Exclusively created for the Only Watch 2019 Charity event, this unique piece of the Hermès Arceau 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 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 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.
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.
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 unique Haute Horlogerie timepiece is fitted with a matt alligator strap in graphite grey with a blue zephyr calfskin.
Meteorite, blue rhodium-plated
Gradated black-lacquered mobile counters, blue transfers
A unique piece
Moons in white natural mother-of-pearl
Southern moon: Pegasus transfer inspired by the Pleine Lune motif designed by Dimitri Rybaltchenko
Northern moon: lunar surface transfer
Designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978
White gold case (68.2 g)
43 mm in diameter, 17 mm interhorn width
Sapphire crystal and case-back with anti-glare treatment
Water-resistant to 3 bar
Hermès Manufacture H1837 movement
Mechanical self-winding, Swiss made
Diameter: 26 mm (11½’’’), thickness: 3.7 mm
193 components, 28 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4Hz)
Circular-grained and snailed baseplate, satin-brushed bridges and oscillating weight, signature “H” pattern
Exclusive “L’heure de la lune” module
Diameter: 38 mm (16¾’’’), thickness: 4.2 mm
117 components, 14 jewels
Polished and bead-blasted bridges
Hours, minutes, date, double moon phase (display of moon phases seen from the northern and southern hemispheres)
Alligator matt graphite alligator and blue zephir calfskin
17 mm white gold folding clasp (26.39 g)