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H. Moser & Cie Watches

Heinrich MoserH. Moser & Cie – Where does this nameH. Moser & Cie manufacture originate in? This story is known to very few people. Heinrich Moser was born in 1805 in Schaffhausen, he belonged to a dynasty of watchmakers and he made up his mind to be a watchmaker too. At the age of 22 he moved to Russia, where he successfully founded a watch empire known as H. Moser & Cie.
The watch production was launched in Swiss town of Le Locle, some watch details were purchased from Urban Jurgensen and Jaeger-LeCoultre companies. Producing about 70 calibers, H. Moser & Cie really had a crack, the company supplied Russian emperors with its watches, also a lot of watches were sold in Japan, China, Persia, France and America. 
In Russia Moser started his career as a watchmaker, and finished it as a head of the largest trading house with its own workshop of watch assembly. Thanks to the founder of the company, for Russians Moser's name became synonymous with the products of the highest quality.
"A man should wear a watch. But it must be only Moser watch." Mayakovsky wrote this slogan on the order of the GUM in the early 1920s. At that time no one could assume, that later this advertising would become relevant. But H. Moser & Cie watch brand, having been very popular in Russia, rescued from obscurity. However, the company gained an acceptance not in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but in its homeland – in Swiss city of Schaffhausen. By the way, even the leader of the world proletariat had such a "bourgeois" watch. In 1917, having expropriated the company, the Soviet authorities rewarded their "best sons" with Moser watches.
Roger Nicholas BelsigerHaving returned to his native cityH.Moser & Cie manufacture of Schaffhausen, Henry Moser contributed to the industrial boom in the city, in particular in the creation of a hydroelectric dam on the Rhine. Also Moser managed to attract F.A. Jones, the IWC company founder, and invite him to the town. In 1974 Heinrich Moser's heirs sold his business in Russia. The factory in Le Locle, producing mechanical watches until 1980, was closed once and for all. And at the end of 2005, on the 200th anniversary of the "Russian Swiss", it was announced that H. Moser & Cie company had created new unique watches with the old name. There were no Cyrillic inscriptions on the watches. And the first distribution networks were established not in Russia, but in Southeast Asia. It actually made sense, because the luxury goods were in a great demand in this region, especially in China. But after some time the watch brand returned to the "native" Russian ground. At the present time this watch brand has not entered the Russian market yet. It's a pity, as the name of Henry Moser in Russia sounds very good. It is enough to look through the Internet sites, which offers antique watches, or find some Internet auctions, to realize that H. Moser & Cie watches are very popular in Russia and all over the world. So, the armorial escutcheon engraved on the watch movement indicates a prestige of the watch brand. The same armorial escutcheon is engraved on the movement bridges of  H. Moser & Cie watches. The movements are designed and manufactured at Moser Group AG. In 1913 the watch company habilitated as an official supplier of the Russian Imperial Court. So, the company's successors have all chances to gain the acceptance of a new Kremlin elite. And not only the Kremlin.
H. Moser & Cie company is greatly obliged to Dr. Jürgen Lange. Thanks to him the company wasH.Moser & Cie watch assembly renewed. A native German, he had been working for IWC watch company for a long time, and then decided to start his own business. Having  gathered a small group of investors, together with Roger Balsiger Dr. Lange opened H. Moser & Cie company once again. Balsiger, a direct descendant of Johann Heinrich Moser, became a honorary president of the board of directors and the brand's ambassador. The mechanical watches, developed by H. Moser & Cie in Schaffhausen are not just impressive in terms of  time showing, but they also amaze the public by their restrained design. Today we are observing all sorts of refinements in design, watchmakers give the most unusual shapes to their watches, use all imaginable materials to demonstrate the "inner content" of the watches. H. Moser & Cie company stands out very sharply against this background. The watch brand offers round-shaped model of ideal proportions. The watches are neither too large nor too small, they are free from superfluous decoration, aiming at the perfect purity of design. These watches are clear and discrete, their main task is to show hours, minutes and seconds. So, where did all this magic come from? Why is there a feeling that Moser watches aren't influenced by the vagaries of fashion? How can we H.Moser & Cie mechanismexplain the natural elegance of these models, that attract our attention at once? The answers are hidden in many facts that are rooted in the great tradition of watchmaking. Let's examine the watch case, for example. It is plain and round, but there are graceful arches on the both sides of the crown, which give the case a special lightness and sensitivity, allowing the light to play on the polished surfaces. However, despite the classical design of the case, it is complicated in terms of technique. There are 27 elements and seven seals that protect the movement. Slightly convex anti-reflective sapphire crystal makes it possible to see the fine decoration of the dial. Due to the long three-dimensional hands and multifaceted indexes it is very easy to read the time. The slightly enlarged nubs help to fix leather strap perfectly. Another important detail is rather a big, but a very elegant and easy-to-operate crown.
A radically simple but elegant H. Moser & Cie watch cases contain the innovative movements (four of them are automatic and hand-made inside the company), which demonstrate a rigorous attitude towards the time showing. The company's concept is as follows – simplicity, functionality, comfort, ergonomics, readability and reliability of  perfectly made mechanical watches. The basis of this perfection is H. Moser & Cie's special innovation, that is interchangeable watch escapement module, common to all movements produced by the watch company. So, why are these movements of a great interest now? In outward appearance they differ from other unusual watch balances, which are originally planned to be interchangeable. It is a great advantage not only for the service, but H.Moser & Cie watch spiralalso for upgrading the movement. The latest example is a special Straumann balance with two springs (in honor of Professor Reinhard Straumann, who patented Nivarox material and the technology of its production in 1931). The two balance springs can be installed in every Moser watch, without any exception. But such a module is installed only in Henry watches so far. In other words, all the "regulating organs" of the watch are united in one module, and it is necessary just to remove the two screws to replace the module. Daniel Zimmerman, the director of sales and marketing, explains: "The main idea of this innovation is to solve the problem, that now face all producers of mechanical watches. It is a watch service. There are very few skilled watchmakers, who are able to repair a complex movement. In addition, every watch, having been in use for five or six years, needs a full service, that can take weeks or even months. And during the service an owner is deprived of his watch. I'm not talking about the money that he has to pay for the service. Our system allows the client to go to a watchmaker who will take out the module, clean it and lubricate the movement, and then substitute a new module, produced by our company,  for the old one. Thus, the client should just wait a little and leave the watchmaker with the watch on his wrist. In the meantime, the watchmaker is repairing the removed module." H.Moser & Cie mechanismNo doubt, getting know about this original patented idea, many other prestigious watch brands will turn green with envy. Another feature of H. Moser & Cie watch movements is a thoroughly designed wheel system, performed at a high level. This implies a complex final processing of the wheels, including the hardened steel parts of the wheels and the polished facet of the wheels of winding mechanism, that is very rare in watch movement. It is not just beautiful, but it also guarantees, that the system will work  for a long time. It is extremely important for a wrist watch with manual winding.
By the way, as for the winding mechanism, H. Moser & Cie is now developing its first automatic movement, but unfortunately, there is no more concrete information about this fact. The watchmakers' creative flight of thought has not stopped on the innovations, described above. The ideas were expressed in the design and the quality of  escapement. For example, the adjustment screws (0.35 mm in diameter) of a large balance are marked with special grooves that allow to save the adjustment in spite of the vibration. One more "little feature" is a very thin palette fork, made of hardened, but not hammered gold. After hardening, that is called Routgenstrahltiefeulitographie or LIGA, the hardness of the metal is about 600 Vickers. As a result, the surfaces are extremely smooth and the friction between the stone of the palette fork and the teeth of the escape wheel is decreased. H.Moser & Cie mechanismThe accuracy of watches is also supported by another device called the "dragon arm", which is responsible for the perfect adjustment of the distance between the pallet fork and the escape wheel. Today H. Moser & Cie watch movements are equipped with Breguet Nivarox balance. Nivarox is a material with anti-magnetic characteristic, it is recoverable and resistant to disruption and corrosion. Nivarox is an alloy of seven elements. The material has a specific formula, which is still used in slightly modified form in different levels of production by most watchmakers world wild. For many years the production of this material has been entirely belonged to Straumann to control its quality. About five years ago, Precision Engineering AG company began producing this material, today the company is in close collaboration with H. Moser & Cie, they  has established their own production line from the creation of the alloy to the final assembly of the watch escapement. However, H. Moser & Cie is not going to open its own workshop of movement production. The company in Schaffhausen orderes the wide range of devices, calibers, movements and cases at a number of subcontractors, many of which are situated in the Jura region.
The most complex watch in H. Moser & Cie collection is Moser Perpetual 1. An external rigor and laconism of this model hides a lot of pleasant surprises. From the name of the watch one can easily guess about the first H.Moser & Cie watch mechanism assemblysurprise. This is a perpetual calendar. The adjustment is needed only in a leap year (leap year indicator and an adjustment button is on the case back). Through the date aperture you will never see unnecessary days. So, after February, 28 there will immediately appear March, 1, after April, 30 – May, 1, and so on. The date is not indicated through the two parallel windows, but through only one. That is, the date is always at the center, regardless of the number of numerals in it. For example, the first date of a month is displayed as "1" instead of "01." As for the months, watchmakers finally understood that there are 12 months in a year, that is just as much as the number of indexes on a dial. So, there is no need to make one more window on the dial. A tiny, barely perceptible central hand is quite capable to show a month. It seems to be an obvious idea, but it appears in a wrist watch for the first time! And that is not all. If you have ever bought a mechanical watch with a calendar, you probably were warned, that to avoid some breakage it is strictly prohibited to put the date and the watch back or forward during the interval from 20.00 to 2.00. But there are no restrictions for Moser Perpetual 1. You can set the current date when you want to. In addition, the crown can be rotated in any direction to reach the needed number quickly. And there is one more important difference of this watch from its analogues. Many people have firsthand knowledge, that to pull the crown out into the middle position is not so simple. If you just slightly overrate your strength, the crown will come into its extreme position – and so, it is ready to set not the date, but the hands.  It will never happen to Moser watch – the crown is pulled in two steps, being clearly fixed in each position. And by pressing it can be returned to the fist position. Moser Perpetual 1 has seven day power reserve. It may have even nine day power reserve, but for the sake of the accuracy it is better to wind the watch once a week. It would be much better to add to the two mainspring barrels a module of constant force. But the price of the watch is already high enough without this module –  from 22,000 euros. The watch with perpetual calendar rid of the superfluous elements can be surely called a "Watch of the Year".
Mayu and Monard are two major collections in a large family of H. Moser & Cie watches. Moser Mayu (from 7,500 euros) is the most elegant model. There are no complications in this wrist watch – it just shows the time. A pair of large numerals at the top of the dial is balanced by a big second dial at "6:00". The design of the dial resembles a dial of a pocket watch. The watch has a deliberately modest design and all of the special elements of Moser's style. Even the elements, that are hidden from the human eye in the watch case, are thoroughly finished. However, this is a common feature of all Moser wrist watches. One more Moser company's feature is the golden anchor wheel and the palette fork. Moser Mayu watch has only one big barrel with 80 hour power reserve – a power reserve indicator is on the case back.
Moser Monard is the most plain and restrained wrist watch. H.Moser & Cie watch assemblyThis watch with a big date at “6:00” costs 13 000 euros, and the model without a calendar – 10 000 euros. Monard watches (diameter of 40.8 mm) is equipped with two barrels and has a power reserve of seven days.
It is worth paying attention to this watch brand. In 2006 H. Moser & Cie produced about 500 watches, in 2007 – 750 watches, and in the future the owners of Swiss company are going to  manufacture up to 5,000 watches per year. Currently, the brand has 25 sales outlets in twelve countries. The quality-price ratio is rather acceptable. There are some watches made of white or rose gold and platinum. Despite the plain, "smoothed-out" features of the watches, H. Moser & Cie company pays a considerable attention to the watch design: in 2009 a collection of wrist watches made of palladium was produced (the "Norilsk Nickel" is gleefully rubbing its hands). All of these palladium watches have smoke-coloured dials, including Mayu Fumé watches. One can recognize here some principles of color differentiation of the dials often used by the IWC watch company (both H. Moser & Co. and the IWC are located in the same city, that is why the companies are closely connected with each other).
Exclusive technology of the production of gorgeous, elegant watches is the main fact, that makes the collections of H. Moser & Cie watches exceptional and authentic at the same time.

  lines/series H.Moser & Cie
Moser Perpetual 1
HENRY Double Hairspring
Monard Date

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