There are brands that do interesting things with materials, there are those that create innovative designs, and then there are those that focus on creating high-end wearable pieces of art. Then you’ve got the crew at H. Moser & Cie who manage to marry all three of those in watches like the H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton.

When I think of skeleton watches, I tend to think of a watch that is difficult to actually what a watch is designed for – tell the time. With the H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton, this is handled quite simply with a subdial at 12 o’clock that is, well, the dial. This is finished in the classic Moser fumé blue, with what appear to be simple stick indices. These are no ordinary indices, though.

No, these are a material known as Globolight. What’s that? It’s a ceramic that’s infused with luminous Super-Luminova, making for a solid block of material that glows, not just a strip of paint. These same inserts are in the handset, which should make for a rather sharp glow. This also sets the stage for a very three-dimensional approach to laying out a watch.

From the dial, you’ve got swooping bridges down to the cylindrical tourbillon that gives this watch its name. Hiding in there you’ve also got a cylindrical hairspring, which is a technical feat in and of itself, not to mention the whirlwind of the tourbillon.

Branching out from that, you can plainly see the elements of the movement that drives the H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton, and they look almost too insubstantial to make the watch run, let alone do so accurately. Still, it’s all there, layer upon layer of complexity, making for a delicacy so impossibly airy that it all but demands the owner to have a loupe and a macro lens to appreciate what is going inside this piece of sculpture.

Wrapped in a Moser Pioneer case, you have a tough outer shell that belies what is going on inside. Still, at 42.8mm in diamater, and just over 15mm thick (the sapphire crystal needs a pretty hefty dome to accomodate everything), it should make for a pleasantly wearable watch, especially once you include the 12 ATM (120m) water-resistance rating. And though this marvel of a movement can get you a 74-hour power reserve, I’m not sure why you’d want to take this $86,900 beauty off of your wrist. Well, ok, perhaps it’s not your yard-working watch. Just about anything else? It’s a watch that deserves to be seen and appreciated. If you feel you’re up to the task, you can get in touch with these artisans directly over at

Tech Specs from H. Moser & Cie

  • Reference 3811-1200, steel model, Funky Blue fumé domed sub-dial, black alligator leather strap
  • Case
    • Steel topped by a slightly domed sapphire crystal
    • Diameter: 42.8 mm
    • Height without sapphire crystal: 11.7 mm
    • Height with sapphire crystal: 15.3 mm
    • Screw-in crown adorned with an engraved “M”
    • See-through case back
    • Water-resistant to 12 ATM
  • Dial
    • Funky Blue fumé domed sub-dial with sunburst pattern at 12 o’clock
    • Skeletonised dial
    • Indices in Globolight®
    • Hour and minute hands with Globolight® inserts
  • Movement
    • Fully skeletonised HMC 811, self-winding, three-dimensional Manufacture calibre
    • Diameter: 34.0 mm or 15 lignes/height: 5.5 mm (without hands or tourbillon) 
    • Frequency: 21,600 Vib/h
    • 28 jewels
    • 171 components
    • Automatic bi-directional pawl winding system
    • Gold, fully skeletonised oscillating weight
    • Power reserve: minimum 74 hours
    • Cylindrical hairspring with 2 Breguet curves
    • One-minute flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock with skeletonised bridge; hand-bevelled balance bridge
    • Diamond bevelling
    • Main plate and bridges with anthracite PVD finish
  • Functions: Hours and minutes
  • Strap: Black alligator leather strap, hand-stitched Steel folding clasp, engraved with the Moser logo

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Last Update: April 24, 2022

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