Hot on the heels of the gruff bear on the Slim of Hermès Grrrrr! and the howling wolf of the Arceau Awooooo, Hermès’ Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh! joins the bestiary illustrated by Alice Shirley.
The English artist has had an ongoing collaboration with the maison since 2014 by providing her illustrations of flora and fauna for reproduction on its famed silk scarves. This one-of-a-kind pocket watch will be the third Hermès timepiece that bears Shirley’s artwork from a silk carré.
Featuring the classic, distinctive round shape and asymmetrical stirrup-inspired lugs created by Henri d’Origny in 1978, the Arceau watch has been seen in infinite guises showcasing Hermès creativity and expertise. The whimsical Hermès Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh! juxtaposes the timeless white gold silhouette with leather craftsmanship and haute horlogerie in one unique timepiece.
With jaws half-open and a menacing eye locked on you, it takes in-house watchmakers a month of meticulous craftsmanship – using exclusive techniques developed in the maison’s leather ateliers – to bring the tyrannosaurus rex to life.
A combination of several techniques is employed to create the T-Rex on the pocket watch cover, which looks as if it’s peering through a porthole for its next meal a la Jurassic Park. Its head and scales are crafted in leather mosaic using thousands of finely hand-cut multi-coloured leather fragments that are painstakingly applied individually.
The dinosaur’s domed eye, visible on both sides of the cover, is made of cabochon-cut Grand Feu enamel. Finally, the jaw and tongue are crafted in leather marquetry, where fine tesserae are cut from various coloured leathers previously thinned to just 0.5mm, before being applied on the enamel base. Adding the final touch to the bold piece is a matte green alligator leather cord-strap, which is secured to the rectangular stirrup and accentuates the overall design.
Boasting a 90-hour power reserve, the 48mm pocket watch beats to the rhythm of the Manufacture H1924 self-winding movement with a minute-repeater and flying tourbillon movement.
(Main and featured image: Claude Joray for Hermès)