H. Moser & Cie. Unveils the Endeavour Chinese Calendar Limited Edition
H. Moser & Cie. just dropped a rather stunning new watch, honoring traditional Chinese Culture: the Endeavour Chinese Calendar Limited Edition. Crafted in collaboration with Agenhor SA and produced in a limited run of just 100 pieces, the timepiece seamlessly combines the intricate Chinese lunisolar calendar with the Gregorian calendar, while also showcasing the 12 Chinese zodiac signs and moon phases — all without requiring any adjustments for impressive 12-year span.
Perhaps the focal point of this new watch is the union of two diverse cultures and their distinct calendar systems, which bridges the gap between the solar Gregorian calendar and the lunar-based Chinese calendar, independently calculating and synchronizing the two, all while maintaining an elegant and minimalist aesthetic for ease of use and readability.
The history of measuring time has always fascinated humanity, leading to the development of various calendar systems based on celestial bodies such as the sun and moon. The Gregorian calendar primarily relies on the sun, while the Chinese calendar, rich in cultural symbolism, is a lunisolar calendar that intricately combines lunar and solar elements. This complexity arises from the need to track both the moon’s cycles and the sun’s position in the sky, making it a vital tool for agriculture and traditional Chinese culture. Understanding the Chinese calendar allows one to delve into millennia of Chinese history and appreciate its nuances.
The Endeavour Chinese Calendar Limited Edition pays homage to this profound cultural heritage. It seamlessly displays the months and days of both the Chinese and Gregorian calendars, the moon phases, and the corresponding Chinese zodiac signs for each year. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, where months have a consistent number of days, Chinese months can have either 29 or 30 days, following the lunar cycle of approximately 29.53 days per orbit. This discrepancy results in an average lunar year of 354.36 days, about 10.88 days shorter than a solar year. To ensure alignment with the seasons, the Chinese calendar inserts an “embolismic” 13th month every two to three years, a feature elegantly included in the Endeavour Chinese Calendar Limited Edition.
Creating a watch capable of accurately displaying all aspects of the Chinese lunisolar calendar for 12 years without any manual adjustments was a monumental challenge. Other Chinese calendars on the market require over 70 manual corrections over a similar timeframe. H. Moser & Cie. and Agenhor SA undertook this challenge with unwavering determination, resulting in a movement powered by two parallel cams that convey essential information about the number and duration of Chinese months via feelers. This movement seamlessly tracks Chinese lunisolar months, embolismic months, lunar years, zodiac animals, moon phases, and Gregorian calendar dates—all for a span of 12 years. When the cycle concludes, the cams can be effortlessly replaced during servicing to continue this precision for the next 12 years.
Complementing the 18K red gold case of the Endeavour Chinese Calendar Limited Edition is the midnight blue fumé dial, featuring the H. Moser & Cie. logo in transparent lacquer. The dial elegantly showcases crescent-shaped windows on the left for the Chinese lunisolar months and on the right for the Chinese lunisolar days and moon phase. Two retrograde hands traverse these windows, gracefully returning to their starting points. At 12 o’clock, two windows reveal the Chinese lunisolar year and the associated zodiac animal, as well as the embolismic month number during 13-month years. In standard 12-month years, this window remains black. Completing the dial is an off-centred small seconds display atop the Gregorian calendar window at 6 o’clock.
Powered by the HMC 210 caliber, an amalgamation of the HMC 200 automatic in-house movement and a module developed by Agenhor SA, this timepiece effortlessly marries tradition with contemporary aesthetics. It reflects a Westernized interpretation of Chinese culture, setting it apart from other complex and ornate Chinese calendar watches available in the market. As Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie., aptly states, “This piece’s success will transcend borders and cultures simply because it is a beautiful thing.”