What We Know
Vantablack. So fun to say. So fun to look at. Initially developed at the National Physical Laboratory and frequently found in scientific tools like telescopes and infrared cameras, the carbon nanotube coating, aka the darkest of darks, has made its way into art, cars, and wouldn’t you know it, watches.
The cheeky innovators over at Moser have used Vantablack in a few watches before, from 2018’s Perpetual Moon Concept to this year’s Watches & Wonders, with the very goth Streamliner Chronograph Blacker Than Black. Now they are back (in black, sorry) with the Streamliner Tourbillon Vantablack, which blends the onyx hue with an absolutely captivating red gold.
The classic Streamliner case and integrated bracelet are all made out of 5N red gold, which is like rose or pink gold but with slightly more copper, giving it a ruddier hue. A mix of brushed and polished red gold, the case and bracelet serve as a rich contrast to the dark dial. The infinite blackness is broken up by red gold indices which are fixed from the back, and according to the Moser press release, “depending on the angle, they appear or disappear against the Vantablack.” I got to hold the watch in my hands for a few precious moments (different than going hands-on, you understand) and while I didn’t look at the watch from every angle to test out this theory, the indices are pretty darn striking.
The star of the show is without a doubt the one-minute flying tourbillon at six o’clock. It, much like the hands, benefits from something of an optical illusion, as it appears to simply float in the bottom half of the dial. The automatic HMC 804 calibre is made by Moser’s sister company, Precision Engineering AG, and features a double hairspring for increased accuracy. At 40mm the watch is on the larger side, but with the striking dial design and heavy metal architecture, one is almost grateful that there is more to see and wear.
What We Think
I love, love, love this watch. In fact, Danny Milton was supposed to write this intro but I took one look at the watch, gazed into the black expanse of the dial and simply said, “Mine.”
This watch combines two of my great loves – a black dial and rose/red/pink gold – but comes packed with something I usually avoid: fussiness, which is the highly technical term I use for both complications and design elements I simply don’t care for. I like dress watches. What do I, a person who has never been on time in her life, need a one-minute tourbillon for? And yet, in this model it is nothing short of hypnotic. It is so small, so brilliantly executed, so active on such a still dial, you can’t help but be drawn in. You can see through the tourbillon to the amazed face of whatever onlooker (in my case, Danny) you are dangling the watch in front of.
The red gold is heavy and again, 40mm isn’t small, but the simplicity of the design keeps the watch from feeling like a show pony. The tourbillon is the technical marvel, so it is easy to focus your attention on it, but the depth of the dial, the glint of the indices, and the well-made bracelet are all equally worthy of attention. It is both a natural but slightly unexpected evolution of Moser’s use of Vantablack. The Streamliner line allows Moser to innovate technically on the classic integrated bracelet design (usually stainless steel) with one or two off-kilter design choices thrown in, and the choice to lean into a precious metal of a less-than-mainstream hue still has that hint of impishness we’ve come to expect from Moser.
At $119,900, laying claim to this review is as close to “mine” as this watch will ever be, but deep-pocketed fans of the brand who want something innovative and easy on the eyes, need look no further.
Brand: H. Moser & Cie.
Model: Streamliner Tourbillon Vantablack
Reference Number: 6804-0400
Thickness: 12.1 with sapphire crystal
Case Material: 5N red gold
Dial Color: Vantablack
Indexes: 5N red gold
Lume: Globolight inserts
Water Resistance: 12 ATM
Strap/Bracelet: Integrated bracelet in red gold with folding clasp
Caliber: HMC 804 Automatic Manufacture
Functions: Hours and minutes
Power Reserve: Three days
Frequency: 21,600 vph
Additional Details: Flying tourbillon
Pricing & Availability
Limited Edition: No
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For more information, visit Moser.