H. Moser Debuts the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel, their First Watch in the Exotic Metal

Moser’s latest is the brand’s first ever release in tantalum, a rarely used metal with unique characteristics that make it one of the more rewarding metals in all of watchmaking. In other words, it has a beautiful aesthetic impact, but it takes a lot of work and knowledge to get it to that point. Using it at all is something of a flex for any brand, and Moser is throwing down the gauntlet to a certain extent with this release. Somewhat predictably, they’ve incorporated what has come to be the brand’s signature complication, a unique and easy to read perpetual calendar, into their first tantalum watch, all with an elaborate enamel dial with a distinct hammered texture. 

The clear highlight of the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel is the use of tantalum, so we’ll start there. Tantalum is extremely dense and strong, qualities which make it an excellent candidate as a case metal for a luxury watch. It’s also very corrosion resistant, and develops a very thin layer of oxidation when exposed to air that naturally protects it. Tantalum also has a gray-blue tone to it that is quite unlike any other metal, giving it a unique quality that no other metal can match. 

The reason tantalum is so uncommon in watchmaking is because it is very difficult to machine thanks to a melting point that comes in around 3000 °C. It takes advanced technology and equipment to properly fabricate tantalum for watchmaking purposes, which of course requires not only a substantial financial investment, but a ton of knowledge and experience that is not necessarily inherent even in the most skilled and reputable case manufacturers. It’s also challenging to finish, taking Moser over two years to develop processes to polish the material to their standards. As the brand points out in the press materials for this watch, most tantalum cases are sandblasted or satin-finished, which are generally less labor intensive than traditional mirror polishing. 

So, Moser was able to create a case out of this extremely finicky material, and decided to make it a vessel for a new execution of their perpetual calendar. Just as tantalum is a casemaking flex, the perpetual calendar is one of a handful of true mechanical watchmaking flexes that are still legitimately impressive, particularly when done in a novel way. Moser’s perpetual is remarkably simple, using a small centrally mounted hand to read the months (it points to mostly non-existent hour markers on this particular dial, with 1:00 being January, 2:00 being February, and so on) and a date window at 3:00 providing the correct date, always accounting for the proper number of days in a given month. A leap year indicator is visible on the caseback, and the power reserve reminds you to give the watch a wind when it gets low (it has a seven day power reserve). A hand wound perpetual is somewhat inconvenient, especially if it’s part of a larger collection, but Moser makes up for that by making their movement easy to set. It can be adjusted forward or backward at any time of day without breaking, which is actually quite uncommon and might be the best feature of the HMC 800 caliber, even beyond how easy it is to read. 

Moser is calling the dial Abyss Blue fumé “Grand Feu” enamel, and it will probably remind you a bit of a similar green dial released in their Endeavour collection last year. It features Moser’s signature fumé effect, which has the dial getting darker at its perimeter compared to the bright blue tones at the center, through the use of four different blue pigments. Each dial is fired twelve times, and no two are exactly alike. In order to showcase the dial to its full effect, Moser has left it mostly sterile. You won’t find the Moser wordmark, and it only has hour markers at 12:00 and 6:00.

The Endeavour case is currently Moser’s dressiest contemporary case style, with softer lines than both the Streamliner and Pioneer. The diameter of this example is 42mm and is 13.1mm tall, so while we don’t exactly have traditional dress watch proportions, the case style is certainly a bit more formal than Moser’s other, slightly sportier, offerings, and the complication and dial lend it an additional heir of refinement. All together, it’s an impressive package, combining a great movement with a beautiful dial and a new case material that feels like more than an iterative update. 

The Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum Blue Enamel launches today, with a retail price of $82,500. H. Moser

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.