Hermès has a reputation for creating elegant timepieces that combine innovative mechanics with whimsical concepts, and this latest timepiec more than lives up to the luxury brand’s vision.
Taking the moonphase watch to another level, the Arceau L’heure de la Lune features two floating lacquer satellites – one displaying the time, the other displaying the date in sloping Arabic numerals, a characteristic of Arceau models – that rotate around the dial once every 59 days, covering and uncovering two stationary mother-ofpearl moons to indicate the current moon phase.
In this topsy-turvy design, the moon positioned on the dial at 12 o’clock represents the southern hemisphere and features the image of Pegasus – reminiscent of Hermès’ origins and inspired by the Pleine Lune motif created by designer Dimitri Rybaltchenko – while at six o’clock there sits a realistic depiction of the moon’s surface as visible from the northern hemisphere.
The contemporary slow dance the mobile counters take around the dial is made possible by the L’heure de la Lune module, specially developed for Hermès, the patent for which is currently pending. Made up of more than 100 polished and bead-blasted components, incorporated with the Hermès H1837 movement, it is an aesthetic display of technical mastery, and it means the dial will have a slightly different appearance every day that it is worn.
Available in two limited-edition runs of 100 numbered pieces, either with an aventurine or meteorite dial and set within a 43mm white-gold case with anti-glare sapphire crystal caseback, the creation comes with a matte alligator strap in abyss blue or graphite with a white-gold folding clasp.
Hermès calls its new innovation ‘an offbeat expression of a classic horological complication’, and while on paper it seems an ambitious and complicated notion, the result is beautifully dreamlike in both form and concept.