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Arceau L’heure de la lune

Travelling in another dimension, cosmic and dreamlike. Setting foot on the moon and losing one’s sense of time and space. The Arceau L’heure de la lune watch offers a unique vision of Earth’s satellite with the simultaneous display of moon phases in both northern and southern hemispheres. Two mobile counters gravitate on a lunar, Martian or Black Sahara meteorite dial, revealing mother-of-pearl moons in step with an exclusive module, coupled with a Manufacture Hermès movement.

An offbeat expression of a classic horological complication, the Arceau L’heure de la lune watch offers an original interpretation of Hermès watchmaking expertise. Framed by a white gold or platinum case, the mechanics adopt a light, barely-there role. Meteorite inlaid with mother-of-pearl form a cosmos in which satellite dials float above hemispherical moons. These mischievous displays have swapped cardinal points, with the south above and the north below. A topsy-turvy direction inviting observers to lose their bearings, with their head in the stars…

Arceau L’heure de la lune

The horse, representing the origins of Hermès, gallops elegantly into the world of dreams. At 12 o’clock, the moon is adorned by a Pegasus designed 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.

The mobile counters displaying the time and date turn weightlessly to reveal the moon discs, while maintaining their horizontal orientation. 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 4.2 mm, its 117 polished and bead-blasted components are incorporated within the Manufacture Hermès H1837 movement: a technical challenge designed to preserve the slenderness of the overall mobile chassis, which sweeps around the dial in 59 days. The mother-of-pearl moons set into the stone display the lunar cycles in the northern and southern hemispheres. This mysterious game of hide-and-seek reveals nothing of its technical complexity, so as to give pride of place to dreams.

Arceau L’heure de la lune

Within this space-time, metal, stars and rock seamlessly merge the watch exterior with the movement to form an unprecedented technical and aesthetic display of simple and graphic readability. The double moon here eclipses a traditional aperture-type display, instead covering the entire surface of the dial. The result is a free-spirited and impertinent vision of mechanical watchmaking according to Hermès. The Arceau case with its asymmetrical lugs, designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978, becomes a lunar crater made of meteorite stone, while the lacquered dials, gravitating like satellites, display Arabic numerals with a distinctive sloping font. This Haute Horlogerie timepiece is fitted with a matt alligator strap in black, Havana or Veronese green, depending on the versions.

Cape Cod Martelée

A true goldsmith’s artwork, the new Cape Cod Martelée highlights its anchor chain shape in a subtle play of forged and patinated surfaces.

In 1991, the Cape Cod was born from the unfettered pencil strokes of Henri d’Origny, who was originally supposed to draw a square watch. His creative freedom decided otherwise: it would be «a square within a rectangle». As boldly original as it is rigorously disciplined, the Cape Cod is composed of two Chaîne d’ancre half-links, the famous motif created by Robert Dumas in 1938 and inspired by ships’ anchor chains.

Cape Cod Martelée

A timeless icon, the Cape Cod is perpetually transformed and lays itself open to all kinds of whimsical interpretations. Today, this ever evolving classic lends its finely balanced shapes to the excellent jewellers skill known as hammering. This complex and sophisticated technique enhances the steel case with a unique patina-type effect. The likewise hammered dial is coated with a thin layer of translucent lacquer, in graded shades ranging from anthracite to black. The raw yet crafted material, with all its depth and roughness, results in an object with an entirely unexpected look. Finally, the Cape Cod Martelée combines its offbeat temperament with an understated black calf strap in single or double tour versions.

Cape Cod Martelée

Time, a Hermès object

Hermès creates objects. Objects shaped by the hands of artisans to make them true companions for those who wear them. Practical, functional and stemming from uncompromising expertise, they radiate the lightness of the unexpected. They make everyday life their playground, and each instant a uniquely special moment.

For Hermès, time is also an object. Its inherent tension is translated by the house into a singular characteristic. Rather than measuring, ordering, and seeking to control it, Hermès dares to explore another time, designed to arouse emotions, open up interludes and create spaces for spontaneity and recreation.

The mysterious and enigmatic Arceau watch confines itself to essential: the mysteries of an elegance imbued with understated lightness. Its skeleton heart appears beneath a smoked crystal, punctuated by openwork numerals.

Designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978, the Arceau watch is the epitome of formal classicism tinged with singularity. Its sober and carefully studied design, its round case with asymmetrical stirrup-shaped lugs, along with its sloping font evoking a galloping horse, all contribute to establishing its timeless yet contemporary nature. Hovering between shadow and light, this new interpretation of Hermès time subtly reveals the complexity of mechanical architecture.

The Arceau Squelette watch features a round steel case framing a smoked sapphire crystal dial. From the deep black gradient on the chapter ring, enhanced by a beaded minute circle and silvered numerals, to the transparency of the centre revealing the skeleton movement, the magic weaves its spell. The bridges, the anthracite wheels and the openwork oscillating weight play with the lightness of the slender hour and minute hands, while the cut-out numerals and the Hermès signature appear to be levitating. This aerial display, powered by a mechanical self-winding movement, is complemented by a black alligator strap crafted by the artisans of Hermès Horloger, as indeed are the case and dial.

Time, a Hermès object

Hermès creates objects. Objects shaped by the hands of artisans to make them true companions for those who wear them. Practical, functional and stemming from uncompromising expertise, they radiate the lightness of the unexpected. They make everyday life their playground, and each instant a uniquely special moment.

For Hermès, time is also an object. Its inherent tension is translated by the house into a singular characteristic. Rather than measuring, ordering, and seeking to control it, Hermès dares to explore another time, designed to arouse emotions, open up interludes and create spaces for spontaneity and recreation.

Laurent Dordet

 

The Calendar and Astronomy Watch Prize is awarded to Hermes, for the Arceau L’heure de la lune.

 

 

Arceau Ronde des Heures

A crescent moon dances with time on the new Arceau, joining the round of the hours by turns revealed and concealed.

The Arceau watch, designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978, lends its understated yet unique aesthetic to a new expression of time according to Hermès. A playful and paradoxical creation that diverts the moon from its expected role.

Here, the Earth’s satellite itself indicates the time as the numerals whirl in the moonlight, while the minutes hand points to the distant stars of a constellation.

Ever since its creation, the round case of the Arceau has rested on a rectangular stirrup, tracing a timeless silhouette. Its black bezel adorned with black spinels radiates an intense nocturnal light. Its sunburst glossy black dial is enlivened by a carousel of sloping numerals sweeping over an iridescent moon.

Standing out against this radiant darkness are a moon and stars crafted in mother of-pearl and revealed by luminescent lacquer. Issued in a limited edition of 300, the Arceau Ronde des heures watch is fastened to the wrist by a strap in black alligator crafted by Hermès artisans.

Philippe Delhotal

During this year’s SIHH 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, we had the great honour to be able to interview Philippe Delhotal, Artistic Director at Hermes. Mr. Delhotal took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about this year’s novelties for the SIHH 2019.