By Meor Amri Meor Ayob
“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.”; R. Buckminster Fuller
The world thought that horology has entered a golden age with the introduction of the Apple watch in 2015. This unfortunate view was due, in most part, to the mistaken understanding about the world of horology. This reminds me the famous saying, which I quoted above, by Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983), an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer and inventor. It sums up the mistake that a lot of people have when asked to comment about the world of horology – that the perfection of horological instruments can be achieved with technology.
When the quartz technology was introduced in the 1970s, the mechanical watch industry, although was affected, it continues to strive from strength to strength. Why? This is because technology is just a medium to which horology presents itself. Horology is not about the effectiveness of telling time but instead is the art of presenting an instrument of time. To those that think the Apple watch herald a second coming of sorts, think again. Yes, it is able to do many things with the technology it possesses coupled with the power of the internet but its beauty is just that. It does not in any way diminish the beauty and effectiveness of a simple mechanical watch.
The Swiss Alp Watch by H. Moser & Cie. is an attempt at highlighting the fundamental difference between horology and technology. Apart from the same shape, same size and same wire-lugs as the Apple watch, the Swiss Alp Watch has a typical three hands dial with a small second sub-dial and powered by an exquisite hand-wound mechanical movement. The dial is protected by sapphire crystal. The screw-in crown is located at the traditional 3 o’clock position and adorned with an “M”.
The Swiss Alp Watch is 38.2 mm from left to right and 44.0 mm from top to bottom. Height is approximately 10.30 mm. The whole casing is made from white gold. Only 50 pieces will be made at a price of USD24,900.
Powered by the in-house hand-wound HMC 324 calibre with 27 jewels, it beats at 2.5 Hertz or 18,000 vph, with seconds hand stop function. The main springs has approximately 4 days of power reserve which can be observed via a power reserve indicator visible on the back. Some interesting specifications on the movement to note are the interchangeable Moser escapement and the original Straumann Hairspring with stabilised Breguet overcoil. All the components are hand-finished and decorated. The exquisiteness of the HMC 324 can be seen via the see-through sapphire crystal case-back.
If you recall the video by Tim Cook when he introduced the Apple watch, he was creating an impression that the product created by Apple is a fundamental shift in the way we would use a watch. Very lofty assertion indeed but unfortunately, misguided. I believe this is what Mr. Edouard Meylan, the CEO of H. Moser & Cie was trying to imply when he made this unique video introducing the Swiss Alp Watch.
I love the statement he made:
“We’d like to introduce to you the Swiss Alps Watch, a completely single device that is the result of over 200 years of research and development. The Swiss Alps Watch will not only let you reconnect with people, it might simply change the world. No upgrade needed. Out 100% Swiss made technology has been the reference for a century. Power supply down? Our revolutionary power source offers over 100 hours autonomy at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere. For our engineers, less is more. This result in a Swiss Alps Watch with the state of the art ergonomics with a simple interface and features the most essential application for your most valuable commodity, the time. With no phone, no messaging, no sketches or heartbeats to send, the Swiss Alps Watch will change your life. It will let you reconnect with people by getting out there, meeting your friends and spending time with your loved one. So get a life…a mechanical watch.”
This is one poetic message that is genuine and reflects the true meaning of horology.
For more info, please visit h-moser.com
MEOR AMRI MEOR AYOB – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!!) on his own free time. His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western Watch Read his articles here