Known for drawing attention to unorthodox designs, whether on April Fools Day or any other day, H. Moser & Cie. tones down the flash this year with three new watches that are more understated than provocative. And unlike the one-off ‘launches’ of previous years (remember the Swiss Cheese watch?) these new models are both immediately available and will be made in ongoing production.
This week H. Moser launches three watches that each feature a dial made from Vantablack, the ‘blackest black’ ever produced by artificial means. And while H. Moser has offered five additional Vantablack-dial watches since the Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept model introduced the idea in late 2018, this new trio takes the all-black concept to the next level with their minute and hour hands also blackened, though not with Vantablack.
The new watches are the Venturer Vantablack Black Hands, available in a choice of two diameters (a 39mm white gold case and a 43mm steel case for the XL version) and the 42mm (blackened steel case) Endeavour Tourbillon Vantablack Black Hands. The tourbillon model, a limited edition of fifty, utilizes H. Moser’s own technically excellent double-hairspring one-minute flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock and skeletonized bridges coated in black PVD.
The notion of black hands on a Vantablack dial at H. Moser initially drew attention as an April Fools lark last year. Drawing many positive responses, H. Moser decided to produce the stealthy watches. Launched to elicit an emotional response, according to H. Moser, these new watches might also elicit second or third glances since their minute hands and hour hands are matte-black colored, just barely visible atop their black-hole-like dial.
Did I mention that you won’t see any indices on any of these dials? Or a logo.
If you’re not familiar with H. Moser’s earlier uses of Vantablack, here’s a primer on the ultra-black material. Vantablack is composed of carbon nanotubes that are 10,000 times finer than a human hair, aligned vertically alongside each other. When a photon hits Vantablack, the material absorbs 99.965% of the light. As our eyes need reflected light to perceive what we are looking at, Vantablack is perceived as the absence of matter, much like a black hole.
Moser CEO Edouard Meylan notes that the Vantablack material was developed by a British company for aerospace use and is now found in telescopes and on certain military equipment. The material can be fragile when placed onto a dial, which is why his watchmakers protect it by using specialized production procedures and by topping each Vantablack dial immediately with a sapphire crystal.
All three watches are now available via an online sales platform set up by H. Moser & Cie, as well as from H. Moser’s retailers. Prices are $26,600 for the 43mm XL style in stainless steel, $27,600 for the 39mm white gold version and $69,000 for the DLC-blackened stainless steel tourbillon model.