This year’s Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic has new everything. “A new line, a new case, a new integrated bracelet, a new movement, a new dial, and new hands … Everything is new, everything is different, yet everything is Moser.”
They describe the Streamliner as a chronograph that displays the time rather than a watch that showcases a chronograph. One of several features is dynamic water resistance to 12 ATM, allowing the chronograph and flyback function to be used underwater.
I wondered what would eventually irritate Meylan about a watch. The bracelet, he says, and wasted no time making their offering more diverse and sexy when he took over at Moser in 2013. “We had to find a way to give soul to every single watch. For me a watch tells a story … it has a story — how we created it, why we created it. I always tell my team the watch is not finished when you put the movement in and choose the dial. There are many other aspects to look into and the strap is one of them,” he says.
His quest for a little more diversity and sexiness in the final watch presentation may result in a “logistical nightmare” for his team, but Meylan says it is part of the creative aspect and not just a decision on adding a black or a brown strap. “We take the time to choose. We really sit down as a team to discuss the bracelet. We constantly have new things come in that we want to experiment with. Sometimes we just have to keep it in the drawer until eventually we find the right finish, case and dial for that particular bracelet.”
It was the starting point for the Streamliner, as they looked to create a bracelet that was comfortable, elegant and different, before designing the model around the chronograph function as this was what they wanted to highlight. “We preferred understatement, ergonomics, and legibility, opting for a central display with no subdial: perfectly matching our minimalist philosophy. We took the very essence of the chronograph, and raised it to the next level.”
Has this watch become Meylan’s new favourite? “In a way, yes,” he says.
Heinrich Moser was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, into a family of watchmakers. He founded H Moser & Cie in St Petersburg, Russia, in 1829. In 1848 he established a watch factory in Le Locle to produce quality watches for his businesses in Europe and Russia. Moser returned to Schaffhausen in 1853. A century later, Le Locle production expanded from pocket watches to wristwatches. During the quartz watch crisis in the 70s, the watch factory became part of the Dixi Mechanique Group. Moser returned to Schaffhausen in 2005 and built a new manufacturing facility. The Meylan family took over in 2012.
Edouard Meylan qualified as an engineer, completed an MBA in the US, and worked in the distribution of luxury products in Southeast Asia for a few years. He joined Moser as CEO in 2013 after his family acquired it in 2012. His brother, Bertrand, runs their distribution offices in Hong Kong and Dubai. He is also on the Moser board.
“We are true to tradition, but sometimes provocative. I like the way our products are true to traditional watchmaking, with hand-wound movements and beautiful finishing. What was missing was a little bit of sexiness, a real edge,” says Meylan. “People want tradition, but they don’t want boring. I think that’s something I brought. I had ideas around that. It sets us apart and helped establish Moser as the mavericks of the industry.”
He says though many people love the Streamliner movement, the chronograph they developed with Arginot, Moser’s perpetual calendar is what put them on the map. “I fell in love with Moser because of that movement. It’s still one of the favourites for collectors.”
Moser & Cie has a 360-degree long-term approach towards sustainability. The company adheres to sustainable sourcing, and sustainable practices guide their choice of partners and materials. “People want to know where our materials come from. It’s more of a concern now for those buying such high-end products,” says Meylan.