Hermès has a distinctive gift for infusing its mechanical timepieces with a dash of poetry. The Arceau family, home to the lyrical Temps Suspendu model that can suspend time on demand, also taps into the band’s equestrian ties, referencing the brand’s origins as a producer of harnesses and saddles in Paris in the mid-19th century. The latest Arceau Petite Lune moon phase model returns with a Ciel Étoilé – starry night sky – dial twinkling with diamonds.
The signature asymmetrical stirrup-shaped lugs and the ‘galloping’ slanted Arabic numerals of the Arceau were designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978, the celebrated artistic director of Hermès who defined le gout Hermès during his six decades at the Parisian Maison. Almost fifty years later, the Arceau remains a core product at Hermès, attesting to the winning and enduring design created by Henri d’Origny.
Last year, Hermès treated us to a variation of its Arceau Petite Lune in a 38mm white gold case with diamonds, a moon phase aperture at 10:30 and an aventurine dial dominated by three large celestial bodies. The latest Arceau Petite Lune shares the same 38mm case size but is now presented in stainless steel, translating into a reduction in price. Polished throughout, the stainless steel bezel is enhanced with 70 gleaming brilliant-cut diamonds using a cut-down setting to emphasise their facets. The crown is set with a rose-cut diamond.
The magnificent midnight blue dial is crafted from textured mother-of-pearl with nuances and reliefs obtained using blue lacquer. The gradient dial also plays with chiaroscuro, as the intensity of the blue background appears darker in some areas and lighter in others. The moon phase aperture reveals the waxing and waning of our celestial neighbour, and the night sky scintillates with the light of seven different-sized diamonds and white dots suggesting stars and faraway planets. Ensuring an unhampered view of the starry canopy, the dial has no hour markers and elegant rhodium-plated leaf-shaped hands indicate time.
The watch is powered by the automatic movement H1837, which refers to the year Hermès was founded. Designed in collaboration with Vaucher Manufacture in 2012, this lean 3.7mm automatic is fitted with a double barrel, runs at a frequency of 4Hz and delivers a power reserve of 42 hours. The movement is decorated with a circular-grained and snailed mainplate with a sprinkling of ‘H’ motifs on the satin-brushed bridges and rotor.
The Hermès Arceau Petite Lune Ciel Étoilé comes with an Hermès sapphire blue alligator strap and retails for CHF 15,810 (incl. tax). For more information, please consult Hermes.com.