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The Ultimate Collab: MB&F x H. Moser & Cie

The Ultimate Collab: MB&F x H. Moser & Cie

MB&F x H. Moser

Unique Swiss brands MB&F and H. Moser & Cie have announced a partnership of design as they release two watches co-designed to show the best of each. With the LM101 and Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon, MB&F x H. Moser & Cie. promises a truly great pair of high horology timepieces.


Ladies & Gentlemen, if ever I have seen a collaboration of titans in the watch world, this is it: MB&F x H. Moser & Cie. Famed for their imaginative (and thoroughly stunning) watchmaking, MB&F has partnered with the famously irreverent yet masterful H. Moser & Cie. to create a hybrid pair of watches. Consider this the ultimate collaboration to create an ultimate pair of timepieces.

H. Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon

By way of collaboration, MB&F and H. Moser have chosen to reinterpret their models with each other’s principles in an unprecedented exchange of ideas. On one side of MB&F x H. Moser, the MB&F LM101 — as evocatively named as it is designed — adopts the fumé dial and simplicity of H. Moser. On the opposite side, H. Moser has created the spectacular Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon which uses the three dimensions so often inhabited by MB&F’s work.

MB&F x H. Moser LM101

Considering the very acronym ‘MB&F’ standing for Max Büsser & Friends, the idea of collaborating to reinterpret each other’s watches doesn’t seem so far-fetched. With this in mind, the origins of this unique collaboration are found in the mutual respect between Max Büsser and H. Moser’s CEO, Edouard Meylan. Courtesy of over a decade of dealings between H. Moser’s sister company, Precision Engineering AG, and MB&F as a supplier of balance springs including unusual cylindrical springs, common ground already existed between the two companies.

The idea of producing two watches rather than one came when, keen to use the fumé dials and double balance springs of H. Moser, Max Büsser contacted Edouard Meylan. In response, Meylan presented the condition than, in return, H. Moser should reinterpret an MB&F. In that moment, MB&F x H. Moser was born.


MB&F x H. Moser LM101

MB&F x H. Moser LM101

Considering how spoilt we are with these two intensely beautiful yet profoundly unattainable watches made in 15 pieces each, I think that we should begin with the more simple choice.

The MB&F LM101, first released in 2014, was a fundamental departure from previous MB&F offering for two key reasons. Firstly, because it was more accessible (though, I assure you, nowhere near affordable) and secondly, because it showed the most animated components, the escapement and balance wheel, alongside the display.

MB&F x H. Moser LM101

Revised with H. Moser’s touch, the LM101 now takes a far more minimal approach in stainless steel with no dial graduations at all whilst the subdials are also exchanged for hands sprouting from the dial base. These hands show the hours, minutes and the remainder of the 45-hour power reserve. The stunning and quintessentially H. Moser fumé dial is available in Funky Blue, Cosmic Green, Red and Aqua blue specifically for the retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.

MB&F x H. Moser LM101

Speaking of the movement, this is far from a mere aesthetic change. Even so, the finishing originally conceived by watchmaker Kari Voutilainen has been enhanced with a black NAC treatment on the bridges. Elsewhere, this movement receives the technical know-how of Precision Engineering AG through the use of two balance springs which, whilst reducing friction, balance each other to enhance isochronism.

MB&F x H. Moser LM101 movement

Most striking is how well the H. Moser ‘touch’ has changed this MB&F Legacy Machine’s demeanour and given it a sense of simplicity and purity. In fact, it makes you wonder: how much is a second opinion sometimes worth?


H. Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon

H. Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon

Within the MB&F x H. Moser collaboration, I would argue that MB&F’s contribution to H. Moser is more tangible. This is made obvious by the H. Moser v MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon.

Mounted in a stainless steel case two millimetres larger than the 40mm of the MB&F, this H. Moser uses the technology of its own Precision Engineering AG to follow MB&F’s most imaginative features. Where overall aesthetics are concerned, Moser has taken noticeably less than MB&F with a recognisable fumé dial and the quintessential curves of their other models.

H. Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon

However, the display of wild technical mastery is something else entirely. Built on the existing HMC 802, the calibre HMC 810 offers automatic winding, a 72-hour power reserve, 29 jewels and a one-minute flying tourbillon at 12 o’clock. Rather spectacularly, this has been elevated through the dial to stand proud under the fantastically domed sapphire crystal. Interestingly, this tourbillon uses the cylindrical balance spring originally seen on MB&F’s watches but produced by Precision Engineering AG and, therefore, by Moser. Used in marine chronometers, this vertical shape expands and contracts in a concentric and even form which cannot be matched by a standard balance spring even with a Breguet (or other) overcoil.

H. Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon movement

Aside from the balance spring which takes 10 times as long to manufacture as a conventional equivalent, the centrepiece of the watch is the display. Using a conical gear train to cant the dial at 40°, the display from the MB&F Thunderdome reappears on the model. Notably, the dial uses the clarity and light seen in H. Moser’s design in the form of a transparent dial to balance legibility with mechanical wonder. Something to bear in mind is also the fact that the dial remains aligned centrally thus permitting use on either wrist.

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H. Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon

Of the two models, this is perhaps the more unusual due to the additional complications which it comprises. However, the mixed identity between these watches creates an undeniable allure to owning one of each.

The Ultimate Collaboration

H. Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon

Calling this collaboration ‘ultimate’ wouldn’t be a stretch too far. Granted, there are brands with which more are familiar in similar realms such as Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin yet H. Moser & Cie and MB&F command their respective markets with totally unique design and engineering. The idea of bringing these two together to jointly design a pair of watches is a wonderful demonstration of what can be in the watch industry between two comparable but radically different brands.

Which of these two do you prefer?


MB&F x H. Moser LM101

Availability: 15 pieces in each colour at USD 52,000

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 40mm x 16mm
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Crystal: Double Anti-Reflective Coated High Domed Sapphire Crystal
  • Display: Fumé dial in 4 colours / Hours and minutes / Power reserve indicator / Decentralised displays at 2 and 6 o’clock / Balance wheel and escapement visible above the dial
  • Movement: Manual winding / Free-sprung balance wheel with double balance springs / Balance wheel and escapement elevated above the dial / 23 jewels / 45-hour power reserve / 18,000 vph, 2.5 Hz, 5 ticks-per-second

H. Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon

Availability: 15 pieces in each colour at CHF 79,000

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 42mm x 19.5mm (height without crystal: 9.4mm)
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Crystal: High-Domed Sapphire Crystal
  • Display: Fumé dial in 5 colours / 40° angled transparent subdial with hours & minutes / Polished leaf hands / Flying tourbillon visible through dial at 12
  • Movement: HMC 810: Bidirectional automatic winding with 18-carat gold rotor / Hours & minutes / 72-hour power reserve / 29 jewels / One-minute flying tourbillon with cylindrical balance spring / 21,600 vph, 3 Hz, 6 ticks-per-second /

See more new releases on WATCH CHRONICLER or head over to H. Moser or MB&F for more information

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