Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune: I’ve Got Mixed Emotions

That’s not a clickbait title; I genuinely experienced mixed emotions when looking at the Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune. I have long been a fan of Hermès: it is one of the few brands that, with its almost effortless-looking design, has been able to create watches that still look contemporary even when they are decades old. The typography alone makes me want to own one.

And a skeleton watch means that I get less of what I love so much about the brand, hence my mixed feelings. So while this may not be the perfect Hermès for me, the brand has created one of the best skeletonized watches currently available.

Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune (photo courtesy Hermès/Joel Von Allmen)

“Slim Shady”

Historically skeletonized watches have always been very classical. For the majority of watchmaking history, to achieve this (yellow) gold cases were fitted with gold-plated, skeletonized movements with rigorously engraved bridges featuring highly decorative patterns.

Over the last two decades we have seen the rise of the more contemporary skeleton watch, which is characterized by a sportier touch thanks to a more industrial approach in terms of design (but not necessarily in craftsmanship). The Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune is a prime example of this as the bridges offer an elegant appeal with their almost organically flowing lines and subtle decorations. The chamfered edges of the bridges offer a play of light in a modern monochrome color setting.

Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune (photo courtesy Hermès/Joel Von Allmen)

This is where the brilliance of Hermès comes into play: the brand has created a true “slim shady.” Thanks to the ultra-thin Vaucher movement – Hermès owns 25 percent of this movement maker – the brand has been able to keep the Squelette Lune’s profile superbly flat. This is an extra treat as the art of skeletonizing such thin movements requires particular skills and comes with a whole new set of challenges.

The “shady” part comes from all the different tones of grey that the brand works with in this watch, which create exquisite tonal differences that make the Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune captivating to look at while maintaining some of that understated elegance that is an Hermès hallmark. Opting for a case back and case band in bead-blasted grade 5 titanium and topping it off with a bezel made of polished platinum perfectly fits this theme and adds an extra air of sophistication.

Dial closeup of the Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune (photo courtesy Hermès/Joel Von Allmen)

Poetry in the moonlight

One can argue that it doesn’t make much sense to only have a moon phase as a complication. In the modern age, its practical use is quite limited. But from a poetic point of view, it makes a lot of sense as it brings additional emotion to the timepiece as well as a playful element that also challenges Hermès. Integrating the moon’s phases into a skeletonized watch is challenging as it is hard to bring this display in line with the rest of the design without it losing significance.

Hermès solved this puzzle by going for a somewhat classic window display yet showing the moon phases in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously. This creates a symmetrical focus point on which Hermès capitalizes by opting for real moon depictions on the disks.

This poetic element works remarkably well with the rest of the watch and gives the Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune a dreamlike quality.

Hermès is also dreaming of winning the Men’s category of the 2022 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève with this watch. The competition will be fierce as no less than 30 (!) watches are entered in the pre-selection, which is being voted on at press time. This makes going forward into the final six already like winning. Despite fierce competition, I feel that Hermès has an excellent chance of making it there.

My personal preferences aside, one is hard-pressed to find another watch that is so thought through and sophisticated in its design. Combine that with its ultra-thin profile, interesting use of materials, original moon phase display, and skeletonized movement and you have a winner regardless of the outcome at the GPHG.

For more information, please visit,

Quick Facts Hermès Slim dHermès Squelette Lune
Case: 39.50 mm, platinum bezel; bead-blasted Grade 5 titanium case
Movement: skeletonized automatic Hermès Caliber H1953; 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, 48-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes; double moon phase
Price: $22,750

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8 replies
  1. stanislaw witold zolczynski
    stanislaw witold zolczynski says:

    Seems like not all parts are black treated which is interfering with silvery lunar discs. Or it is just light reflexes in photo?

  2. Jeff Kingston
    Jeff Kingston says:

    Sad to say this watch illustrates the great divide between traditional open working and industrialized. Traditional open working is a form of art. The best ones…Breguet comes to mind…feature careful hand filed anglage, many sharp interior angles, and, of course more than double the hand work as there are both interior and exterior surfaces requiring hand finishing with a succession of files and wood. On the other side are those watches where the open working is done via machine. Hand finishing is completely absent and this is all covered up by a coating in the hopes nobody will notice. This watch is in this category. Yuk.

    • Ian Skellern
      Ian Skellern says:

      I think that hand-skeletonized skeletonizing and contemporary machine skeletonizing are two separate categories Jeff: the former reflects a person’s art, while the latter reflects the designer’s art. The two forms, while both opening up the movement, are so different as to be not competing in the same category.
      Regards, Ian

      • Don Corson
        Don Corson says:

        While I agree that “traditional” and “contemporary” skeletonising are two different categories, both can be carried out by machine or by a craftsman. This is so obviously the work of a rotating tool in a computer driven machine that I find it somewhat revolting.

  3. Tam O Banter
    Tam O Banter says:

    I have never been tempted to buy a skeleton watch. I dislike the (often significantly) reduced legibility and the fact that they cost more for a movement which rarely has better technical specifications.
    This particular treatment is more pleasing to me than most.

  4. Nonoyeah
    Nonoyeah says:

    This would be a huge winner at $15K. I want to love it but it is so brutally machined and of limited it is hard wrap my head around the cost.

    • Tam O Banter
      Tam O Banter says:

      You’re supposed to be grateful just to be allowed to be part of the Hermes club. So grateful that you will pay anything. Because money is so crass…. so crass that Hermes will do anything to relieve you of it.
      $1,500 scarf anyone?
      $800 for 40 grams of stamped leather?


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