2020 has been a challenging year for the Swiss watch industry. Not only were the two largest conventions – Watches & Wonders Geneva and Baselworld – forced to physically close, but the very future of Baselworld seems unlikely after big names like Rolex and Chopard having pulled out of the show entirely due to disputes over refunds. The pandemic has hurt brands’ bottom lines and things have looked mighty uncertain.
Against the odds, a ragtag group of brands banded together to hold Geneva Watch Days, a new and wholly alternative event that’ll be the only physical salon in Switzerland this year. It’s a seismic shift in the balance of power in the watch world, and saw over 200 new products presented from the likes of Breitling, Bulgari, Ulysse Nardin and many more.
One of the most exciting releases Geneva Watch Days heralded was from independent manufacturer H. Moser & Cie., who debuted their new Streamliner Centre Seconds – a ‘retro-futurist’ masterpiece that might just be the most interesting all-steel watch in a very long time.
This new 40mm timepiece is only the second model in the Streamliner collection, a follow-up to January’s sportier Streamliner Flyback Chronograph. Where the Flyback evokes old-fashioned motorsports instruments, the simpler Centre Seconds lets the case design stand out more. The problem with many steel watches is that they can feel derivative of icons like the Patek Philippe Nautilus or Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (ironically, both are the work of legendary Swiss watch designer Gérald Genta). However, the Streamliner doesn’t fall into that trap.
“Streamliner” is actually a reference to the first high-speed trains from the 1920s and 30s that sped across swathes of the United States: modernist masterpieces of design and technology that helped power interbellum 20th-century industry. That said, we think the stylish Streamliner brings to mind a more science fiction aesthetic – something driven home by the effervescent ‘Matrix Green’ fumé dial. We’ve previously talked about how 2020 seems to be the year of the blue dial, but perhaps green is a bigger theme this year.
The fully integrated, lug-less steel bracelet is a particular highlight. Like the bio-mechanical armour of a futuristic android or the tendrils of H.G. Well’s tripods from War of the Worlds, the sleek brushed steel Streamliner looks quite unlike anything else on the market.
Other features worth drawing your attention to include its gently domed sapphire crystal and see-through caseback; its 3D hands formed of two sections with inserts made from Globolight, an innovative ceramic-based material which contains Super-LumiNova; the in-house HMC 200 self-winding calibre which offers a minimum power reserve of 3 days, and the elegantly designed bi-directional crown.
Many of the other watches exhibited at Geneva Watch Days were complication-heavy: technically superior but rather busy timepieces. H. Moser & Cie.’s more restrained Streamliner, however, offers a real point of difference for anyone shopping for a new steel watch this year. The green dial is a particularly juicy feature, and we’re excited to see one of these in the flesh.
- Ref. 6200-1200
- 40mm steel case (height without sapphire crystal = 9.9mm)
- Screw-in crown adorned with an “M”
- Water-resistant to 12 ATM
- ‘Matrix Green’ fumé dial with sunburst pattern, applique indices, hour and minute hands with Globolight inserts
- Movement = HMC 200 self-winding calibre
- Power reserve: minimum of 3 days
- 21,900 USD (~29,930 AUD)