It’s been a while ladies and gentlemen, but I’m back with a vengeance – of the purple variety.

I’ve taken some time off of writing here because, well, I’m not a professional (commercial, paid) blogger or media. But that’s another story for another time…

Today I’m proud to announce a collaborative project I’ve been working on with an independent brand and true manufacture that I deeply admire: introducing The Horophile x H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds XL Purple Haze.


Here’s the story of how it came to be…

Moser & Cie is a brand I’ve admired ever since I first discovered their minimalistic pieces exactly a decade ago, during my formative horological years on At the time, I was too young to appreciate the “less is more” approach of the independent Swiss brand from Schaffhausen (Neuhasen-am-Rheinfall if you want to get Swiss commune-specific), but I appreciated their refined and inherently Swiss-German aesthetic and their clever reinterpretations of complex mechanisms, especially the perpetual calendar.

Fast-forward to 2014 and The Horophile (my instagram page, not this website in limbo) was already a year old. A little older but not much wiser, I attended Baselworld and did a couple of video interviews with watch brand CEOs, and one of them was Edouard Meylan of H. Moser & Cie. (which you can watch here), and after it was over I felt like we really clicked. Under his leadership, I had a good feeling that the brand was on its way up, with not just the right products but the right aura, so to speak.

H. Moser & Cie Interview with Claude Meylan

H. Moser & Cie. strikes the right balance between independence and autonomy. It’s a family-owned company with limited production volumes, yet one that produces all movements and almost all components in-house.  But beyond just H. Moser watches, they also supply other brands (group-owned as well as independents) through sister-company Precision Engineering AG.

And since Edouard Meylan has been at the helm, H. Moser has been given a sort of rejuvenation. It shows in the products (Funky Blue anyone?), even though they’re still pretty much the same H. Moser watches they’ve been making for a decade, just much more appealing and current now.

And for an industry that’s secretive to say the least, for the past two years or so H. Moser & Cie has been at the vanguard of representing the values of Swiss watchmaking, speaking up against the (futile) attempt of Swiss watch brands making smart watches, and now the very notion of Swiss Made. Some may see it as provocation for the sake of buzz, and to a certain degree that may be true, but I’d much rather see a brand raise awareness through relevant, thought-provoking but ultimately witty messages, rather than what just about every other brand does. They’re willing to say what other brands stick their heads in the sand about, and as a foreigner that lives in Switzerland, it’s definitely refreshing to se. But your mileage may vary, and that’s cool.

Anyways, let’s get to the watch…


After years of yearning for a Moser, I knew it was only a matter of time before I pull the trigger. I came close a couple of times, but there was one problem: I don’t wear gold, and platinum is too rich for my blood.  And while Moser have occasionally made steel and titanium, such metals are usually reserved for their more complicated pieces. Life went on, with a hole in my watch storage box waiting to be filled by an H. Moser & Cie sooner or later.

When I went to Baselworld earlier this year, I discovered a Moser close to what I would consider perfection, the Venturer Small Seconds XL.

I fell in love with the proportions and 60s inspired design elements of Moser’s Venturer line, and the 43mm XL version is more to my liking than the 39mm version (which I originally reviewed here). It’s definitely on the larger side for this kind of watch, but perfectly wearable. After all, H. Moser & Cie. don’t produce typically classical dress watches per se. Once again however, the problem for me was that it’s made only in white gold.

So not long after Baselworld, I started talking to some of my watch-collecting horo-buddies in the Middle East about what I liked from the show, and it turned out I wasn’t the only one with Moser on my mind – far from it. But they too shared my gripe about them not having anything simple from the brand available in steel. And that’s when the idea of asking H. Moser & Cie. to make a special steel series first came about.

After a lot of begging from yours truly and much deliberation from the brand, Moser finally accepted to do a small run of steel cases for the Venturer XL!

Now that the dream was close to becoming a reality and that the collaboration was given the green light, we had to get down to the details. And this being H. Moser & Cie, the dial or “face” of the watch, the part you spend the most time admiring when wearing, was perhaps the most important element, and for me it had to be different enough.

There was no doubt in my mind that given the opportunity, it would have to be something oh so purple (maybe a bit predictable after the firs Horophile collaboration with Dietrich). But at the same time, just having a new dial color wasn’t enough. It needed something more.

I love the stark simplicity Moser’s “Concept” dials, especially when paired with some of their signature gradient “fumé” dial colors. But I wanted something a little different, something that would set it apart from Moser’s other creations to date, while remaining easily identifiable as a Moser. I wanted to keep the logo-less approach (which is why you won’t find The Horophile or the rabbit anywhere on the watch), but not leave it completely void.



We tried a few different renders using markers, no markers, tone-on-tone logo, and ultimately I decided on doing a sort of cross-hair execution in a very minimal way. You can find certain vintage Moser watches with proper cross-hair dials, so I though given the Venturer’s 60s design inspiration, a modern Moser reinterpretation of such a dial layout just makes sense.

Now about the color: It’s hard to pinpoint a specific tone of purple, as it changes drastically depending on how the light hits it, going from a Tyrian purple to aubergine to a colder, more electric imperial purple. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name for it than Purple Haze.

To illustrate the dial’s many facets, the following photos were taken in the same exact position, moving only my handheld LED light and reflector:






And last but not least, I wanted to do something special on the movement side as well. It’s a little detail that highlights just how capable and integrated H. Moser & Cie and its escapement manufacturing sister-company Precision Engineering AG are, and that’s the purple balance wheel paired with a purple (also appears a lilac-blue depending on the light and angle) hairspring. Don’t take my word for it, but I’m pretty sure this is the only purple escapement ever made.


I also decided to make all watches marked “1 of 10” on the back. As an amateur collector I always end up disappointed when I don’t get the number I want, and in line with the “Concept” ethos of the logo-less watch, just knowing there’s only 10 examples is enough.



Watch specifications:


-Stainless steel case, 43mm width, 12.60mm height.

-Domed sapphire crystal

-Sapphire display back.

-“1 of 10” engraved on the back bezel.



-Twilight Purple dawn fumé convex dial

-Central leaf-shape hour and minute hands

-Cross-hair dial inspired layout, applied faceted and polished rhodium-plated baton hour markers at, 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock.

-Recessed small seconds subdial



-Chocolate kudu leather strap with purple stitching and brown calf leather lining.

-Steel ardillon (tang) buckle.



-In-house hand-wound calibre HMC 327, diameter: 32.0 mm, height: 4.5 m

-Frequency: 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz)

-Power reserve: minimum 3 days, indicator on movement side.

Hacking seconds

-Moser teeth for all wheels and pinions

-Exclusive purple balance with purple Original Straumann Hairspring®, with stabilized Breguet overcoil.


Availability: 10 pieces, delivery starts from the 3rd of January 2017.

To purchase one of the 10 pieces or for more information, contact me directly: