While Hermès has been making watches for a very long time, it wasn’t until the last three to four years that the orange box leather goods maker has turned into a power house in the field of horology with their very own watch manufacture located in Switzerland. Without a doubt, one of the best releases at the SIHH 2019 was the new Hermès Arceau L'Heure De La Lune moonphase watch available in two versions, one with meteorite dial and the other in aventurine. With two mobile subdials —time and date— that circle around the dial of the watch day-by-day eclipsing two moons located at 12 and 6 o’clock —South and North hemispheres respectively—, the indication of the cycles of the moon is cleverly represented in a way in which it was never done before by any other brand. Portraying a very unique vision of the moon’s life in both hemispheres at the same time, this moon phase complication is somewhat similar to Arnold & Son’s HM Double Hemisphere Perpetual Moon —our favorite moon phase timepiece.
Housed in a generous 43 mm 18K white gold case, the aventurine dial version features subdials in white lacquer with black transfers, while the meteorite dial model features gradated grey lacquered subdials with white transfers for optimal readability.
The moons made of mother-of-pearl are carefully created and set into the dials. As days go by, the floating subdials display the time and date whilst turning weightlessly to reveal the moon discs, while maintaining their horizontal orientation. At 12 o’clock, the moon is adorned by a Pegasus created by the “dreamer designer” Dimitri Rybaltchenko. Entitled Pleine Lune —Full Moon—, this portrayal of the winged horse hints at a passage between two worlds, where magic and reality merge. On the other side, at 6 o’clock, the view of the moon from the northern hemisphere provides a realistic depiction of its surface.
This contemporary dance is choreographed by a module exclusively developed for Hermès and for which a patent has been filed. With a total thickness of just 4.2mm, its 117 polished and bead-blasted components are incorporated within the Manufacture Hermès H1837 movement.
The Arceau case with its asymmetrical lugs was designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978. A corrector is discreetly located on the left caseband in order to make the proper adjustments to the cycles of the moon. This exceptional Haute Horlogerie timepiece is issued in two 100-piece limited editions. Both watches are fitted with matte alligator straps in graphite grey or abyss blue respectively and equipped with an 18K white gold folding clasp.
Visible via the display case back is the Hermès Manufacture H1837 automatic movement composed of 193 parts and 28 jewels. This 4Hz —28,800 vph— movement features an ‘H’ pattern on the oscillating weight and bridges with as well as circular grained and snailed baseplate. For the money, we really expected something much more impressive in terms of finishes regardless that the watches presented where prototypes cased in stainless steel cases.
Details About the Watch
Case: 43 mm in 18K white gold.
Movement: Hermès Manufacture H1837 automatic movement composed of 193 parts and 28 jewels. This 4Hz —28,800 vph— movement features an ‘H’ pattern on the oscillating weight and bridges with as well as circular grained and snailed baseplate.
Dial: Aventurine or Meteorite dial with subdials in white lacquer with black transfers or gradated grey lacquered subdials with white transfers respectively. Moons made of mother-of-pearl and applied directly to the dials.
Strap: Matte alligator straps in graphite grey or abyss blue respectively. Equipped with an 18K white gold folding clasps.
Limitation: 100-piece limited edition for each dial.
Sticker Price $25,500 USD. For more info on Hermès click here.