Last year, in 2019, Paris-based Hermès introduced one of its most beautiful watches yet: the Arceau L’heure de la Lune, a poetic new type of moon phase indicator timepiece. Hermѐs debuted the Arceau L’heure de la Lune with two dial options (aBlogtoWatch hands-on here), either with a meteorite background or with space-like aventurine stone. For 2020, Hermѐs immediately expands upon the L’heure de la Lune collection to a total of five models — which is probably a demonstration of how popular the pieces are.
Based on the popular Arceau case style — originally developed for Hermѐs in 1978 — the Arceau L’heure de la Lune is 43mm-wide, and and the new models for 2020 are available in 18k, rose gold, 18k white gold or platinum, depending on the dial material. This is a larger watch but certainly still elegant, so it can be worn as dressier-style wrist watch.
What is impressive about the L’heure de la Lune concept is both the attractive symmetry of the dial and its functionality. The rear of the dial is a polished natural material (various forms of meteorite in this assortment) along with mother-of-pearl, which becomes the moon faces. The two dials that indicate either the time or the date are raised above the main face and spin on their axes with one small turn each day. This is because the subdial assembly moves to block the moon faces in order to create the moon phase indication effect. The double moon faces are not necessary, per se, but are symmetrical and show the phase of the moon in both the north and southern hemisphere.
The movement powering all of this is the Hermѐs caliber H1837, which is a 4Hz automatic with 42 hours of power reserve. Over the base movement is a module for the moon phase indication system. Note that as the subdial assembly rotates, the dials also gradually turn in order to make sure they always point up.
While last year saw Hermѐs offer an 18k white gold aventurine and also an 18k white gold meteorite dial version of the L’heure de la Lune, 2020 features three new types of meteorite stone as well as lapis lazuli — at different price points, depending on rarity. Again, even though these are all space rock dials, they are sourced from meteorite rocks that fell to earth. The new meteorite styles are “Sahara meteorite” with a gray motif in 18k white gold, a brown and blue Lunar meteorite dial (also with an 18k white gold case), and a green-themed Martian meteorite dial with a 950 platinum case.
A small artistic detail on the dials is a Pegasus motif in the moon faces themselves. This is just a small and poetic Hermѐs touch on this refined Swiss-made, French-designed piece of haute horology. The L’heure de la Lune watches are also quite limited; each of the two 18k white gold models (Sahara meteorite and Lunar meteorite) are limited to just 36 pieces, and the Martian meteorite is limited to just two pieces, as the most exclusive of the bunch. Price for the two gold models is $43,000 and $51,000 USD respectively, and Hermѐs doesn’t want to share the price of the Martian meteorite model — with just two pieces available, they more or less get size up a potential customer’s spending power before selling one. Learn more at the Hermѐs website here.