he new Arceau L’Heure De La Lune fully conforms to this whimsical trope which reinvents or reinterprets watch functions in a playful and dreamlike fashion. This moonphase, or double moonphase to be more accurate, in its own unique way revisits and transfigures one of the most explored indications in watchmaking.
The new Arceau L’Heure De La Lune simultaneously displays the phases of the moon in the northern and southern hemispheres, playing havoc with our vision of things from the outset by placing South at the top and North at the bottom. And rather than being placed in an aperture, or even orbiting the Earth, the two moons stay put, and it is the two “Earths” – two mobile counters, one displaying the hour and minutes and the other the date on our home planet – that orbit, concealing or revealing the moon discs. All this while maintaining a horizontal reading position.
The two counters are placed on a mobile chassis that literally hovers above the meteorite or aventurine dial in which the two mother-of-pearl moons are set as if in the cosmos, and completes one revolution every 59 days. This technical feat, brilliantly accomplished by Jean-François Mojon (Chronode) and powered by the Hermès in-house Calibre H1837 (produced in collaboration with Vaucher Manufacture, in which Hermès is a stakeholder) is enclosed in an exclusive mechanical module, it alone made up of 117 components. “The principal technical challenges lay in the wheel train transmission system and the planetary gears, and in finding suitable materials,” J.-F. Mojon explains.
- THE ARCEAU L’HEURE DE LA LUNE WATCH is available in two series limited to 100 each. It is mounted on a matte graphite or abyss blue alligator strap with a white gold folding clasp. Automatic movement, sapphire crystal and caseback. 43mm white gold case.
The magic of dreams
Quite beyond the technical feat of having two counters revolve over a period of 59 days while maintaining them in the same horizontal axis thanks to an invisible pivot system, and even though “it took three years of development to create this watch,” the beauty of this timepiece lies in the magic, the apparent simplicity and the dreams it evokes.
The expression “space-time” was perhaps never as appropriate as here. The depth of the watch; the finely engraved moons – the northern moon with its realistic craters and the southern moon bearing a winged horse (what child has never looked for shapes in the moon’s surface?); the aventurine or meteorite background; the simplicity and elegance of the indications; the classy typography of the lacquered, floating dials; the limpid case of the Arceau with its symmetrical lugs – everything conspires to make this delicate and poetic watch a fascinating microcosm of space-time to wear on the wrist. CHF 26,000