Baselworld 2014: Hermès Dressage L’Heure Masquée

Hermes Dressage L'heure MasqueeMany of us wondered what Hermès would do for an encore to its innovative Le Temps Suspendu watch from a few years ago. The brand answered our question this year with its introduction of the Hermès Dressage L’Heure Masquée, which boasts a new proprietary movement with a clever “hidden hours” complication.

The Hermès Dressage L’Heure Masquée (literally, “the masked hour”) derives its name from the unconventional motion of its two time-telling hands, in which the hour hand remains hidden behind the traditionally moving minute hand until it is summoned on demand to its proper position with the press of a push-button integrated into the crown. After releasing the button, the hour hand snaps back to its position behind the minute hand. The watch also has a dual-time-zone function, in a window at 6 o’clock, whose hour also remains hidden (under the generic “GMT” text) until the button is pressed, after which the hour numeral of the chosen second time zone pops into the window. The second time zone is set by means of the push-button at 9 o’clock. Like Le Temps Suspendu, this watch emphasizes Hermes’s philosophy of time and “seizing only the moments that truly count.”

Hermes Dressage L'heure Masquee - 1-hand
The watch’s hour hand is hidden (above) until pressing the push-button brings it to its proper hour (below).

Hermes Dressage L'Heure Masquee - 2-hands

The proprietary movement responsible for this game of horological hide-and-seek is Hermès Caliber 1925, here modified with an exclusive, patented mechanism that creates an interaction between the rack, pinion, and gear trains to stimulate the hour cam into pointing to the correct hour on demand. The dual-time indication is driven directly by the base caliber, an automatic movement with 28 jewels, a frequency of 28,800 vph, and a 45-hour power reserve. Caliber H1925 also boasts a high level of decoration, including circular graining and snailing on the mainplate, satin-brushing on the bridges, and an Hermes “H” logo on the rotor.

Hermes Caliber H1925 - front
Hermes Caliber H1925, front, with hour “unmasked” (above) and back (below)
Hermes Caliber H1925 - Back

The Hermès Dressage L’Heure Masquée has the distinctive, cushion-shaped Dressage case, measuring 40.5 x 38.4 mm and available in either steel or 5N rose gold. The watch has glare-proof sapphire crystals in the front and back and comes on a brown alligator strap with a folding clasp in matching steel or gold. The silvered opaline dial has a vertical, central guilloché motif and either 4N-gilded (in the rose-gold version) or black-gold-stamped Arabic numerals. The hands (in rose gold or black gold) have Super-LumiNova in their center. The steel model of the Dressage L’Heure Masquee is limited to 1,000 pieces and priced at $20,750; the rose-gold version is limited to 500 pieces and priced at $43,750.


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