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Hermès - Three Essential Novelties from Hermès

Hermès Three Essential Novelties from Hermès

The Parisian brand refines its codes, its watch models and shapes a truly unique Hermès take on time — 2020 looks to be its most successful year yet

Some habits die hard. For some obscure reason, horological tradition dictates that the moonphase indication is a feminine complication. Why is that? No one knows. It's just the way it is. But not for Hermès. 

The Maison Hermès, which has always shown a predilection for freeing itself from encumbering tradition, has therefore developed a men's timepiece with the moon phase as its central feature. A daring gamble, given how deeply rooted stereotypes are. And yet, success was not long in coming. 

Launched at the beginning of 2019, the Arceau L'Heure de la Lune wasted no time in bagging the Calendar & Astronomy Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) later that year. Its first 100 pieces were sold out in just a few weeks. Other limited series followed, all sold out equally quickly. A niche success, a rare timepiece made for enlightened connoisseurs who crave the singular Hermès touch.

From the Sahara to Mars

In 2020, Hermès proposes three new interpretations of L’Heure de la Lune. What they all have in common is the use of meteorite dials. The first model is the closest to the original version, with a "Black Sahara" meteorite dial that offers the same variations of grey as the first meteorite dials. The result is a sober, elegant and contemporary masculine timepiece. 

Hermès : les trois nouveautés incontournables

Arceau L'heure de la lune © Hermès

The second model takes a much more exclusive orientation: there will be only two of them, with a predominantly green Martian meteorite dial, a colour repeated on the strap. An astonishing, audacious, atypical livery in a platinum case.

Hermès : les trois nouveautés incontournables

Arceau L'heure de la lune © Hermès


The Perfect Time?

The last variation could be the most accomplished. It succeeds in combining an audacious use of colour with the highlighted complication, finished with Hermès creativity. On a dial of lunar meteorite, one finds the two vast mother-of-pearl moons, the upper one depicting a winged horse, Pegasus, evocative of the maison's original equestrian domain. 

Hermès : les trois nouveautés incontournables

Arceau L'heure de la lune © Hermès

The two satellite counters (one for the time, the other for the date) offer a gradation of chocolate tones on a textured background, reminiscent of the meteorite beneath. The three blued steel hands unfold in perfect contrast and offer great legibility. The watch comes in a white gold case with a chocolate bracelet on which one can admire the delicacy of the Hermès touch which makes it so unique. In the end, the overall effect of this variation is lively, modern, very rich and complementary. It may be impossible, in the end, to say whether this version of the Arceau L’Heure de la Lune is classical or contemporary: it is a bit of everything at once — and this is the very definition of perfect balance.

Completely Striking

The balance of the new Cape Cod is much more uncertain. That's what makes it so charming: with its new hammered livery, the piece is dynamic, changeful, unusual — dare we say it, almost disturbing! Once again, Hermès goes in an unexpected direction. The soft lines imagined just 30 years ago by their famous designer, Henri d'Origny, are defined here by a hand-hammered treatment, so there will never be two identical pieces. 

Hermès : les trois nouveautés incontournables

Cape Cod Martelée © Hermès

Hermès plays with the material, restructuring the outer steel form but preserving the original lines of the Cape Cod. In order to fully showcase the hammered effect, Hermès has chosen to keep the case in the native dark grey tones of steel, while the dial offers a gradation of hammered black that will reflect light in its own unpredictable and playful way. An impertinent piece for those who are don’t mind breaking a rule or two.

Slim Once, Slim Forever

One last thing remains to us — the unmissable Slim d'Hermès. Still as fine and outstanding as ever, the collection is flourishing, gaining in maturity but still resists the settling influence of wisdom — and is so much the better for it! At just 5 years old, the Slim still manages to surprise us. Its latest variation, a GMT model, will be no exception. Its (in my opinion, perfect) diameter of 39.5 mm will satisfy discerning collectors, anxious not to go against the rules of classicism. On the other hand, the geometry of its dial will delight lovers of modernity: with its Slim d‘Hermès GMT, Hermès has created one of the very rare completely asymmetrical timepieces. At 6 o'clock lies the date, at 10 o'clock the second time zone, completed at 2.15 by the Home Time/Local Time indicator. 


Hermès : les trois nouveautés incontournables

Slim d'Hermès GMT © Hermès

Against the measured typography of the hour scale and the date, the second time zone numerals present a chaotic yet perfectly legible array. The fine, modern, elegant typeface designed by Philippe Apeloig for Hermès is still just as much appreciated as it always was. Its legibility is increased by the play of dial finishes, alternating opaline or circular grained textures, paired with satin-finished and/or polished hands in gold or blued steel, under a lightly smoked glass. A rarely seen amount of diversity on a single dial, but one that, when placed in the right places, with the right depth, defines the exceptionally successful dial of the Slim d’Hermès GMT.


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