Dreams, travels and imagination have always played important roles in creating an Hermès timepiece. This year, at Watches & Wonders 2022, the stylish watchmaker again astounds us with its wondrous take on the world-time complication (the brand’s first) and dreamy métiers d’art timepieces in the Arceau line.
Arceau Le temps voyageur
No doubt this year’s highlight at Hermès is the Arceau Le temps voyageur, the house’s first world-time complication with a twist. The “Travelling time” mechanism was developed exclusively for Hermès by watch movement specialists Chronode, who created a disc-type display of 24 time zones, which revolves around an imagined world map by artist Jérôme Colliard for the “Planisphère d’un monte équestre” scarf.
The satellite mechanism recalls the revolving disks on the magnificent Arceau L’heure de la lune from 2019, cementing this poetic display as a new signature for Hermès watchmaking.
The mobile counter (displaying the travel time) and the home time indication at 12 o’clock are driven by a 122-component module that is integrated within the Hermès H1837 mechanical self-winding movement. Two Arceau Le temps voyageur models are available: a 41mm-diameter platinum version with a matte black DLC-treated titanium bezel and a 38mm-diameter steel version with a blue dial.
Arceau Les folies du ciel
Yet another tribute to travel, and to the skies, is the Arceau Les folies du ciel. The Arceau watch design, by Henri d’Origny in 1978, is the perfect canvas for Hermè’s metiers d’art. Inspired by Loïc Dubigeon’s “Les folies du ciel” scarf, created in 1984, the watch pays tribute to aerostatics and captures the first moments of flight for mankind.
This almost impossible to imagine dream is captured by Hermès artisans in painting, engraving and animation. On the mother-of-pearl dial, two neoralite pink and green hot-air balloons billow in the wind. The two balloons are attached to a hand-painted white gold gondola in the shape of a bird (the original symbol of travel and migration). At 12 o’clock is another hand-painted and applied animated balloon. The balloon functions as a balance and spins on its axis along with the wearer’s wrist movements. The 38mm white gold watch is limited to 24 pieces only.
Arceau Pocket Cheval Punk
Engraving, enamelling and Haute Horlogerie come together in a unique-piece tourbillon minute repeater pocket watch, with a punk horse motif designed by Daiske Nomura in 2021 for a men’s silk scarf. The Japanese illustrator was inspired by a figurine from the Emile Hermès collection. It took Hermès’ master engraver hundreds of hours to bring the silhouette to life before the dial was painted and crafted in champlevé enamel. The 48mm white gold case houses the H1924 tourbillon minute repeater movement.
(Hero image: Hermès campaign photo by Marius W. Hansen)