Passionate watchmaking devotees know just how complicated making an apparently simple watch can be. The inhabitants of Schaffhausen and Neuhausen am Rheinfall are well aware of what their great-grandparents owe to Heinrich Moser, who devoted part of his life to industrializing the region in the 19th century. Their gratitude has indeed led them to set up the Moser Familienmuseum Charlottenfels. The founding entrepreneur would be proud to see the brand getting a new lease on life under the impetus of the Meylan family, which has been investing for the past two years in the production facilities of H. Moser & Cie, as well as in training, in order to perpetuate the brand’s characteristic spirit of innovation.
The German-speaking part of Switzerland is home to just a handful of watch Manufactures, and H. Moser is the only one to produce its own balance-springs. Well-known to informed collectors, its double balance-spring featuring an atypical design should see a slight increase in production volumes over the medium term in order to equip new models and respond to demand from such connoisseurs. This very special department within the Manufacture is continuing to explore new paths by working on alloys such as PE4000, as well as the thinness and the construction of the balance-springs.
Such an approach involves heavy investments for a small Manufacture with a 50-strong workforce: an independent metal-drawing mill and stabilized rolling-mill with 0.1-micron resolution; along with new tools dedicated to mainspring-winding which determines the shape of the balance-spring; vacuum heat treatment to stabilise the shape at 600°C; laser technology to remove material at the exact computer-determined angle and adjust potential imbalances… The level of complexity is truly exceptional.
H. Moser & Cie develops three types of balance-spring with Breguet-type, flat or double curves, and its Precision Engineering subsidiary can produce 50,000 units per year to deliver to other brands which are extremely keen to order them. After taking the helm of the firm in 2012, Edouard Meylan and the core members of the MELB family holding company initially focused on industrialization and on improving quality and productivity. This approach took a variety of forms, such as dividing by three the time required to assemble a perpetual calendar, while simultaneously developing new calibers, especially self-winding ones.
Other machines then appeared, designed to speed up response times, such as those dedicated to the profile-turning of balance wheels, staffs and screws including those for oscillating weights; as well as a stamping press for levers, bolts, escapement bridges and gold rotors. Exemplifying a wealth of refined finishes, the Côtes Moser motif creates a truly splendid decorative effect.
In concrete terms, the rejuvenation of the brand located near the Rhine falls enables it to offer 27 references in its historical Endeavour collection, as well as a new line presented at Baselworld and named Venturer. The latter is in particular distinguished by the first tourbillon model from H. Moser & Cie, inspired by its famous Dualtime.