Hermès Veils Time With Dressage L’Heure Masquée
At Baselworld 2014, Hermès introduced a timepiece that perfectly fits with its fun string of playful haute horlogerie timepieces: Dressage L’Heure Masquée (“Time Veiled”).
Almost as whimsical as the Arceau Le Temps Suspendu (“Suspended Time”), which won the prize for best men’s watch at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2011, the Dressage L’Heure Masquée “veils” time instead of hiding it like Le Temps Suspendu.
How is this done? The finely finished, in-house automatic Caliber H1925 includes an interesting GMT module that plays temporal hide-and-seek as the wearer dictates: pushing the button integrated into the crown allows the hour in two time zones to appear/disappear at will.
Another pusher at 9 o’clock sets the second (GMT) time zone, which is shown in a cutaway at 6 o’clock.
While these playful timepieces may sound simple, they are not simple by a long shot. Philippe Delhotal, creative director at La Montre Hermès, explained that this is a system that had not yet existed in watchmaking. “It was more complicated to conceive than a chronograph,” he said.
The biggest reason for this is that there was no bar to measure from. When creating a known complication like a chronograph, the possibility exists to analyze what has been done in the past and try and do do better. With something as-yet not invented, there is nothing to compare to and nothing else to do but forge ahead.
And this is where truly creative elements arise . . . not just from improving upon the status quo. The Dressage L’Heure Masquée allows the wearer to have time if he or she wants it. And only then.
The Watches TV recently took a look under the dial of the Dressage L’Heure Masquée. Please watch this video to learn more about its mechanics.
For more on Hermès’ Arceau Le Temps Suspendu as well as the Arceau Lift tourbillon launched in 2013, please read Hermès Solidifies Place In High Watchmaking With Elevator Inspiration.
For more about Hermès, please visit www.hermes.com.
Case: pink gold or stainless steel, 40.5 x 38.4 mm
Movement: automatic Caliber H1925
Functions: hours (on demand), minutes; second time zone (GMT/24-hour display) on demand
Price: $43,750 in pink gold; $20,750 in stainless steel
Limitation: 500 pieces in pink gold and 1,000 pieces in stainless steel