Some habits die hard. For some vague reason, horological tradition dictates that the moonphase indication is a feminine complication. Why is that? No one understands. It’s just the way it is. But maybe not for Hermès.
The Maison Hermès, that has consistently shown a predilection for protecting itself from encumbering heritage, has consequently developed a men’s timepiece with the moon stage as its principal feature. A daring bet, given how deeply rooted stereotypes are. And success wasn’t long in coming.
Launched at the start of 2019, the Arceau L’Heure de la Lune wasted no time in bagging the Calendar & Astronomy Watch Prize in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie p Genève (GPHG) after that year. Its first 100 pieces were sold out within just a few weeks. Other restricted series followed, all offered equally quickly. A market victory, a rare timepiece created for enlightened connoisseurs who crave the singular Hermès touch.
In the Sahara to Mars What they all have in common is using meteorite dials. The first version is the closest to the first edition, using a”Black Sahara” meteorite dial that offers the same variations of grey as the initial meteorite dials. The result is a sober, elegant and modern masculine timepiece.
The next version takes a much more exclusive orientation: there will be only two of these, using a predominantly green Martian meteorite dial, a color replicated on the ring. An astonishing, audacious, atypical livery at a platinum case.
The Perfect Time?
The previous variation would be the most accomplished. It succeeds in blending an adventurous use of colour with the highlighted complication, completed with Hermès imagination.
He two satellite counters (one for the time, the other for the date) provide a gradation of chocolate tones on a textured background, reminiscent of this meteorite beneath. The three blued steel hands unfold in perfect comparison and supply great legibility. The opinion comes in a white gold case with a chocolate bracelet onto which you can admire the delicacy of the Hermès signature that makes it so distinctive. In the long run, the general effect of this variation is lively, modern, very rich and complementary. It could be impossible, in the long run, to say whether this edition of this Arceau L’Heure de la Lune is contemporary or classical: it is a little bit of everything at once — and this is the very definition of perfect equilibrium.
The balance of the new Cape Cod is much more uncertain. That is what makes it so charming: with its own new hammered livery, the bit is lively, changeful, odd — dare we say it, almost upsetting! Yet more, Hermès moves in an unexpected direction. The soft lines pictured just 30 years ago by their renowned designer, Henri d’Origny, are described here by a hand-hammered therapy, so there will be two identical pieces.
Hermès plays the substance, restructuring the outer steel kind but preserving the first traces of the Cape Cod. So as to fully showcase the hammered effect, Hermès has chosen to maintain the case in the native dark gray tones of metal, while the dial provides a gradation of hammered black that will reflect light in its very unpredictable and lively way. An impertinent piece for those who are don’t mind breaking a rule or two.
Slim Once, Slim Forever
One last thing stays to us the unmissable Slim d’Hermès. Still as superb and fine as ever, the collection is flourishing, gaining in maturity but still interrupts the settling effect of wisdom — and is so much the better for this! Its most recent variation, a GMT model, will be no exception. Its (in my view, ideal ) diameter of 39.5 mm will satisfy discerning collectors, anxious to not go against the rules of classicism. On the other hand, the geometry of its own dial will delight lovers of modernity: using its Slim d`Hermès GMT, Hermès watch has created among the very rare completely asymmetrical timepieces. At 6 o’clock lies the date, at 10 o’clock the second time zone, finished at 2.15 by the Home Time/Local Time indicator.
Against the quantified typography of this hour scale and also the date, the next time zone numerals pose a chaotic yet perfectly legible collection. The nice, modern, tasteful typeface designed by Philippe Apeloig for Hermès remains just as much valued as it always was. Its legibility is raised by the drama of dial finishes, alternating opaline or circular grained textures, paired with satin-finished and/or polished hands in golden or blued steel, under a gently smoked glass. A rarely seen amount of diversity on a single dial, but one that, when placed in the right places, with the ideal depth, defines the exceptionally prosperous dial of the Slim d’Hermès GMT watch.