the Pioneer makes a good run at keeping things clean. Instead of locating the lume plots on the dial, they are set upon the sloped chapter ring, while marking out the hours on the dial are polished, beveled obelisk indices. The only dial text is the script “H. Moser & Cie.” above the hands, which are half-hollow feuille-style, made wider to accommodate a healthy dose of Super-LumiNova®. A simple polished second hand with a hollowed counterweight completes the handset.
The 42.8mm case of the Pioneer features a decidedly modern, sporty design, unlike the more traditional styling of its brethren. A heavily domed sapphire crystal sits over the dial and is surrounded by a polished, round bezel. The 22mm lugs have a satin-finish top with a subtle line running through, creating an almost hidden facet. At 3 o’clock, you’ll find a ridged, screwdown crown with a slight flare and a capital M on the cap; it helps ensure 120m of water resistance. The highlight for this writer, though, is the profile view.
While Moser is no stranger to carving a bit out of its cases for dramatic effect, the Pioneer ratchets it up. Deep cavities along each lug feature thin grooving, adding stark textural contrast to the polishing around them. The entire case features much sharper turns and angles than do other Moser cases, with an angled, downturned lug that helps the watch wear more easily on the wrist. Securing the Pioneer is a textile strap with rubber backing and a milled steel tang buckle with branding.
Like all Moser movements, the HMC 200 is designed, developed, and produced by the brand, entirely in-house. The automatic caliber features 28 jewels, an anti-shock device, and a novel bi-directional pawl winding mechanism that pushes and pulls the winding wheel to increase efficiency and shock resistance, and help achieve a power reserve of 72 hours. As with every Moser movement, it is equipped with a Straumann hairspring with a flat overcoil, with a balance beating at 18,000 vph under a full balance bridge. Furthermore, all Moser calibers are built with a modular balance and escapement, allowing for more efficient servicing. The large tungsten rotor is engraved, and the movement is rhodium plated, featuring lovely finishing with anglage, perlage, and Moser striping.
Versus the Competition
I’ll ignore the very obvious and instead opt for the somewhat obvious, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 124300 in green. A bit less sporty than the Pioneer, the all-new Rolex Oyster Perpetual was released in a string of exciting colors, bringing a life back to Rolex that had lain dormant too long. The 41mm case is a bit more wearable than the Pioneer, and the styling garners a nod as a go anywhere, do anything watch that could serve as a daily wearer in any collection.
Of course, you could always up the ante within the Moser family and go for the newer, sportier, sleeker Streamliner Centre Seconds. With a cushion case and seamlessly fitted bracelet, the Streamliner fulfills the promise made by its name. It makes more of a statement than its sibling, and the movement has a bit of extra punch with a rose gold rotor. Even better? It’s sized at a more moderate 40mm, which will mitigate the perceived size of the cushion case.
No brand has avoided the green craze, and IWC threw their hat in the ring with the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Racing Edition. At 41mm, it’s sized modestly for a chronograph, and the dial is granted extra texture and contrast by the radial subdials. The Pilot’s Watch offers a more restrained but functional timepiece and is just .2mm thicker than the Pioneer.
Given Moser’s penchant for snark, even a straight-shooting watch like the Pioneer Center Seconds Cosmic Green is best suited for the watch enthusiast who likes to have a little bit of fun with their collection. While the watch may be somewhat restrained by Moser standards (in that it is not made of Swiss cheese), its size and explosive fumé dial make it stand out as what one might call a minor statement piece. Look for this one on the wrist of someone who still has to run that Friday meeting, but is leaving from work for a weekend of adventure.
If you’re looking for a bit of pop from a brand with enough to spare, the H. Moser Pioneer Centre Seconds Cosmic Green is a fine choice. Its build spec easily ticks enough boxes for daily wear—a watch capable of transitioning from day to night, and from work to play with ease. With a radiant dial and uniquely Moser styling, it stands out amongst the other sports watches in its class, taunting them to try to keep up.