You might remember not too long ago that H. Moser & Cie introduced the Pioneer model which was supposed to be their sporty type model which didn’t look particularly sporty at all. I remember it as a beautiful (and I do mean that sincerely) three hand smart/casual type sports watch. Lacking in knurling, three different bezels and enough coloured subdials to induce a seizure, the Pioneer quietly went about its sporty business with a 42.8mm case and 120m of water resistance. Now, though, it’s time for Moser to step it up a bit, and step up they have.
What we see here is a presentation of two new Pioneer versions, both of which come in gold. Although steel or titanium are the perfect materials for practical sports watches, we humans can’t resist the lustre of gold, even at the expense of practicality. It is therefore fitting that the Pioneer Centre Seconds model now comes with a 5N red gold case. Interestingly, though, this is a two-tone case. Parts of the case such as the caseback, the crown and the inner lugs are black DLC coloured titanium. Just like the steel version, the part that makes this watch work is the unfussy dial. There are no complications here, not even a date, which means the velvety blue colour works in harmony with the red gold case without having any interruptions. The hours and minutes hands have Super-LumiNova applied to them, as well as the dots behind the markers too. The excellent looking calibre HMC 200 is visible through the case back with signature Moser double stripes. The automatic winding movement with skeletonised rotor runs at 3Hz and has a 72-hour power reserve, and the price is $19,900.
Next up is the Pioneer Tourbillon which, to me, is somewhat surprising. H. Moser & Cie is known for its quirky marketing strategy which often devolves to merely taking the mickey out of the industry as a whole. One of the things watch fans like to chuckle at is the inclusion of very delicate components into rugged watches. In this case, the flying tourbillon has been put into their 120m sports watch, thereby removing some of that utility.
However, this may be because H. Moser & Cie understands its clientele, and the people who can afford to drop the $59,900 required to buy this watch are unlikely to be doing anything particularly sporty other than sweating under the Floridian sun. Just like the Pioneer Centre Seconds, the Pioneer Tourbillon features a 42.8mm rose gold and titanium case, however, the thickness has been marginally increased from 10.6mm to 10.8mm. Notice how the components most likely to be put under daily stress, notably the inner lugs and the crown, have been made of titanium. This offers both the attractiveness of the gold and the functional strength of titanium.
Powering the Pioneer Tourbillon is the automatic winding calibre HMC 804, which has a distinctive skeletonised gold rotor rather than the grey one we saw on the Pioneer Centre Seconds. Just like its smaller sister watch, the Pioneer Tourbillon also has Moser’s signature striping on the movement, combined of one wide stripe and one narrow stripe in an alternating fashion. This movement also runs at 3Hz with a 72-hour power reserve.
I cannot wait to see one of these in the metal. I think the gold colouring of the case works just as well as the white steel of the previous Pioneer. It’s great to see H. Moser & Cie adapting its watches to its audience as well.