H. Moser & Cie.

Heinrich Moser was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland on December 12, 1805. He learned the basics of watchmaking craftsmanship from his father before continuing his studies in Le Locle, Switzerland after 1824. In 1828, he founded the original H. Moser & Cie. in St. Petersburg, Russia. Moser established a watch factory in LeLocle in 1829, which produced watches exclusively for his businesses in Europe and Russia.

In 1848, Heinrich Moser returned to his hometown of Schaffhausen and established a watch factory there to supply his business. Notable clients of H. Moser & Cie. at the time included Russian nobility and members of the Russian Imperial Court. In particular, Vladimir Lenin was known to have owned a Moser watch. Heinrich Moser died on October 23, 1874, and the company was sold because none of his heirs was willing to take over the business. The buyer was the existing Managing Director, Mr Winterhalter. It was stipulated in the contracts of sale that all successor companies would continue to operate in perpetuity under the registered brand names of H. Moser & Cie. or Heinrich Moser & Co.

WW1 Moser cockpit watch.
WW1 Moser cockpit watch.

Wristwatches

In 1953, H. Moser & Cie. continued its business in Le Locle where it produced its first wristwatches. I find this difficult to believe, as they would have been 30 years behind the rest of the industry. The company suffered during the quartz crisis in the 1970s and 1980s. H. Moser & Cie. was acquired by the Dixi Mechanique Group and the original brand name was dropped, becoming “Hy Moser & Cie”.

I came across Moser when researching manufacturer codes for WW1 cockpit watches (Moser, code was CC). They must have been making good quality watches to be approved for the manufacturing of military-grade watches. The history of Moser is patchy, most of the commentary is a summary of what is found on Wikipedia. The company was relaunched in 2005 and currently produces limited edition watches.

Related content

H. Moser & Cie at Wikipedia