Less Is More: Hermès Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune
With its openwork moonphase watch, the independent luxury brand shows us how to do a skeletonized timepiece the right way.
Skeleton watches can be tricky to pull off. As such, openworking a watch’s movement, giving it pride of place as the “dial,” should, ideally, be attempted only if skeletonization is truly going to elevate that timepiece to another level.
We’ve all seen brands fail at the art of skeletonization, with results ranging from the overly busy to the unbalanced to the plain unattractive. But when they are done well, skeleton watches are to be admired.
And with its Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune, Hermès has shown it is one of those watchmakers that “gets” skeletonization and less really can be more.
Clean and Minimalist
It certainly helps that the Squelette Lune is part of the Slim d'Hermès collection. And to match the distinctive tone of this line introduced in 2015, any openwork model always needed to be minimalist and clean. In short: and not too busy.
It also helps, of course, that Hermès Group owns a 25-percent stake of Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier and can therefore draw on its capacity to develop an extra thin, micro-rotor, moonphase movement specifically designed to be skeletonized. And it is the openwork calibre H1953 that forms the harmonious dial of the Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune.
With their sinuous shapes, matte surfaces, and polished flanks, the pared-down movement bridges certainly catch the eye, as do the many components revealed by the watch’s skeletonization, with the micro-rotor at 10 o’clock and mainspring at 2 o’clock standing out. These last two elements combine to provide 48 hours of power reserve.
But Hermès has ensured that the spectacle never gets too noisy by employing a dark gray color scheme for the movement that lends the watch a contemporary feel and contrasts just enough with the blued baton hour and minute hands to make them readable.
Realistic Lunar Depictions
At 6 o’clock, the double moonphase display is seamlessly incorporated into the black-gold flange, decorated with a brushed sunray motif. While the moonphase bears realistic lunar depictions similar to those used on Hermès’ acclaimed Arceau L’Heure de la Lune, the flange features a minute track employing the Slim d’Hermès signature typeface, designed by French graphic designer and typographer Philippe Apeloig.
Contrasting Case Materials
The Squelette Lune’s 39.5mm case retains the traits that have come to characterize the Slim d’Hermès collection, namely a slim profile, tapered lugs, and slender bezel.
Here, the caseband and back have been made in bead-blasted grade 5 titanium, giving a slightly raw aesthetic, while the bezel, in polished 950 platinum, and crown, in 18K white gold, add a sumptuous touch. The watch comes on a matte graphite alligator leather strap with a grade 2 titanium pin buckle.
The Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune is a stylish, well-executed skeleton watch that wears and looks great on the wrist. What’s more, its price of $20,550 makes it an even more attractive proposition when you consider other options available in that price tier.