The moonphase is one of watchmaking’s most popular, and most common, complications, but there’s nothing common about the Arceau L’heure de la lune by Hermès, a beguiling example of horological ingenuity.
Much like the original Arceau L’heure de la lune, which debuted in 2019, the dial of the new U.S.-only limited edition features a slice of New York meteorite that was discovered by a fishing boat and first sold by its captain in 1965, before falling into obscurity. The meteorite hunter Luc Labenne purchased the 2.95 kg meteorite in 2008 from the son of the man who purchased it in 1965. Hermès later acquired it.
The unique display conjures “a voyage through the cosmos,” says Philippe Delhotal, creative director of Hermès Horloger. “This watch hints at the existence of another space-time, a deeper interlude…it was essential to express this cosmic atmosphere.”
The module that powers the moonphase is equally spectacular. Developed with Jean-François Mojon, a technical specialist who heads Chronode SA, a Le Locle, Switzerland-based movement maker, the model features two subdials (for time and date), which orbit around two moons, one in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern. A Pegasus designed by the “dreamer-designer” Dimitri Rybaltchenko adorns the moon at 12 o’clock, while the moon at 6 o’clock evokes the satellite’s rocky, rugged surface.
“Hermès has collaborated with the artist Dimitri Rybaltchenko on a number of objects, from silk scarves to furniture,” says Delhotal. “He has created various designs for Hermès creations. The Pegasus is one of these. We love making bridges in our creations. It is a meaningful motif and an extraordinary link with the moon. It is a whimsical touch to let anyone continue dreaming of what he can see on the moon. Mr Rybaltchenko understands the philosophy of the Maison and our passion for creating singular objects.”
The watch is housed in a 43 mm case made of platinum and is equipped with a self-winding mechanical Hermès Manufacture H1837 movement, available in a limited edition of 16 pieces.