The new HERMÈS Arceau Harnais français remix comes with a dial like a painted porcelain miniature. Shaped by the hands of the maison’s artisans to make it a true companion for those who wear them, the watch comes with a white gold case set with 82 diamonds, framing an engraved and hand-painted porcelain dial. Speaking of which, the dial motif – which is composed of a pair of splendidly harnessed horses – echoes the central element of the Harnais Français Remix silk scarf.
This particular scarf, was originally designed by Hugo Grygkar, the brand’s prolific in-house designer from the 1940s to 1959. Back then, the artist was inspired by a work kept in the private collection of Émile Hermès. It showed a team of horses, richly caparisoned and topped with multicoloured feathers, which was designed by two young 19th century architects, Fontaine and Percier. Both of them were commissioned to design a coach for the coronation of Napoleon I back in 1804.
It took almost a month for Hermès’ artisans to transpose this depiction of equestrian tradition to the modest dimensions of the Arceau watch dial. For one, the profile of the horses is hand-engraved on bisque, or unglazed, Limoges porcelain. Furthermore, the dainty matt appearance of the material corresponds to the production stage preceding enamelling, a process that makes the porcelain both smooth and shiny. At this stage, the different colours are applied directly to this raw material with its unique rendering. The delicate, successive applications of colour are interspersed with successive and precise firings in a kiln in order to fix and enhance the pigments.
On top of that, to make the Arceau Harnais français remix even more special, the watch is driven by the H1912 mechanical self-winding movement, which, like the gem-set gold case – that features stirrup-like asymmetrical lugs – and raspberry alligator strap, is crafted in the Hermès Horloger workshops. Notably, the watch is produced in a limited and numbered series of 24 pieces. If anything, the meticulous craftsmanship shown by Hermès and its artisans has resulted in a watch that no lover of art can resist. It’s safe to say that the Arceau Harnais français remix limited edition is a definitive showcase of the expertise and creativity of Hermès Horloger.