by Ayushi MathurDec 13, 2022
Brands are harvesting their archives for pieces that blend the past with the present, looking for pieces that are innovative and authentic at the same time. While leading luxury watch powerhouses like Rolex, Rado, and Hublot have dipped their toes in Web3, enhancing their retail experiences and leveraging its associated assets like NFTs, the metaverse has emerged as the NEXT evolutionary step, where technology and business merge into a unique customer experience. But is it possible for high-end brands to resist the temptation to indulge in such gimmickry?
Switzerland-based H. Moser & Cie. is behind many horology firsts, including taking a satirical jab at the Apple Watch with a timepiece that mimics the look of a smartwatch or the ‘Swiss Mad watch’ with a case made of real Swiss cheese. But it comes with its own set of caveats. The horological auteur recently launched a hybrid entity with the goal of travelling—into the phygital world. Dubbed the Endeavour Centre Seconds Genesis, or 01100111 01100101 01101110 01100101 01110011 01101001 01110011 in binary code, the limited-edition pixelated watch design combines both physical and virtual dimensions.
H. Moser & Cie. was among the first independent watch brands to launch an e-commerce and CPO platform in 2020. Banishing the anachronistic releases of its rivals, the brand takes longer technical strides with Genesis. "We are at the dawn of a new technological era. For us, it seemed crucial to evolve with our times and to take a clear stance, playing an active role in defining the rules of this still little-known world, whilst remaining humble, and asking the right questions. Entrepreneurship is in our DNA and we strive to cultivate this philosophy by taking risks and exploring new uncharted territories,” explains Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie.
The design codes of the Endeavour Centre Seconds Genesis nod to science-fiction, digital technology, and cinematic storytelling. The elemental geometric piece is an evocative disposition of Hollywood's two blockbuster dystopian movies that challenge, probe and disrupt the concepts of time, space, and gravity. Imagine the Matrix digital rain pixelating itself into the watch that Murph inherited from Cooper from the seat-gripping movie, Interstellar.
The dominating feature of the product design is a round dial—with a 3D-printed titanium crown and bezel that appears pixelated—perfectly accompanied by the watch's micro-blasted stainless steel case. From enamelling to glyptic techniques, H. Moser & Cie. has a virtuosic eye for fine watch artisans, with the Genesis being on the cutting edge of materials science and design. The movement architecture features the HMC 200 automatic calibre, engraved with 27 jewels, an automatic bi-directional pawl winding system, and a solid 18K gold oscillating weight engraved with the H. Moser hallmark. The strap, designed in hand-stitched grey kudu leather, comes with a micro-blasted steel pin buckle.
In terms of its aesthetics, the covetable wearable design fuses traditional watch elements in modern ergonomics, a catnip for watch-lovers or, well, timekeepers. Stylish wit injects classic watchmaking, discerning a tech-first sensibility. Paired with the round, 40mm case, the pixelated 3D-printed titanium bezel and matching crown surround the QR code engraved inside the sapphire glass, forming a skeletonized dial of sorts. A quick scan of the code grants access to the metaverse, offering its owner privileged access to the entire dedicated digital and virtual ecosystem, in particular giving them priority to purchase certain future limited editions, membership to the Moser community, and exclusive invitations to brand launch events, and more.
The pioneering project is available in a limited edition of 50 pieces; making this an interesting proposition for serious collectors. The first piece is an exclusive triptych that will provide access to the next two pieces, to each owner. And while watches made it to space well before Jeff Bezos, this timepiece incorporates aesthetic codes from the virtual to the tangible. The conceptual design includes a full ecosystem that provides blockchain product authentication for enhanced multi-level security and transparency, exclusive privileges enabled by digital asset ownership, and a metaverse space intended to both showcase and benefit its products. It also demonstrates how space has given digital timepieces a completely new place in the world.
Both the Genesis timepiece and the associated digital assets will benefit from unrivalled insurance service. Moreover, H. Moser & Cie. recently started accepting direct payment in cryptocurrency, pioneering “the ultimate immersive customer experience.” Ending the past year on a high note, the Swiss independent watchmaker recently unveiled its first mono-brand boutique in Hong Kong's financial district, joining the likes of Audemars Piguet, Omega, Longines, Louis Vuitton, and other luxury brands.