Up until now, we've had a lot of respect for all the creations coming from H. Moser & Cie. including their Swiss Mad Watch Unique Piece with a case made out of hardened Swiss cheese and presented last year on the occasion of the SIHH 2017 as we featured it here. However, yesterday H. Moser & Cie. announced a watch that plainly makes mockery of many of the well established Swiss watch brands and this time, we unfortunately can't praise them for that. The new H. Moser & Cie. Frankestein Swiss Icon Watch mixes different design elements coming from iconic Swiss watches in what we can only see as an atrocity and a marketing stint to create awareness around their brand.
According to H. Moser & Cie.: "Swiss mechanical watchmaking owes its longevity and its international renown to its creativity and ability to innovate. It was able to rebuild itself and confront complicated situations, such as the great depression and the quartz crisis, by pooling common strengths, working hard, remaining true to its values, and particularly, remaining true to the product. At the time, little was said but much was done. Today, the opposite is true, often to the detriment of the product. H. Moser & Cie. is paying tribute to the legends of beautiful mechanical watchmaking by presenting the Swiss Icons Watch, a symbol of icons past and present and a safeguard against current excesses. Many brands, even historical ones, create and produce nothing but substitute substance with artificial hype to stay relevant. Reinforcing their efforts with prestigious events and paying ambassadors who have no links to watchmaking; these tactics are just artifice that serve as smoke and mirrors. It's all about who has the longest history, the most famous celebrity ambassador, or influencer with the most followers. Their efforts are in vain, the essential lies elsewhere: with the product." emphasizes Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie. "We should show our creativity and we should refocus on the product. We need to come back down to earth, roll up our sleeves and create unique ideas. This is the only way that we can make Swiss Made great again."
Below is the video that H. Moser & Cie. produced to introduce the watch, which we do have to admit that touches on some very true facts about the watch industry and the marketing tactics that are frequently abused.
With a case that looks almost exactly like a Hublot even with its H-shaped screws, a dial that looks like the one on a Patek Philippe Nautilus featuring an HMC —H. Moser & Cie.— logo at 12 o'clock that looks like the IWC Schaffhausen logo and cutouts like on a Panerai, Breguet blued hands, a Panerai Luminor crown protecting device, a Cartier looking crown with cabochon, an octagonal bezel taken from a Girard-Perregaux Laureato or from an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak but with blue and red insert like that on a Rolex GMT Master Pepsi and a bracelet that could've come straight from an IWC Ingenieur, the H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Icon Watch is simply pure mockery of some of the most reputable and well established Swiss brands.
While we agree with the fact that some of the well established brands have deviated from their true essence and have abused the use of marketing gimmicks, hard sell tactics, celebrity brand ambassadors and the use of phony influencers with purchased likes and followers, we can't praise this move by H. Moser & Cie. that many find so amusing. The Frankestein Swiss Icon Watch Unique Piece will be auctioned after the SIHH 2018 and the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Fondation pour la Culture Horlogère Suisse —Foundation for Swiss
Watchmaking Culture— and will be used to support apprenticeships in the watchmaking professions and to safeguard expertise in the related watchmaking arts and crafts. At least something positive might come out of the release of this watch, but only if the brands that have been mocked, don't decide to take legal action first.
In a nutshell, let's all not forget that without all the brands that H. Moser & Cie. has decided to mocker on their Frankestein Swiss Icon Watch Unique Piece, the Swiss watch industry would be dead today and there would be no SIHH 2018 for them to unveil this creation.
At the end of the day, H. Moser & Cie. is clearly also engaging in the same type of cheap marketing tactics that they criticize so much, in order to raise awareness and brand recall around their own brand. Just our two cents.
For more info on H. Moser & Cie. click here.
Technical Specifications H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Icon Watch Unique Piece
Reference: 3804-1200, steel model, steel bracelet, unique piece
Case: Stainless Steel measuring 43 mm in diameter and a thickness of 12.6 mm with display case back.
Crown: adorned with a cabochon sapphire and crown protecting device.
Dial: Funky Blue fumé dial created from two overlaid plates with striped decoration, cutout numerals with SuperLumiNova. Hands are blued with traditional shape.
Movement: Automatic HMC 804 Manufacture beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph and fitted with an 18K red gold engraved H. Moser & Cie. logo. 3-day power reserve and featuring a 60-seconds flying tourbillon at 6 o'clock with skeletonised bridges.
Bracelet: Stainless steel with folding clasp engraved with the Moser logo.