I asked Edouard Meylan to tell me this story and to make the link to his great grandfather Octave Meylan:
“Heinrich Moser founded his company in Saint Petersburg in 1828. This visionary, the latest in a long line of family watchmakers, started with one ambition: to create exceptional watches by showcasing high-quality craftsmanship and premium components. In a few short years, Heinrich Moser was selling his prestigious watches in his own stores in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Kiev, and also via a network of independent retailers within the Russian Empire and along the Silk Road.
Heinrich Moser supplied the Imperial Court and the Russian army. The picture shows a H. Moser & Cie. pocket watch with the Tsar eagle and with enamel
Heinrich Moser was hugely successful, with almost 500,000 watches sold in his lifetime. More than simply a name, at this time H. Moser & Cie. was a byword for quality and elegance, and for the exceptional watches it manufactured. The company’s reputation was such that ‘Moser’ became the generic Russian term for a high-quality timepiece. The brand became an integral part of Russia’s heritage, as evidenced by the fact that is mentioned in the popular songs of the time, and in texts by poets and writers, including Dostoevsky. In 1874, upon the death of Heinrich Moser, his widow handed control of the Le Locle factory to Paul Girard and entrusted the Russian company to Cornelius Winterhalter, who joined forces with Octave Meylan. And this is where the past rushes in to meet the present, as Octave Meylan is none other than my great grandfather. This makes it a twofold return to its origins for H. Moser & Cie. At the start of the twentieth century, Carl Fabergé, goldsmith to the tsars, equipped almost all of his table clocks with H. Moser movements. The 1917 October Revolution led to the nationalisation of H. Moser & Cie., which then ceased trading completely at the end of the 1970s. In 2002, Roger Nicholas Balsiger, great grandson of Heinrich Moser, was instrumental in the relaunch of the brand. Thanks to his efforts, H. Moser & Cie. rose from the ashes.”
H. Moser & Cie. Venturer XL Concept Stoletniy Krasniy
One hundred years on from the October Revolution, H. Moser & Cie. presents the Venturer XL Concept Stoletniy Krasniy, available as a limited edition of just 17 pieces. Featuring a red fumé dial, displaying the company’s original Cyrillic logo.
This symbolic watch marks the return of H. Moser & Cie. to Russia, its original home. Stripped of any indices to let the beauty of the dial shine through, this model has a green Nato-style fabric strap. A timepiece overflowing with a powerful symbolism, and bold character.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – VENTURER XL STOLETNIY KRASNIY
Reference 2327-1207, steel model, red fumé dial, green Nato style fabric strap, limited edition of 17 pieces
Case Steel, three-part Diameter: 43.0 mm, Height: 12.6 mm Curved sapphire crystal See-through sapphire crystal case-back Crown adorned with an “M”
Dial Red fumé with sunburst pattern Applique indices Leaf-shaped hands
Movement Hand-wound HMC 327 Manufacture calibre Diameter: 32.0 mm or 14 ¼ lignes Height: 4.5 mm Frequency: 18,000 A/h (= 2,5 Hz) 29 jewels Power reserve: minimum 3 days Moser teeth for all wheels and pinions Movement and components hand-finished and decorated Moser balance wheel and original Straumann Hairspring with stabilised Breguet overcoil
Functions Hours and minutes Power reserve indicator on movement side
Strap Green Nato-style fabric Steel buckle, engraved with the Moser logo
Price 19.900 CHF including 8 % VAT