The Hermès Arceau L’heure de la lune blew our minds at SIHH 2019, and its subsequent updates have been no less impressive. Allow me to quote a friend an our ex-Style Editor, Justin Fenner, who is more eloquent than I: "In place of a traditional moon phase that spins quietly at 6 o’clock, this watch inverts things and turns the hour and minute and date indicators to roving satellites. They spin slowly over the course of 59 days over the stationary moons on the dial, showing what the moon looks like from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The €23,000 you’ll have to spend to get that close to one of these things? Worth every penny."
Boom — there you have it. So what are we looking at here? The newest version of the Arceau L’heure de la lune features a piece of the New York Meteorite, a bit of space rock discovered by a fishing boat and sold in 1965 to a private individual. In 2008 Mark Grubb, the son of the man who bought the meteorite in 1965, contacted a "meteor hunter" (imagine that on your LinkedIn profile) named Luc Labenne. Labenne purchased the ~3kg piece, which Hermès eventually acquired. Bits of said meteorite now constitute the dials of the new Arceau L’heure de la lune.
White lacquered sub-dials with black transferred Arabic numerals adorn the meteorite, while white mother-of-pearl discs make up the dual moon displays, which rotate around a central axis. Blued steel hands complete the classically inspired look.
The whole shebang is powered by the Hermès Manufacture H1837 movement, a 28-jewel automatic caliber running at 4Hz. This innovative movement displays hours, minutes, the date, and the double moon phase (both northern and southern hemispheres) via a unique, rotating display. Paired to the watch is a matte, Havana alligator strap with a platinum folding clasp.
The new Arceau L’heure de la lune is limited to 16 pieces at a price of $69,950 each.