H. Moser is calling time on its Swiss Alp Watch, a very serious piece of mechanical watchmaking that started life as the punchline to an industry in-joke.

After Tim Cook introduced the Apple Watch in 2015, the Swiss independent brand’s young, unabashed CEO and owner Edouard Meylan, seized on the opportunity by calling his company’s Endeavour Perpetual Calendar the original smart watch in a pitch-perfect, tongue-in-cheek launch video littered with jabs aimed at Apple’s incursion into ‘watchmaking’.

Then the following year Moser went further, launching the Swiss Alp Watch, with its tablet-shaped case directly reflecting the Apple Watch’s own form, which went on to garner mainstream news headlines around the globe.

Meylan’s plan risked bringing ridicule on him and his brand, afterall the Swiss watch industry and luxury in general has not historically been known for having the broadest sense of humour. Thankfully for Meylan (and arguably the industry as a whole) his customers and a much wider global audience got the joke.

The Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade takes the design’s mimicry of smartwatches to its obvious conclusion with a dial coated in Vantablack, the darkest artificial substance ever created, and black hour and minute hands which gives the impression of a smartwatch in its standby state.

At its six o’clock is a small seconds which, rather than using the traditional sub dial and hand, is made up of a series of rectangular apertures with a seconds disc painted in white gradient rotating underneath, which perfectly recreates Apple’s spinning wheel loading graphic. The entire design was suggested to the brand by a customer.

H. Moser’s in-house hand-wound Calibre HMC 324 sits inside the watch’s black DLC-treated stainless steel case, beating at 2.5Hz and offering 96 hours of power reserve. The reference marks the retirement of both the model and the movement.

Just 50 pieces of the H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade will be produced, priced $30,800 USD. Should you wish to place an order for a watch that arguably caused the Swiss watch industry to stop taking itself quite so seriously, then head over to H. Moser & Cie.

Elsewhere in watches, Bremont celebrates 150 years of the Rugby Football Union with a tough GMT rugby timer.

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