“Less is more” is a common phrase in life that H. Moser & Cie has taken and embodied as a brand. That mentality has been flawlessly displayed in this Venturer Concept Arctic Blue 2327-0220 limited edition timepiece. It is almost as if Moser has taken non-branding and made it a part of their brand itself. Those familiar will take a glance and know precisely what this piece is all about, and for those less familiar, well, they will want to know!
When looking at the history of this particular timepiece, let us dive into both the Venturer collection and the Concept dial itself. The Venturer collection takes those elements found in pocket watches like the sizable open dial and domed-shaped crystal and uses them as inspiration for its case. The first Venturer pieces were the Small Seconds and the Tourbillon Dual Time, both released in 2014. Each version has complications based on the name of the model. For the Tourbillon Dual Time, the tourbillon is at the 6 o’clock position on the dial and a neat little dual time hand that can be hidden away under the running hours when not in use. The Venturer Small Seconds is a simple time-only piece with the running seconds at 6 o’clock. After this original duo, this particular Venturer was released, and since then, the Venturer Small Seconds XL model came to market.
The first Concept dial was released the following year in the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Concept. The brand has been striving for clean aesthetics, and what could be the pinnacle of that than to make a perpetual calendar—a watch usually known for featuring a slew of subdials and a veritable cornucopia of numbers, words, and descriptions—into something that barely shows any of that at all. In 2016 H. Moser followed this up with the Endeavour Dual Time Concept and the Concept Cosmic Green, furthering the use of this concept dial. The concept then made it into the Venturer Line and even some of the other collections like the Swiss Alps Watch.
In 2017 the Concept dial and Venturer case came together in the brand’s release of the Only watch unique piece that year. This was the first time the model was released without even a running seconds. Since then, there have been several versions of the Venturer Concepts like the Blue Lagoon, the Vantablack, and this Arctic Blue version.
The fume dial from H. Moser is one of the brand’s biggest draws. This Arctic Blue version was actually created accidentally by Moser while making their Funky Blue dial. The Arctic Blue is a stunning and much more vibrant blue hue than the Funky Blue, so they decided to keep it and use it for this watch. The 39mm white gold case is beautifully crafted with vertical finishing on the case sides and a high polished convex area connecting the case to the lugs. The concept dial means it has no markings of any sort, not a logo, a “Swiss made” insignia, or even an hours indicator. There is nothing else besides the Leaf-shaped white gold hours and minutes hands. The large crown has an “M” on the top, which is the only signifier of a logo even at all on the watch. The crystal is dome-shaped, which was done to pay tribute to pocket watches of old. The high polished bezel is skinny, which leaves the case feeling more prominent than a case of this size would generally feel. The brown Kudu strap is a nice touch to finish off the look. It gives it a more rugged and rustic look as well.
The movement inside this timepiece is the manual winding H. Moser calibre HMC 327. It is an entirely in-house manufactured movement down to its hairspring, which is an incredible feat as most manufacturers use outsourced hairsprings still. The old pocket watches inspired the movements as well, so you get things like the 3-quarter base plate and larger slow-moving escapement at 18,000 vph. The base plate is finished with a double ridged Cotes de Geneve, a special finishing that is only really seen on Moser calibers. Also seen on the movement side of this timepiece is the 3-day power reserve indicator — meaning this could be considered to have an additional complication. This caliber features the hacking seconds even though there are no running seconds, but that’s because this movement is used in other timepieces that do have the seconds hand.
Versus The Competition
A couple of pieces come to mind when comparing this watch. First is the IWC Portuguese F.A. Jones Limited Edition. This piece speaks to that classic side of the Moser, where this watch looks very close to many pocket watches. The sizable bulbous crown and Breguet-style hands pointing towards those painted Arabic numerals might look like this piece was converted straight from an old pocket watch. The movement even has a very similar feel to the Moser with the 3-quarter plate styling and the large, slow-moving escapement. Another interesting side note is that they are both manufactured in Schaffhausen. This IWC is also limited edition, although it is limited to 1000 pieces rather than the 100 pieces of the Venturer.
Another great comparison is this Audemars Piguet Code 11:59; however, I would compare this to the modern aspects of the Moser. Right off the bat, one can see the similar use of the fume dial that smokes the blue out to a black as it nears the edge of the dial. Both cases are uniquely distinctive, the code having the brushed and high polish octagonal center case, whereas the Moser has the vertical brush and high polish concave center case. The Code 11:59 will also capture the eye of those who want something different from most collectors, though it will be a bit higher price than the Moser because of the AP’s current prestige and demand.
The collectors of this H. Moser & Cie Venturer Concept pieces like to own unique timepieces. They will seek out the smaller independents like Moser and be captivated by the fun-loving attitude of this brand. Those who want to collect F.P. Journe should look at these as currently they are more obtainable but could definitely be on the rise, seeing as the brand only makes around 1200 watches a year, which is not much more than Journe. This piece will fit in a collection as a dress watch, but even more understated than some of the typical dress pieces out there.
The H. Moser & Cie Venturer Concept Arctic blue is a watch for those who “if you know you know.” A timepiece for the owner to love and enjoy but still be able to catch the eyes of the uninitiated. With the arctic blue fume dial, simple/timeless yet unique case, and incredible in-house manufactured movement, this Venturer Concept is a timepiece that will garner the respect of those who see it. One can only hope that H. Moser continues to create more beautiful pieces like this, but if they don’t, then the owners of this will still be quite happy with this in their collection.