One of Joshua Munchow’s favorite watches from 2019, winning the Calendar and Astronomy prize at the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, was the Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune. Not only is it a stunning double moon phase watch with wandering dials, but also features an incredible module designed by Jean-François Mojon and his team at Chronode. Take a deep drive into it here with Joshua.
Martin Green doesn’t like skeleton watches despite adoring the craftsmanship that goes into making them because he isn’t fond of seeing a stunning movement with a backdrop of skin and pressed hair. Hermès solved that problem with the Arceau Squelette, which showcases the beauty of the movement without any “hairy” backdrop by using a “smokescreen.”
A horological detox means going back to simplicity. Just the basics: time-only, preferably in a stainless steel case and fitted with a strap, not overly thick or large, and dial functional in design. These are not attention-grabbing watches, but the perfect choice to start the new year with.
This past year has been a big one, and Joshua Munchow thought it might be good to go back over it and see some of the launches that defined 2019. Here are the watches, an indicative trend, and the biggest highlights that demonstrated what 2019 was all about.
Miniature wood marquetry is not only rare, it is fascinating. And thanks to our friends at The Watches TV, who recently visited Olivier Varenne in Paris, we are able to watch as an artisan demonstrates creating miniature wood marquetry dials for rare Hermès artistic craft watches.
The 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Calendar and Astronomy category is for mechanical watches comprising at least one calendar and/or astronomical complication. And this year all six watches have strong chances at the prize. Our panel isn’t unanimous in selecting a winner, but close to it: the moon wins!
The Hermès Arceau Grands Fonds is a rare and precious beauty. Its glass mosaic dial is a work of art, framed by a case made of white gold. And, as is nearly everything with Hermès, the Arceau Grands Fonds is also a functional object: the brand wants you to enjoy this watch on the wrist, where it belongs!
What is the most precious element of any watch brand? Its manufacture? Its skilled employees? Its brand ambassadors? Its boutiques? Martin Green thinks that it’s none of those, because the most important asset of a brand is its so-called DNA. Here he explains how brands better used their heritage at the 2018 SIHH.
Elizabeth Doerr is partial to the use of meteorite in watches because it’s literally the heart of a shooting star; when she gazes at a meteorite dial, she sees a tamed piece of heaven catching the time as it passes. Here she highlights five watch brands also seduced by the beauty of meteorite that made their debuts in 2019.
At Hermès, corners are never cut. And this becomes abundantly clear when talking to Guillaume de Seynes, member of the Hermès family and managing director in charge of the manufacturing division and equity investments. Quill & Pad’s Elizabeth Doerr recently had the chance to chat with de Seynes to understand the brand’s corporate philosophies and history in watches a little better.