Hermès Arceau Petite Lune Jeté De Diamants Et Saphirs: Just A Splash Of Flash
Sometimes all you need is a little razzle dazzle to take it to the next level.
Are your dance team’s leotards not standing out from the competition? Just add some sequins and rhinestones and BOOM. Is your party flier lost in the banal assembly of band tryout and math tutor notices on the resident hall announcement board? Bam, a helping of multicolored glitter ought to fix that. Your wedding dress just not living up to your Disney Princess ™ dreams? Sheblammo, a giant dose of hand beading and a sparkling tiara will get you ready for your handsome prince or princess and a night to remember!
There is a reason that what many consider to be the pinnacle of extravagant luxury often includes diamonds and precious gemstones alongside polished gold and platinum. These are the markers of true luxury as, historically speaking, they were hard to come by and exceedingly challenging to shape and polish.
The modern world is a different beast. While we can create synthetic rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, it is hard to free ourselves from millennia of cultural appreciation that can sometimes stretch into devotion. At the end of the day we are mammals that like shiny objects, and things with almost supernatural levels of sparkle will always attract our attention.
For all the many fabulous, beautiful, and amazing things in this world, adding a healthy amount of gemstones just might make them better in some cases. Just ask our resident dandy gentleman Martin Green or editor-in-chief Elizabeth Doerr, who have a shared affinity for cuts and carats done the right way.
As I wrote in Detailed Primer On Gemstones And Their Appreciation: An Introduction To The Finer Things, I too have developed a keen appreciation for all that sparkles and thoroughly enjoy the varieties of stones, cuts, settings, and creativity that goes with it.
While jewelry pieces or fully set watches are commonly lauded here at Quill & Pad, sometimes just a sprinkling of razzle dazzle can take an already great watch to the big leagues. A perfect example of that is the Hermès Arceau Petite Lune Jeté de Diamants et Saphirs, a decorative update to the popular Petite Lune model, and one that has made it to the final round of the Ladies Category of the 2020 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. It has caught the eyes of many so let’s take a closer look at what makes the Petite Lune Jeté de Diamants et Saphirs so fabulous and so surprisingly attainable.
Hermès Arceau Petite Lune Jeté de Diamants et Saphirs
The Arceau Petite Lune is, at its core, a rather simple timepiece with a decorative moon phase window and a date subdial available in a variety of finishes and decorations.
The moon phase is viewed through a small cutout at 10:30 and features a moon designed by Franco-German artist Édouard Baribeaud for the Hermès silk scarf titled “Acte III, Scène I, la Clairière.” His inspiration came directly from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and, like many Hermès designs, it strays from the “traditional” moon phase style and is more playfully renaissance.
The Jeté de Diamants et Saphirs adds a fanciful and whimsical slant to the aesthetic, which is just begging for some fun. This new version utilizes a mother-of-pearl dial and date subdial adorned by 65 blue sapphires and 58 tiny diamonds.
The stones are set in a somewhat random-looking arrangement originating around the moon phase window, a style Hermès specifically describes in French as jeté meaning “thrown,” though in English the name gains some nuance and becomes “sprinkling.” This feels appropriate as no stones are touching and are unevenly spaced as if one did just sprinkle them over the dial. This is not snow setting or any traditional style.
The sprinkling continues onto the steel bezel as well, also originating in the same area as the moon phase, where another 22 sapphires and 10 diamonds make their way around almost half of the watch’s circumference. While there are many stones, the restrained size of the assortment (critical to the aesthetic) makes the total number of carats very low and keeps the watch from feeling overrun by set stones.
This restraint has led to a watch that was already a fantastic everyday piece with a nice smattering of complications and is now an adorably playful companion for the days where you just feel a little extra fancy, but not too much.
Plus, if you are a fan of blue, the visual splash of blue sapphires across the dial complemented by a matching blue Hermès-quality alligator strap is enough to keep your eyes entranced.
The real winner here is the setting style and arrangement of diamonds and sapphires. Unlike many watches with the simple addition of a diamond- or gemstone-set bezel or a geometric pattern on the dial, there aren’t tons of options for gem-set pieces that are substantially unique. Unless you are getting into jewelry pieces loaded with gems, the variety can often leave one wanting.
The random setting with small sapphires and diamonds, which effortlessly leaves a lot of negative space and doesn’t fill up the dial, works well for an in-between option for those who love creativity but don’t want the investment or risk of wearing a fully loaded watch. As I mentioned before, there are many stones in play here but less than a carat’s worth of total stone weight so the intensity is at a manageable level.
Most brilliantly set pieces just couldn’t be worn casually by anyone other than royalty, and even watches with just a set bezel can be rather flashy. But the Arceau Petite Lune “Sprinkling of Diamonds and Sapphires” has just the right amount of sparkle to draw the eye but still can play it cool in most situations. I would argue that a Breitling Navitimer might seem flashier in the wild due to its intense fluted bezel and dial chock full of scales and indications.
This Hermès is low-key glam thanks to diamonds on mother-of pearl for a low-contrast look, and the blue sapphires don’t scream for attention. The polished rhodium-plated hands help with this as well, and the polished steel case keeps contrast to a minimum for a rather balanced aesthetic. I love that the moon phase is on a deep blue background so that it still pops from within its window, but the scattered sapphires around it help it fade into the rest of the watch instead of being a stark difference.
Probably the biggest component of keeping things dialed back is that all the stones are set using a flush setting. Instead of adding to the sparkle with fancy engraved settings that multiply light reflection, all of the sapphires and diamonds are held cleanly in place with smooth flush settings with no visible ridge.
On a mother-of-pearl dial this is especially delicate as many would opt for an inserted tube (bezel) setting, which sees a small tube pressed into the dial to hold each stone, something I have always thought looks poorly planned and lower end.
Both the dial and steel bezel have cleanly set stones that allow them to shine without being visually overpowering. Some may prefer more traditionally gem-set watches and find the asymmetrical setting style rather un-haute joaillerie. But I think that is the point. It is fabulous without being ostentatious, beautiful without being boastful, and delicate without being dainty.
The asymmetrical stirrup-style lugs are a staple of the Hermès Arceau line, adding flavor without extravagance.
The Arceau Petite Lune Jeté de Diamants et Saphirs is a rock-solid women’s watch that plays to desires while always remembering the practicality of wearing a watch, and that is something that Hermès seems to always consider.
I know our editor-in-chief is a big fan, and I can agree that it may hit a sweet spot for many. It also helps that it comes in under CHF 10,000, meaning that more people can appreciate this piece and not be afraid to wear and enjoy it.
I’ll always be a fan of watches with a date and moon phase, and adding to my fascination with precious stones makes for a great timepiece that is likely to be well received and lead to more unique aesthetic choices for future models.
It’s hard to break down such a clean, solid watch but I can try!
- Wowza Factor * 8.4 Restrained stone setting on a supremely functional watch definitely leads to a wowza for some out there!
- Late Night Lust Appeal * 84.1» 824.739m/s2 I really like the style of this piece but a little birdie told me that our Elizabeth Doerr probably has some serious late-night lusting after this watch!
- M.G.R. * 52.5 A solid manufacture movement with a moon phase module is nothing to scoff at, especially from a brand that went from zero to full-fledged manufacture in no time at all!
- Added-Functionitis * Moderate A date and moon phase are a couple great features for a watch featuring a smattering of gemstones so you’ll definitely need some regular strength Gotta-HAVE-That cream for the well balanced swelling!
- Ouch Outline * 8.4 A pinched nerve in your back from carrying a box that was heavier than you expected! Moving is a stressful time but it can be more so when you underestimate the heft of that small box of books. My excellent packing skills came back to haunt me when I realized I should have used a smaller box, but I’d hoist that heavy box 100 times if it meant getting my hands on one of these!
- Mermaid Moment * 155 seconds! A second for every stone set into this watch is about how long it should take before you know you need to lock down a venue and a DJ for the reception!
- Awesome Total * 861.33 First take the diameter of the case in millimeters (38) and multiply by the number of diamonds set into the dial and bezel (68), then divide by the water resistance measured in bar (3) to get razzley dazzley awesome total!
For more information, please visit www.hermes.com.
Quick Facts Hermès Arceau Petite Lune Jeté de Diamants et Saphirs
Case: 38 x 11.01 mm, stainless steel set with 10 diamonds and 22 sapphires
Movement: automatic Caliber Hermès H1837 with moon phase module and 50-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency
Functions: hours, minutes; date, moon phase
Price: CHF 9,760/€8,400/$10,375