You recently unveiled H. Moser & Cie. When looking at the infinite darkness of the dial of the Streamliner Vantablock tourbillon, two things can happen. The first is that you’ll be wondering about the existence of the dial. Being impossibly dark, the only evidence for it is the presence of an object in its southern hemisphere that is not completely black. The second is that the tourbillon away from the active tourbillon at 6 o’clock cannot be drawn to the eye by its absence on the dial as opposed to its presence. The polarizing juxtaposition of mechanical life flourishing with each beat of a double-sprung balance wheel while surrounded by the seemingly void of space-time can only be executed on this scale by a brand known for its partnership at both ends. Horological spectrum. Moser can fully embrace humor with a troll-like product, such as paying homage to the industry with a “Swiss Cheese” watch or a “hands-free watch” or a “Swiss Icons watch”. At the same time, it is impeccably complete, highly complex and produced Very rare Clocks. Although the brand usually has at least one special surprise up its sleeve every year, each iteration of the Streamliner seems more unique than the next.
When the Streamliner debuted in early 2020, it departed from the brand’s current designs, though it was still undeniably the creation of H. Moser & Cie. The brand may have gone the safe route with the release, which features a classic Moser fume dial and a time-only caliber in the new case, but that’s not Moser style. The first iteration of this new family of watches was the split-second chronograph, which shattered expectations of what a next-generation – and non-Genta-inspired – integrated bracelet watch would look like. As the family of watches grew, it was only a matter of time before it became more remarkable.
It’s only natural that the first precious metal Streamliner 40mm 5N red-gold case and bracelet comes in legendary form. The 232-gram package’s heft is the first of many pleasing features. With a decidedly organic design, the bracelet’s almost reptilian scale-like links are articulated to reveal polished chamfers that play with light and bring the bracelet to life. “It’s like a golden cobra ready to strike,” says Blogtowatch team member Ed Rhee. The integration of the bracelet into the case is natural, with the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock case chamfers echoing the entire bracelet. The undulating lines of the bracelet meet in an almost hidden clasp, which is only really noticeable thanks to the finely engraved Moser hallmark and the 180º inversion of the links.
The case doesn’t have a bad viewing angle, with crisp transitions between brushed and polished surfaces—as you’d expect at this price point. The 12.2mm thickness, while comfortable, is further disguised by two polished chamfers that run nearly parallel from lug-to-lug and a smoothly brushed depression that forms the caseband. Without defined lugs, the lug-to-lug measurement isn’t clear, but I measured about 52mm at the point where the bracelet starts to wrap around the wrist. The crown is large, but not large enough to dig into the wrist during normal wear, and features a Moser “M”. While this is trivial, a simple “M” looks casual and out of place compared to the complex case and bracelet finish. Instead I prefer the detailed engraving of the brand logo that appears at the strap on the crown. The crown is threaded and screws down to help provide a depth rating of 120 meters.
By now, the case and bracelet are relatively familiar sizes for the Streamliner family, so what’s packed inside is truly a treat. Secured by four screws, the sapphire caseback reveals the HMC 804 automatic manufacture movement, featuring a double hairspring flying tourbillon. A double-hairspring tourbillon is a unique answer to the question, “How can friction be reduced while increasing precision?” Adding a second hairspring of equal and opposite effort and allowing this delicate balance to rotate once every minute reduces positional and gravity-induced errors in timing. The tourbillon makes a complete orbit every sixty seconds, so acts as a running seconds indicator and beats at a frequency of 21,600 VPH. The movement has a satisfying 72 hours of power reserve, but it’s nothing to write home about. A solid 18k gold oscillating weight ensures that the movement maintains its power reserve without slipping out of view when you turn the watch.
The main dial surface is constructed of a vertically aligned carbon nanotube array (commonly known as VantaBlack), which has an ability to absorb 99.965% of visible light, making it one of the darkest materials on the planet. It is often used for interstellar imaging systems to remove unwanted inference from excess light. Moser is no stranger to this high-tech material, having previously and recently used it on the exterior of the Streamliner Chronograph Flyback Automatic “Blocker Than Black”. The darkness of the dial is something you have to see with your own eyes to fully appreciate. Each of the markers — sans 6 o’clock due to the tourbillon — is recessed into the dial and has a lightly frosted gold finish that catches the light without creating any glare or reflection. The index door is rough around the edges, although it’s not easy to see with the eye. The dial actually consists of two separate pieces. The back plate contains the indicators and is secured from behind to the Vantablock bearing plate. The two solid syringe-like hands in polished gold feature large three-dimensional globolite luminous inserts that subtly curve as they extend outward along the dial dome. For a lume-lover like me the brightness is a bit disappointing in its strength and duration. However, even in the pitch black of a moonless night, the time is still legible as the dial is darker than the night and contrasts with the reflective hands and luminous batons.
On the wrist, H Moser & Cie. The Streamliner Tourbillon Vantablock evokes a wonderful visceral response – one that most watch lovers have felt at some point in their collecting journey. Dopamine surplus is just the sensation of flooding your system. Whether it’s the weight of the solid gold case and bracelet, the excitement of the tourbillon or the overwhelming darkness of the Vantablack dial, the result is undeniably charming. Although a bit too flamboyant for everyday wear, this watch is easily the pinnacle of any collection and is definitely a sight to behold when given the chance. H Moser & Cie Streamliner Tourbillon Vantablack ref. Price is 6804-0400 $119,900 USD And it’s not limited edition. However, the brand produces around 1,500 watches per year, which makes the slogan “extremely rare” very true. For more information, please visit Manufacturer’s website.