Hype collaborations have reached a fever pitch in recent years, and while they may be nearing a jumping of the shark moment, there’s some interesting and rather unexpected stuff being released as a result. One such example is this collaboration between the high-horology Swiss watchmaker with a sense of humor, H. Moser and upscale LA based sneaker and streetwear boutique, UNDEFEATED. The resulting Streamliner Chronograph is a collab that pushes the watch well outside its comfort zone, bringing an all-black motif to the case, dial, and most interestingly, the bracelet. H. Moser is a brand that feels very much at home when playing outside the usual sandbox, and, while not without fault, this collab feels right in the sweet spot.
H. Moser introduced the first Streamliner Chronograph in 2020, bringing a new spin to the high-end integrated sport watch craze that was just taking hold at the time. The Streamliner, in any of its configurations, features a unique design that defies easy explanation. The shape of the case head is a bit pillow-like, while the integrated bracelet reads closer to some type of alien armor than it does a watch band. The execution is impeccable, as you’d expect on watches in this price tier, and this specific example features a dial unlike anything we’ve seen from H. Moser before.
The dial gets applied numerals at the cardinal positions, which look to be done in high black polish, with the UNDEFEATED logo (which is the Roman numeral 4) at 12 o’clock. A chapter ring for the minutes and seconds traces the perimeter of the dial, but the rest is dominated by a textured camo finish that sets fine lines set at different angles within organic shapes that resemble a map of sorts. It’s delicate and subtle but has a huge impact in the right light. I haven’t spent this much time pondering a dial on a watch without Grand Seiko on the dial in years, but this truly begs a closer look in all manner of lighting conditions. The mixture of black and grays makes it tremendously difficult to read the time at a glance, but what they’ve achieved conceptually here feels more important.
This Streamliner gets a 42.3mm steel case and bracelet that’s been DLC coated, and it’s worth noting just how cool this looks on the bracelet in particular. This is seriously one of the best modern bracelet designs I’ve come across, and rendered in black here makes a very different impression compared to the raw steel variants. The finishing on the top section of the links is vertically brushed, while the section that tucks under the link beneath is polished. This changes the look depending on the curvature of the bracelet, and paired with the scale-like (armor plate?) design of each of the links, brings sci-fi, otherworldly organic vibe to the watch. Not only does it look badass, it’s super comfortable on the wrist.
Flipping the watch over you’re presented with something of a contradiction to the rest of the watch, which is a beautifully finished hand-wound chronograph movement, the very same AgenGraphe caliber that we saw in the Singer Reimagined Track 1, reviewed by Zach Weiss right here. This movement powers the centrally mounted timing elements of the chronograph, with pushers mounted at the 2 and 10 o’clock positions. A timing seconds hand is stacked atop a timing minute hand, which only moves abruptly when as the seconds hand passes the top of the dial. I love this chronograph layout, and I haven’t been shy about wanting to see it used more often.
The function set feels a little lost on this particular dial layout, feeling more like an excuse to use this movement than anything else, and I’m perfectly fine with that. It’s like the anti-Sinn EZM1. But, this is coming from a brand that’s made watches with no hands before, so they are clearly comfortable in the conceptual realm.
This is a watch that embraces what it is, and doesn’t make any compromises along the way. There’s no framed date window, there’s no concession to practicality. It’s the equivalent of the models featured on UNDEFEATED’s website, with looks that say “we’re way too cool to care about anything other than our presentation”. This watch is a middle finger to niche tool watches. At CHF50,000 it’s a mighty expensive statement to make, but with all 76 examples currently spoken for, at least a few people will be making it. H. Moser.
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