Test Bench

Moser Perpetual 1

The treasures of the crown

The Watch Quote™ - November 12th, 2006

Favourite Watch with Complication
at the 2006 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

In autumn 2005, H.Moser & Company reappeared on the international watchmaking scene, spurred on by the influence of Dr Jürgen Lange. We’ve chosen to share this great moment with you by unveiling in pictures one of the new jewels of the Schaffhouse watchmakers, the Moser Perpetual 1.

Moser Perpetual 1 under the looking glass

A short history

Heinrich Moser
Heinrich Moser was born in Schaffhouse in 1805. Son and grandson of watchmakers, he learnt the craft from his father, Erhard Moser.

In 1824, he left Schaffhouse to set up in Locle where he perfected his knowledge in the presence of the greatest watchmakers of the time. Two years later, he tried to return and set up business in his home town, but the Municipal Council rejected his request to be given the honorary post of watchmaker to the town in favour of someone else.
Heinrich Moser & Co came into being in 1828 and in 1829, Moser founded his watchmaking business in Locle to manufacture pocket watches.

In 1831, he opened a subsidiary in Moscow, and became supplier to the tsars, the royal families and the Russian army. Moser also developed sales of his watches in Japan, China, Persia and Turkestan, as well as in Siberia and Kamchatka. (In 1845, the H. Moser companies in Russia employed around fifty people).

Having become a prosperous watchmaker, Moser decided to return and settle definitively in Schaffhouse in 1848 where he had the Charlottenfels castle built. He became one of the key figures in the town, participating actively in its development.

We owe to him:
  • The construction of a canal on the Rhine, that served to feed a water turbine
  • The railway line between Schaffhouse and Winterthur
  • The construction of the biggest dam in Switzerland on the Rhine, which, thanks to its hydroelectric plant, brought Schaffhouse into the industrial age.

In parallel with his industrial activities, Heinrich Moser remained a dedicated watchmaker until his death on October 23rd, 1874, when his second wife, Fanny, became his sole heir.

H. Moser & Cie changes hands.

In 1877, not wishing to take on the responsibility of her husband’s work, Fanny sold the Locle watchmaking business to Paul Girard, ensuring by contract that all Heinrich Moser’s successors would continue in perpetuity her husband’s work under the brand name of H. Moser & Cie or Heinrich Moser & Co. The names of the company and the brand would remain unchanged until the Russian Revolution in October 1917.

In 1920, Moscow founded the “Central watch repair workshop” on the ashes of the Moser watchmaking factories of old Russia. For the seventy-year period of the “Soviet Union” Moser watches would remain synonymous with work of a superior quality for the leaders of the eastern bloc. As proof of this, in 1966, the USSR presented one of its high-ranking military staff a Moser pocket watch dating from before 1917 (this collector’s piece has now been bought back by Moser Schaffhausen AG).

For over a century, the Girard family continued with Heinrich Moser’s work by perpetuating the manufacture of fine watches.

In 1973, Heinrich Moser & Co. was known as a firm that produced precision and special watches, notably in 18 carat gold or with cases inset with precious stones.

In 1979, the Locle watchmaking business became a member of the “Dixi-Mécanique” group and continued under the name of “Hy Moser & Cie”.

In 2002, Dr Jürgen Lange had the name re-registered internationally under the original name of the founder. It was a time of renaissance for the Moser Schaffhausen AG and the reintegration of the Moser lineage.

Today, Roger Nicholas Balsiger, great grandson of Heinrich Moser, heads the company’s administrative council as its honorary president.

In the autumn of 2005, for the 200th anniversary of its founder, the company reappeared on the international watchmaking scene.