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News: Mines Better Than Yours – The H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade

H. Moser & Cie. is Swiss and completely proud of the fact. So, when Apple introduced the Apple Watch back in 2015—potentially threatening the mechanical watch market—what was H. Moser’s response? It released the Swiss Alp Watch. It might look like an Apple watch, but it has none of that “smart stuff” like a heartbeat monitor or the ability to read messages; it’s just a watch—and a Swiss one at that.

Fast forward to 2021, and H. Moser has released the Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade—the final and cheekiest Swiss Alp Watch yet. The Final Upgrade goes one step further than other models released in the past by poking fun with a quirky looking sub-second counter. The sub-seconds are reminiscent of the very symbol that makes me want to throw my Mac at a wall each time it appears. Hey, don’t judge me, it’s frustrating—especially if you’re only using Word.

While the H. Moser will eventually need an “update”—or service, rather—let’s face it, the service interval on a mechanical watch is to an Apple Watch somewhat more of an expiration date. Even Apple itself abandons older generations of its products to concentrate on new ones it has recently brought to market.

Right, enough of why this watch exists, let’s take a look at the watch itself, shall we? Let’s start with the dial. Made from Vantablack®—which is the darkest man-made material on earth—the dial absorbs almost all light that hits it, 99.965% to be exact. This results in an effect that has to really be seen to be believed, achieving a somewhat flat, artificial look to a dial that is anything but—and all that, by the way, is so the dial resembles that of a switched off screen. Moving around the dial and we see simple but elegant leaf hour and minute hands, as well as the sub-second counter. The counter is made up of twelve individually cut-out sections with a rotating shaded disk below to give it the "loading" effect.

Flipping over the Final Upgrade’s 38.2mm x 44mm steel/DLC case reveals the manual-winding Calibre HMC324. Beautifully hand-finished with Moser double stripes and bevelling, the Calibre HMC324 runs at 18,000vph and has a 96-hour power reserve—which is considerably longer than the Apple Watch’s circa 18 hours of battery life, I might add.

The looks and €27,000 price tag—which could buy you at least forty-five Apple Watches—of the H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade won’t appeal to everyone, that’s for sure. What I can say is that the Final Upgrade is a goofy yet brilliant little watch, a true testament to the “Swiss do it best” mentality in the world of horology. There’s life in the old dog yet!

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