Favorite Under The Radar Releases of 2021: The Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune

2021 has been a banner year for reasonably sized steel sport watches, which are, incidentally, the type of watch I tend to gravitate toward. Needless to say, I’ve been spoiled for choice. But every now and again, a formal watch catches the eye and I’m struck by the romantic ideals of delicate finishing and scant proportions. It’s a weakness I’m sure I share with many of you. One such release this year was the Slim d’Hermès Squelette Lune, an openworked double moonphase by a brand that’s been raising its profile slowly but surely in recent years (as a watchmaker, at least), and it’s one of the few watches released in 2021 that I keep coming back to. 

I’ll acknowledge that I’m not generally moved by skeletonized or openworked watches. It’s a tricky thing to pull off properly, to my eye. However, this Hermes does indeed pull it off with a few caveats. First and foremost, it’s not exactly easy to read, but that seems besides the point with this watch. Second, the keyless works is rarely handled gracefully from the dial side and it’s no different here, to be perfectly blunt, but it’s a far cry from an eyesore, all things considered.

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The caliber H953 movement from Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier just works in openworked guise, with the micro-rotor occupying the space between 9 and 11 o’clock while the much fussier mainspring is tucked away between 1 and 2 o’clock. A gear train bisects the dial as it snakes around the micro-rotor with graceful bridges tying it all together, leaving a window at 6 o’clock for the double moonphase display. 

Speaking of, those moon discs are done in a similar style to the stunning Arceau L’Heure De La Lune, reworked to fit this dial design. It still renders the moon in both northern and southern hemispheres, which, while beautiful, is admittedly less than practical for everyday purposes. Still, I kind of love it. 

There is an elegance to this watch that I find endlessly charming, due to the mixture of finishes, the titanium case and platinum bezel, and above all, the thoughtful execution of the dial organization. At over $20k, it’s a lot of dough for pure formal wear, and I’d be hard pressed to snag this over the wonderful Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 for about the same price, but as far as 2021 releases go that have managed to live rent free in my head, as they say, this Hermes has found a welcome home.

We’ll have more of our favorite ‘under the radar’ releases from 2021 in the coming weeks, but until then, let us know yours in the comments below.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.
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