Haute Timepieces: H. Moser & Cie Moser Perpetual Moon Watch

Many watch lovers are infatuated with the curious complication known as the moon phase indicator. Quite self-explanatory, the indicator serves shows what phase the moon is in as it cycles from orb in the sky to mere sliver of light. Eons of sentient humans and human ancestors have gazed in wonder at the coming and goings of our sky’s biggest attraction.

The mythology surrounding the moon, as well as the actual physical effects it has on the Earth (such as creating tides) has made it a fascinating and sometimes important thing to track. Moon phase indicators became popular on large clocks well prior to the development of wrist watches. They were often part of more complex calendar functions, but posed a special technical challenge at the phase of the moon does not precisely match up with other patterns. As such, the phase of each moon is about 29 and a half days, but not exactly (actual period is 29.53059 days). Most all moon phase indicators require a manual adjustment once in a while — but the frequency of which depends on the sophistication of the watch movement the moon phase complication is part of.

Moon phase indicators today are extremely popular due to their beauty and mystique. The challenge for contemporary watch brands is offering a traditionally operating moon phase indicator that has something unique about it. H. Moser & Cie, being the technical aficionados that they are, have created a moon phase indication system that is both precise and useful. Called the “Moser Perpetual Moon” watch, the piece is named as such for the extremely long time required between adjustments. Just like a perpetual calendar watch that only needs adjustment once each 100 years or so, the H. Moser & Cie Moser Perpetual Moon has a moon phase complication that will not require a manual adjustment (assuming that the watch is continuously running) for almost 1,030 years! This is due to a complex series of gears that are able to so precisely measure the actual phases of the moon. As such, the watch deviates from the actual progress of the moon by just 0.23 seconds a day — amazing.

The moon phase indicator on the watch further has eight markers to identify the various quarter phases of the moon (for both the waxing and waning moon). Powered by the in-house made HMC348.901 manually wound movement (with about 7 days of power reserve), the watch also offers the time, and a small, centrally placed synchronized 24 hour hands that helps the wearer identify whether it AM or PM. The layout of the information is quite lovely in typical H. Moser & Cie fashion and has gold hands and hour indexes.

Contained within a 40.8mm wide case, the watch is available in both 18-karat rose gold or platinum (with a matching buckle on the crocodile leather strap). It has sapphire crystals on both the front and back, and the face is a beautiful dark blue H. Moser & Cie fumé dial. Priced from 27,000 to 37,700 Swiss Francs. www.h-moser.com.

1. 40.8mm wide rose gold or platinum case
2. Ultra precise moon phase indicator
3. Small 24 hand for AM/PM indication
4. Moon phase quarter period indicator
5. Contains in-house made manually wound movement with 7 days of power reserve

Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.