The always noteworthy H. Moser & Cie (you may recall the company once made an actual watch from expensive Swiss cheese) has declared times up on its very viral Swiss Alp Watch series, but not before taking one final swipe at Apple's uncouth dilettantes.
If you're unfamiliar with H. Moser, think of them as the MSCHF of the horology world, albeit with the caveat that, beyond all the stunts, exists an utterly world-class watchmaker. The series was launched shortly after Cupertino announced its foray into the business back in 2015, and came accompanied with this wonderful tongue-in-cheek promotional video. On first thought, you might be inclined to think "well, here's a $30,000 smartwatch imitation, how on the nose!" but that does it a disservice.
The Swiss Alp Watch doesn't make a statement, rather it asks questions like: "Do we really need yet another product that disconnects us from reality?" and "Can mechanical and digital really co-exist?" In that sense, perhaps it isn't a watch nor a parody. It's pure art.
The final run arrives with an appropriately terminal dial clad in Vantablack — the darkest material ever created, absorbing up to 99.965 percent of visible light (it's also the same shade as Jeff Bezo's soul — boom!). The color is used to mimic a typical smartwatch on stand-by, while a running indicator reminiscent of the “loading” symbol continuously turns at six o’clock. Honestly, it took me a second to realize I wasn't looking at an Apple Watch, which is wild because rather than digitized entrails, under the bonnet lies a gorgeous, hand-finished HMC 324 caliber. Looks can be deceiving and all that.
Would I wear this watch? Hell no! But even if you aren't into the aesthetic, it's difficult not to admire on a conceptual level. In an industry that possesses the humor of a stone, there's something revolutionary about a small brand that isn't scared to take the piss in the name of provoking discourse. Priced at $30,000 and with only 50 made, this curtain call will sell out fast. We're already excited about what the mavericks have in store next.