Introducing The New Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune models Hermès shows the stunning variation in meteorite colors by Jorg Weppelink April 25, 2020 MIN READIntroducing The New Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune models
Looking back at January 2019 almost seems like looking back at a different period in time. But it doesn’t mean everything is a distant memory. Last year saw Hermès release one of the best watches of the SIHH 2019 with the Hermès Arceau L’heure de la Lune. A little over a year later sees Hermès introducing five new Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune models.
In a string of excellent releases last year at the SIHH, the Hermès Arceau L’heure de la Lune stood out. Despite its classic looks, it gave us something fresh and new, as you can read in Robert-Jan’s article. The concept, technique, and execution are all incredibly well thought out. The Arceau L’heure de la Lune showed that Hermès is able to create a fresh take on a traditional moonphase complication.
Especially last year’s version with the aventurin blue dial was a feast for the eyes. The watch truly gives the feeling of looking into space, and that took the win for me out of the two releases from last year. Fast forward a little over a year, and it’s no surprise that Hermès introduces five new variations of the watch. Two of them are additions to the main collection that feature blue-tinted dials. The other three pieces are limited-edition releases with real meteorite dials. Where the original versions were produced in a limited run of 100 pieces each, you might have to run a bit harder this year’s limited editions, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Overall these new releases build on the success of the initial two versions of the Arceau L’heure de la Lune.
A story of style and complications
Although Hermès surprised many with the introduction of the Arceau L’heure de la Lune, the brand has been known to create some spectacular watches in the past. Most of those watches are the combination of the recognizable Hermès style and some pretty unusual complications. Two releases that stand out are the Le Temps Suspendu introduced back in 2011 and the Dressage L’Heure Masquée from 2014. The Arceau L’heure de la Lune fits perfectly in that line-up. The watch confirms Hermès’ quest for creating timepieces that stand out both in style and technical achievements.
It’s an approach that we see with Bulgari as well. They have also been impressive at creating great-looking timepieces and combining them with technical brilliance. As far as design goes, it’s quite remarkable that two luxury lifestyle brands can push the boundaries in the world of watches. Where we tend to look at the familiar watch brands to create something new and unexpected, it’s companies like Bulgari and Hermès seem less restricted by traditional design conventions. Both companies have brought something new and successful in the watch world that people have been talking about.
The Concept of the Arceau L’heure de la Lune
Let’s take a closer look at the concept of the Hermès Arceau L’heure de la Lune for the people that have forgotten about or missed it. The Arceau L’heure de la Lune takes the idea of the traditional moonphase watch and turns it upside down. While a moonphase complication is usually integrated into a watch as an additional function, this watch uses the dial to show the moon phases in both the northern and southern hemispheres. In the dials of the Arceau L’heure de la Lune, you will find two mother-of-pearl inlay moons. Each of the two moons features a different design. The upper moon features a silhouette of the famous Hermès Pegasus designed by Dimitri Rybaltchenko, while the lower moon depicts the actual lunar surface. For extra dreamy effect, the Southern moon is placed at 12 ‘o clock. and the northern moon is placed at 6 ‘o clock.
Over the top of the moons, you will find a pair of floating lacquer dials that rotate around the dial once every 59 days. In doing so, they cover and uncover the moons to indicate the current moon phase in both the southern and northern hemispheres at once. One of the floating dials displays the hours and minutes while the other indicates the current date. This ingenious concept of showing the moon phases, time, and date is the brainchild of Jean-Francois Mojon. Mojon has worked with several brands on creating some remarkable timepieces, including MB&F and Harry Winston. With this Hermès Arceau L’heure de la Lune, he shows that you can take a classical idea in the world of watches and realize it in a completely original way.
Technically nothing has changed for the new introductions of the Arceau L’heure de la Lune. Just like last year’s versions, Hermès uses the 43mm Arceau case that was designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978. Inside the Arceau case, you will find the Hermès in-house caliber H1837 movement as the base and a specially developed “L’heure de la lune” module to create the display of the moon phases and the gravitation of the floating dials.
The caliber H1837 movement is a self-winding movement that ticks at 28,800vph, has a diameter of 26mm, and consists of 193 components. The “L’heure de la lune” module consists of another 117 parts and has a diameter of 38mm across. The base caliber H1837 movement measures 3.7mm in thickness, and the module adds another 4.2mm to create the incredibly layered display of the moon phases.
The Lapis Lazuli version
The first of the additions to the main collection comes with polished rose gold case and a blue Lapis Lazuli dial. The floating white-lacquered mobile counters feature black transferred Arabic numerals and blued hands. The watch is fitted with a matt blue alligator strap and a rose gold folding clasp. The Lapis Lazuli version will cost $33,200 (price in Euros tbc).
The Lapis Lazuli version is the one that is visually closest to last year’s version with the aventurine dial and has the same stunning effect of watching at the dark blue sky full of stars. The rose gold case adds a new twist to the overall aesthetic that is very classy. This is the perfect proof of the versatility of the Arceau L’heure de la Lune.
The Blue Pearl version
The second addition to the Hermès main collection comes with a polished white gold case and a hard stone Blue Pearl dial. The floating gradient-grey lacquered mobile counters feature silver transferred Arabic numerals and blued hands. The watch is fitted with a matt graphite alligator strap and a white gold folding clasp. The Blue Pearl version will cost $33,200 (price in Euros tbc).
Out of all five releases, this has the most colorful and vibrant dial. The overall effect is that the watch feels a bit more modern, for lack of a better word. There is a lot going on with this version and it shows that the design of the Arceau L’heure de la Lune is very versatile. If you are looking for a version that really pops, this Blue Pearl version is the one to go for.
The Black Sahara meteorite version
This year Hermès has decided to also introduce three new limited edition models, all with a unique meteorite dial. The first comes with a polished white gold case and a Black Sahara meteorite dial. The floating silver-lacquered mobile counters feature black transferred Arabic numerals and blued hands. The watch is fitted with a matt black alligator strap and an 18K white gold folding clasp. The Black Sahara meteorite dial version is limited to 30 pieces that are individually numbered and will cost €44,000.
Out of all the new models, this is the closest to last year’s version with the gray meteorite dial. But Hermès has been clever by using silver color for the floating dials instead of the black dials of last year’s version. The overall effect is that this configuration puts a little more emphasis on the impact of the rotating dials, where last year’s version lets the two moons on the dial jump out.
The Lunar meteorite version
The second version also comes with a polished white gold case and a Lunar meteorite dial. The floating gradient brown-lacquered dials feature white transferred Arabic numerals and blued hands. The watch is fitted with a matt brown alligator strap and an 18K white gold folding clasp. The Lunar meteorite dial version is limited to 36 pieces that are also individually numbered and will cost €35,000.
This new Lunar meteorite version gives you a chance to wear a piece of the lunar surface on your wrist. It is also the first that uses a different color than the blue, white, and grey colors we have seen. By using the darker brown color for the floating dials, the lively lunar meteorite dial with the moonphase complication takes center stage. By using darker colors for the floating dials, there is more emphasis on the indication of the moon phases.
The Martian meteorite version
The third and last version comes with a polished platinum case and a stunning Martian meteorite dial. That’s right, an actual piece of meteorite from Mars. The floating white-lacquered dials feature black transferred Arabic numerals and blued hands. The watch is fitted with a matt green alligator strap and a platinum folding clasp. The Lunar Martian dial version is limited to 2 pieces only that are individually numbered and will cost €130,000.
This platinum version is an exceptional piece with a very limited production number. The two pieces that will be made feature a stunning looking green meteorite dial and an accompanying green strap. Out of the three limited edition pieces, it is the one that stands out in color and exclusivity. There is no doubt in my mind that these sell very quickly, as this is truly a collector’s piece.
The five new Arceau L’heure de la Lune models introduce five more stunning versions of a remarkable watch. All five of the new models are stunning pieces of art. I have no doubt these new models will find their way to collectors quickly. I can only hope that Hermès will continue building the legacy of the Arceau L’heure de la Lune. The Arceau L’heure de la Lune shows that Hermès is a brand that continues to push the boundaries of watchmaking. And we can only hope that they keep coming up with more releases like this.
Visit the official Hermès website here.
Brand Hermes ModelArceau L’heure de la LuneDialLapus Lazuli dial with white floating dials, Blue Pearl dial with gradient grey floating dials, Black Sahara meteorite dial with silver floating dials, Lunar meteorite dial with brown floating dials, Martian meteorite dial with white floating dialsCase MaterialLapus Lazuli dial – rose gold, Blue Pearl dial – white gold, Black Sahara meteorite dial – white gold, Lunar meteorite dial – white gold, Martian meteorite dial – platinumCase Dimensionsdiameter – 43m, interhorn width – 22 mmCrystalSapphire crystal with anti-glare treatmentCase BackScrew-down caseback with sapphire crystal with anti-glare treatmentMovementHermès Manufacture H1837 movement, Mechanical self-winding, Diameter: 26 mm (11½’’’), Thickness: 3.7 mm, 193 components, 28 jewels. Frequency: 28,800 vph (4Hz). “L’heure de la lune” module, Diameter: 38 mm (16¾’’’), Thickness: 4.2 mm, 117 components, 14 jewelsStrapLapus Lazuli dial – matt Abyss blue alligator strap, Blue Pearl dial – matt graphite alligator strap, Black Sahara meteorite dial – matt black alligator strap, Lunar meteorite dial – matt Havana brown alligator strap, Martian meteorite dial – matt Veronese green alligator strapFunctionsHours, minutes, date, double moon phase (display of moon phases seen from the northern and southern hemispheres)PriceLapus Lazuli dial – $33,200 (price in Euros tbc), Blue Pearl – $33,200 (price in Euros tbc), Black Sahara meteorite dial – €44,000, Lunar meteorite dial – €35,000, Martian meteorite dial – €130,000 Watch of the Week
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About the author
Jorg has been working in marketing & communications for 15 years. He is specialised in developing brand strategy, brand portfolio, brand design and brand communications. Besides, he loves watches and the stories that make them worthwhile. He can be spotted… read more
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