The luxury sports watch, understand the sporty-chic steel watch with an integrated bracelet, is without doubt the hottest category on the current market. It seems that most brands need to enter this race to gain the heart of enthusiasts. H. Moser & Cie, the slightly irreverent independent watchmaker, did so in early 2020 with a highly personal watch, the fluid and curvy Streamliner. First introduced in a sleek limited edition chronograph, followed by a time-only model later this year, it made quite an entrance on the scene. Now, the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph comes back with a typically-Moser “Funky Blue” fumé dial and in the permanent collection. And it looks stunning, as you can see in our video review.
Thin yet angular, luxurious yet executed in the most commoner material, sleek yet complex, the luxury sports watch is an odd category, yet a highly successful one. When entering the market for a sporty-chic model with integrated bracelet, Moser did things with a different approach though, bringing a design of its own. The Streamliner, the brand’s vision of such a watch, doesn’t mimic its competitor and some of the established models (Royal Oak, Nautilus or Overseas). The main point is indicated by its name; Streamliner. While all three mentioned watches are sharp, have raised and overly-designed bezels, H. Moser & Cie. has opted for something with soft curves and fluidity of the proportions. And while it stills feels like a luxury sports watch, it certainly has a unique personality.
Compared to the watch we’ve seen on January 2020, the inaugural version of the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph with a grey dial and limited to 100 pieces, the model we’re looking at today isn’t showing major evolutions – and that’s for the good of the watch. What’s important here are colours, and availability. The recipe used on the first batch of grey watches is still there – something that was recognized by the industry at the GPHG 2020, as this watch received the prize for the best chronograph.
The case of the Streamliner watch is, as said above, unique and has an imposing character. The fluid lines, with gentle curves and no protruding angles, recalls fast trains from the 1920s and 1930s – the so-called Streamline design. Far more organic than its competitors, the case is very rewarding and full of details, yet less aggressive. The cushion shape of the central part is participating in the compactness of the watch. While the diameter, at 42.3mm, is nothing but small, the watch is extremely comfortable and wears smaller than numbers would suggest. The lug-to-lug dimension is about 45mm, as such smaller than most 39-40mm watches. As you can see on my small wrist (16.5cm), the watch is compact and nicely balanced.
The case is not only very nicely shaped by also greatly executed. The top surfaces are all finely brushed, with a radial sun-ray pattern on top to follow the curvature of the case. The sides are more complex, with a combination of two polished bands and a recessed straight brushed area, which encapsulates the pushers – at 2 and 10 o’clock – and the crown at 4 o’clock. The case is topped by a slightly domed and bevelled sapphire crystal and is water-resistant to 120m – and we’re talking dynamic WR, since the chronograph can be activated underwater. Altogether, the case is very nicely proportioned and executed. The height, at 12.1mm, remains under control for an automatic chronograph.
Participating in the fluid, organic look of the watch is the integrated steel bracelet. Once again, no sharp angles but a succession of curvy and soft links, combining brushed surfaces and elegant polished bevels. The bracelet is one of the most pleasant on the skin I’ve recently experienced. It is closed by a triple-blade folding clasp. Again, the execution is neat and precise.
The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph is not only different for its case but also for its display. At first, you’ll hardly imagine this watch to be a chronograph, but simply a time-only model. Moser has pushed the streamline, sleek concept also on the display. This until you’ll activate the chronograph and discover two central hands, one for the seconds and one for the minutes. The main hands, hours and minutes, are also rather special. They are made with Globolight, a ceramic-based material containing Super-LumiNova. The minuterie is original, with its 1970s racing-style and only one applied marker can be seen, an oversized 60. The inner flange has a tachymeter scale, to reinforce the automotive look of the watch.
The main novelty for this year’s Streamliner Flyback Chronograph is the colour and decoration of the dial. In lieu of the straight brushed grey dial found on the inaugural model, this 2020 edition goes for the typical, soon-to-be-iconic funky blue colour with fumé effect. The dial has a sun-ray brushed pattern with the centre having a lighter colour. The red seconds hand adds a touch of sportiness and boldness to this model.
Inside the case of this chronograph Streamliner is an impressive movement, certainly one of the most innovative chronograph calibres of the last 10 years, produced by Agenhor. Dubbed calibre HMC 902, this is the third iteration of the mind-blowing Agengraph, the central chronograph imagined by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. Following the Fabergé and Singer Reimagined versions, the Moser iteration is the first-ever central chronograph with flyback function.
A complete re-engineering of the chronograph, the Agengraph redefined fundamental principles that have remained unchanged for decades. The calibre HMC 902 chronograph mechanism is driven by a column wheel. Built on two levels, it incorporates a cam storing energy for an entire minute before releasing it precisely when a feeler-spindle falls to generate an instant jump of the minute hand. The coupling combines the best of the vertical and horizontal clutch. It is made horizontally, which requires less space. Yet the connection is made by friction wheels with no teeth, just like with vertical clutches – thus avoiding any accidental jump when the chronograph is activated. A tulip-shaped spring allows the chronograph to be triggered or released.
Winding is bi-directional and the two barrels can store up to 54 hours of power reserve. One of the specificities of this automatic movement is to have the rotor positioned dial-side, ensuring an uncluttered view through the caseback on this intricate 434-part movement. As you would expect, the finishing is top-notch.
Price & availability
The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic Funky Blue (ref. 6902-1201) is released in the permanent collection, so it isn’t a limited edition anymore. Yet, due to the complexity of its movement, it won’t be available in hundreds of piece a year. Yet, it is reassuring to see that the watch can be ordered as a regular model.
This new Funky Blue model will retail for the same price as the grey version, meaning CHF 39,900. For more information, please visit h-moser.com.