H. Moser & Cie : Fragmented monoliths


The watch: Nomad Dual Time by H. Moser & Cie 

Simple lines are often the most complex to design. Such is nonetheless the challenge to which H. Moser & Cie has successfully risen with the Nomad Dual Time watch – a paragon of readability and elegant understatement. At the heart of the brand’s signature case beats the self-winding Moser HMC 346 movement serving to display a second time zone by means of a large red hand, along with small seconds offset on a subdial at 6 o’clock. Further accentuating the aura of simplicity surrounding this timepiece, the second time-zone hand may be concealed beneath the hours hand. Discreetly positioned at 12 o’clock, a day/night indicator linked to the owner’s customary location switches from white to black in a fraction of a second at exactly 12 noon – a useful detail that in no way encumbers the deliberate austerity of this model imbued with undeniable elegance.


The monument: the Mumok, by architects Ortner & Ortner, Vienna

The museum created in 2001 by architects Ortner & Ortner was inaugurated that same year in the MuseumsQuartier located in the centre of Vienna and also featuring two large institutions : the Fine Arts Museum and the Natural History Museum. This impressive district is located in the former imperial stables that have been converted into a museum complex representing one of the world’s largest cultural centres (60,000 m2) and encompassing a number of collections and facilities.

From the outside, the building looks like a dark, closed block with a curving roof dipping lower than the edges. It is a monolithic structure of which the walls and roof are clad in anthracite grey basaltic lava.

To promote the exhibition by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm presented several years ago, a lifesize family home was embedded (or ‘crashed’) into the roof of the Mumok.

Like the Nomad Dual Time watch and the seconds hand appearing in a subdial, the detail of the house placed on the roof calls the observer’s attention to the unusual location of this element. It is at once an ironic vision and a reminder of the customary location of the various parts involved in a construction. The classic view of daily objects is thus disturbed and the inevitable questions stemming from this distinctive vision may serve to help one forget that any picture of the moment in hand can never be deemed definitive.


Nomad Dual Time 

Mouvement : mechanical self-winding, Manufacture Calibre HMC 346, 72h power reserve Case : pink gold Diameter : 40.80mm Functions : hours, minutes, seconds, dual-time, day/night indication Caseback : sapphire crystal Strap : brown alligator leather Water resistance : 30m

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