When GQ Watch sat down with U2 bass-player Adam Clayton and his friend, H Moser CEO Edouard Meylan, a few years ago, one strand of the conversation was decidedly off limits: a putative "sports model" the independent watch brand was working on and for which Clayton, a keen watch collector, was serving as a useful "sounding board".
Now, that watch has been delivered and in keeping with the current interest in go-anywhere dress watches, it exemplifies many of the conditions of entry into this sector of the market. To wit: the Streamliner features a fully integrated bracelet that underlines the fluid lines and geometric curves of the case design, the harmonious integration of different finishes (as stipulated by its progenitor, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak) and a signature movement – in this case an integrated chronograph with a central display to offer a flyback function developed in conjunction with Geneva manufacturer Agenhor.
A weighty proposition, but then the competition is heating up: A Lange & Söhne recently launched its own entrant into this highly sought-after sector, confident that fine watchmaking and svelte day-to-night styling go hand in hand. For its part, H Moser has revisited the 1920s and 1930s to develop the Streamliner (a name itself redolent of the industrial surge that took place in travel and design in the early part of the last century), a tribute to movement and function that finds its focus in both its aesthetics and its abilities.
Its unusual design lies at the heart of the endeavour: the 42.3mm steel "cushion" case is part architectural, part aerodynamic, in keeping with those design antecedents featuring an off-centre, screw-down crown to allow the chronograph pushers to sit at ten and two o'clock respectively. Featuring a Glassbox-type sapphire (echoed in a clear case back), it's deemed "water dynamic" to 400ft, or 120m, meaning this truly is a go-anywhere chronograph – and then some.
The design is followed through in the integrated bracelet, which features fully articulated links in a wave form, mimicking the contrasting brushed and polished surfaces of the case. The bezel is finished in a brushed sunray finish and the three-bladed clasp is engraved with the Moser logo.
Rather than rely on the more customary subdials, the Streamliner features two chronograph hands and two time display hands and yet the anthracite fumé dial feels remarkably uncluttered – and even greater legibility is provided by the contrasting three-dimensional curved hands with inserts containing Globolight, a ceramic-based material containing Super-Luminova, used here for the first time. The double-barrelled Calibre HMC 902 self-winding movement features an innovative tungsten oscillating weight sandwiched between the movement and the dial and offers a power reserve of 54 hours.
Technically complex yet ergonomically understated for a watch offering such a complication, the Streamliner lives up to its name. Unfortunately, for now, it remains a limited series of 100 pieces, but expect more in this highly competitive arena in the future from one of the most dynamic dial names out there.