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New: Hermès novelties for 2020 with Editorial Commentary

by Peter Chong on May 7, 2020

Hermès novelties for 2020 is a refresh of many of the highly successful collections from previous years. From the immensely popular L’heure de la lune and the Slim d’Hermès, to the Cape Cod Martelée and the Arceau Cheval Cosmique. Here is the collection.

Press Released, edited for brevity with commentary in italics.

Hermès L’heure de la lune

The star of last year’s collection is no doubt the L’huere de la lune. A complicated watch which the house of Hermès have not seen before. We were thrilled with the release from 2019, and the new extensions continue to excite.

Hermès L’heure de la lune, platinum case, Martian meteorite dial. Limited to 2 pieces only.

Travelling in another dimension, cosmic and dreamlike. Setting foot on the moon and losing one’s sense of time and space. The Arceau L’heure de la lune watch offers a unique vision of Earth’s satellite with the simultaneous display of moon phases in both northern and southern hemispheres. Two mobile counters gravitate on a lunar, Martian or Black Sahara meteorite dial, revealing mother-of-pearl moons in step with an exclusive module, coupled with a Manufacture Hermès movement.

Hands on detailed review of the Hermès L’heure de la lune.

An offbeat expression of a classic horological complication, the Arceau L’heure de la lune watch offers an original interpretation of Hermès watchmaking expertise. Framed by a white gold or platinum case, the mechanics adopt a light, barely-there role. Meteorite inlaid with mother-of-pearl form a cosmos in which satellite dials float above hemispherical moons. These mischievous displays have swapped cardinal points, with the south above and the north below. A topsy-turvy direction inviting observers to lose their bearings, with their head in the stars…

Hermès L’heure de la lune in white gold. Black Sahara meteorite dial on the left, and Moon meteorite on the right.

The horse, representing the origins of Hermès, gallops elegantly into the world of dreams. At 12 o’clock, the moon is adorned by a Pegasus designed by the “dreamer-designer” Dimitri Rybaltchenko. Entitled Pleine Lune (Full Moon), this portrayal of the winged horse hints at a passage between two worlds, where magic and reality merge. On the other side, at 6 o’clock, the view of the moon from the northern hemisphere provides a realistic depiction of its surface.

The 2019 version, showing the winged horse motif on the moon disc at 12 o’clock.

The mobile counters displaying the time and date turn weightlessly to reveal the moon discs, while maintaining their horizontal orientation. This contemporary dance is choreographed by a module exclusively developed for Hermès and for which a patent has been filed. With a total thickness of just 4.2 mm, its 117 polished and bead-blasted components are incorporated within the Manufacture Hermès H1837 movement: a technical challenge designed to preserve the slenderness of the overall mobile chassis, which sweeps around the dial in 59 days. The motherof-pearl moons set into the stone display the lunar cycles in the northern and southern hemispheres. This mysterious game of hide-and-seek reveals nothing of its technical complexity, so as to give pride of place to dreams.

The caseback from the 2019 version of the L’huere de la lune. The movement remains the same for 2020.

Within this space-time, metal, stars and rock seamlessly merge the watch exterior with the movement to form an unprecedented technical and aesthetic display of simple and graphic readability. The double moon here eclipses a traditional aperture-type display, instead covering the entire surface of the dial. The result is a free-spirited and impertinent vision of mechanical watchmaking according to Hermès. The Arceau case with its asymmetrical lugs, designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978, becomes a lunar crater made of meteorite stone, while the lacquered dials, gravitating like satellites, display Arabic numerals with a distinctive sloping font. This Haute Horlogerie timepiece is fitted with a matt alligator strap in black, Havana or Veronese green, depending on the versions.

The dial material does not get more exotic than this, with the use of Black Sahara meteorite (limited edition of 30 pieces in white gold case), Moon meteorite (limited edition of 36 pieces in white gold case) and Martian metorite (limited edition of 2 in platinum cases) as the base in the three models proposed for 2020.

Slim d’Hermès GMT

The Slim d’Hermès line embodies essentials: simplicity imbued with rigorous discipline and aesthetic balance, the unmistakable signature of the collection born in 2015. At once classic and modern, it devotes considerable attention to details. The slender curves of the case middle, the right-angled curves, the original numeral font designed by Philippe Apeloig.

Made from rose gold, the GMT version becomes the ideal companion for today’s globetrotter. Its ultra-thin 9.48 mm thick case reveals its pure display beneath an enigmatic smoked crystal veil. The broad blue dial with its distinctive font – slim numerals with spaces between them – is adorned with subtle finishing that accentuates its intensity. A sunburst chapter ring, snailed centre and date counter, along with a grained silver-toned GMT counter studded with numerals punctuate this perfectly legible Manufacture dial swept over by slender sandblasted gilded baton-type hands.

At the heart of this journey, the new Slim d’Hermès GMT beats to the rhythm of the ultrathin Manufacture Hermès H1950 movement measuring just 2.6 mm thick, combined with the 1.4 mm of the ultra-thin GMT module exclusively developed by Agenhor for Hermès. In addition to the hours, minutes and date function, this mechanical self-winding composition equipped with a microrotor drives a dual-time reading complete with two day/ night indicators for home time and travel time. The time in a given destination is simply and playfully adjusted via a dedicated pushbutton. The movement bridges, hand-chamfered and adorned with the ‘sprinkling of Hs’ motif, along with those of the module featuring Côtes de Genève and circular-graining, can be admired through the sapphire crystal case-back. A matt abyss blue alligator strap, crafted in the Hermès leather workshops, binds this reliable travel companion firmly to the wrist.

Hermès Manufacture movement H1950

The Slim d’Hermès GMT is not a new watch. Indeed it is a staple within the Hermès world. The GMT was previously available in palladium, and now in rose gold with a blue dial. The whimsical dial with the unique typeface used is very charming in a way which eludes many others. The dial finishes look very luxurious, with different treatments given to the subdials and the main dial. The Ultra-thin Hermès Manufacture movement H1950 is used, featuring a micro-rotor automatic winding measuring only 2.6mm in height, using the GMT module developed by Agenhor over the Vaucher manufactured base.

Hermès Cape Cod Martelée

In 1991, the Cape Cod was born from the unfettered pencil strokes of Henri d’Origny, who was originally supposed to draw a square watch. His creative freedom decided otherwise: it would be «a square within a rectangle». As boldly original as it is rigorously disciplined, the Cape Cod is composed of two Chaîne d’ancre half-links, the famous motif created by Robert Dumas in 1938 and inspired by ships’ anchor chains.

A timeless icon, the Cape Cod is perpetually transformed and lays itself open to all kinds of whimsical interpretations. Today, this everevolving classic lends its finely balanced shapes to the excellent jewellers skill known as hammering. This complex and sophisticated technique enhances the steel case with a unique patina-type effect. The likewise hammered dial is coated with a thin layer of translucent lacquer, in graded shades ranging from anthracite to black. The raw yet crafted material, with all its depth and roughness, results in an object with an entirely unexpected look. Finally, the Cape Cod Martelée combines its offbeat temperament with an understated black calf strap in single or double tour versions.

The hammered steel case and dial is quite evocative in concept, which portrays the intention of raw yet refined very well. The watch is equipped with a quartz movement.

Hermès Arceau Cheval Cosmique

The dial of the Arceau watch is adorned with a silhouette of a horse and waves in engraved gold, set against an aventurine or mother-ofpearl and enamel background and paired with an abyss blue or Chantilly alligator strap.

The Arceau watch designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978 lends its sober yet singular allure to a new expression of Hermès creativity and expertise. Imagined by artist Gianpaolo Pagni, the “Cheval Cosmique” composition combines graphic undulations with the silhouette of a horse from Émile Hermès’ private collection. This singular interpretation is transposed here in relief, on a dial in aventurine or mother-of-pearl and enamel: a splendid trotting horse and a wavy motif handengraved in white gold.

To create just one example of this miniature artwork, the artisan works for almost a week on a gold plate less than half a centimetre thick. First, by engraving the waves and accentuating them with a fine black lacquer; and then, by fixing this engraving in place on the dial before covering the surrounding area with aventurine or enamel and mother-of-pearl. Finally, the beautifully engraved horse is put in place, setting the perfect final touch to this creation.

The making of Hermès Arceau Cheval Cosmiqueat chez GVA cadrans Satigny.

The Arceau Cheval Cosmique watch is produced in two limited series of 24 each. The first, in white gold, displays its equestrian motif at the heart of a dial featuring deep shades of aventurine enhanced by an abyssblue alligator strap. The second, in white gold set with diamonds, frames a luminous dial in mother-of-pearl and enamel, highlighted by a Chantilly alligator strap. The new Arceau with its hours and minutes display is powered by a mechanical self-winding movement which, like the dial, case and bracelet, is developed in the Hermès Horloger workshops.

The Arceau Cheval Comique is a Métiers d’Art piece, which is characteristic of Hermès. With the horse motif being central to the maison. It is presented in two case sizes, in 41mm on a dial with a black aventurine background/white gold engraving and in 38mm enamelled white gold, mother-of-pearl and engraved gold applique. Both cases are in white gold, and the smaller is endowed with 82 diamonds. The movement on the 41mm is the Hermès H1837 while the Hermès H1912 is used on the other.

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