If we talk about « manufactures », the first names to pop up are, most of the time, Breguet, Patek Philippe, Rolex, for the major ones. Ulysse Nardin, Christophe Claret, when it comes to independent brands. And what about H. Moser & Cie ? It’s also a pure manufacture, spiral included, but more modest, with only 1000 pieces a year. We visited it.
H. Moser & Cie is a young ancient brand ! It has been waken up at the turning of the century, while it has been created in 1828. At the time it was headquartered in St Petersbourg, Russia, where the brand made a lot of business. However, a manufacture based in Le Locle was open the year after, in 1829. The brand only settled down in Schaffhausen in 1848, where it’s still based today.
On his return to Schaffhausen, Heinrich Moser committed himself to the development of the town, in particular by building a hydraulic turbine, providing it with its own source of energy. From 1860 onwards, major watchmaking brands called upon his services because of the quality of his movements.
When he died in 1874, his wife took over the company and sold the various departments, on condition that they retained the name of ‘H. Moser & Cie’. The Russian revolution in 1917 brought an end to business there, so for the next sixty years H. Moser & Cie refocused on the Swiss market.
In 2002, entrepreneur Jürgen Lange once again registered the name of H. Moser & Cie. Four years later, the manufacture returned with the first collection bearing the original illustrious name. More recently, in 2012, former director of Audemars Piguet Georges-Henri Meylan became its majority shareholder.
Today, H. Moser & Cie is two different things : the manufacture as such, which makes in house a full range of six calibers, and Precision Engineering, a business unit dedicated to provide other companies with escapements – fully assembled or just the spiral.
Moser today masters a wide range of complications, from QP to tourbillons, and is distributed in a very limited number of locations. Surprisingly, the best seller of the brand is…its QP ! The model has won the highest prize of the GPHG, the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève, in 2006.