The French luxury house has released three jaw-dropping timepieces that won't be easy to get hold of, with just one unit of each available worldwide.
When Hermès made the decision to start exhibit at SIHH in 2018, he signaled to the world that the French luxury house was ready to be taken seriously in the world of high quality watchmaking. You could say it was long overdue - after all, the house's watch division, Hermès Horloger, had opened its first production plant in Switzerland 40 years earlier, in 1978.
Before that, the House famous for its leather goods and equestrian-inspired accessories, began making wristwatch straps at the start of the 20th century. From 1928, she began to collaborate with the biggest names in Swiss watchmaking to produce the first timepieces bearing the Hermès signature - they were called “keepers of time”.
Fast forward to 2020, Hermès Horloger is today a formidable player in the world of high-end watchmaking after achieving vertical integration which means that cases, dials and movements are produced in-house by a team of around 300 artisans. As a result, they have been able to significantly expand their know-how and expertise, with increasingly complex and enchanting timepieces each year.
Three new versions - all unique models with just one unit each available worldwide - show how far the house has advanced in the watch industry. More precisely, this is the first time that Hermès has produced a minute repeater watch coupled with a flying tourbillon. We will take a look:
Arceau Lift Tourbillon Minute Repeater
A horse-shaped cutout on the lacquered dial of the Arceau Lift Tourbillon Minute Repeater pays homage to Hermès' equestrian heritage and reveals the H1924 hand-wound mechanical movement, also visible through the sapphire crystal case back. With a 90-hour power reserve, the internal architecture includes both a double-gong minute repeater mechanism and a steering wheel whirlwind, which is wrapped inside the horse's neck and visible through a round opening at six o'clock. Forming a double H, the whirlwindIts architecture is inspired by the ironwork of the Hermès boutique at Fauborg Saint-Honoré in Paris.
Understated yet instantly recognizable, the piece continues the design heritage of the original 1978 Arceau watch. The timeless silhouette includes a round case with asymmetric lugs that resemble a caliper - yet another equestrian touch. Thin openwork hands and slanted numerals evoking a galloping horse are other signature elements of the Arceau line.
For this version, two unique models are available in a 43 mm rose gold case with a white lacquered dial and a white gold case with an “Abyss blue” lacquered dial. Both models are completed by a Havana alligator strap.
Arceau Pocket «Aaaaargh!
As the inscription on the caseback indicates, this one-of-a-kind pocket watch is certainly a “one-of-a-kind” piece. Its most distinctive feature is the cover, with the T-Rex of the 'Aaaaargh!' Silk scarf designed by English artist Alice Shirley. Here, the king of the dinosaurs came to life after a month of meticulous work integrating exclusive techniques developed in Hermès leather workshops.
The tyrannosaur's head and scales are made of leather mosaic, which required thousands of finely hand-cut shards of leather to be applied one by one. The jaw and tongue, meanwhile, were crafted in leather marquetry thinned to just 0.5mm. Finally, the dome-shaped eye of the dinosaur is cabochon-cut Grand Feu enamel and is visible on both sides of the watch cover, giving it the appearance of peeking through a porthole.
The other elements of this pocket watch are no less spectacular. Housed in a 48mm white gold case, the H1924 self-winding mechanical minute repeater and whirlwind the movement offers a 90-hour power reserve. The refined dial is in white enamel applied to a white gold base, and it features an opening revealing the flight whirlwind as well as the sloping figures characteristic of the Arceau line. Finally, an alligator leather cord is attached to the stirrup-shaped tab to complete this stunning creation.
The Arceau Lift Tourbillon Minute Repeater and the Arceau Pocket 'Aaaaargh!' are truly exemplary of the high level of expertise and know-how for which Hermès is renowned. If anything, these collectibles are just a sure sign that one can only expect more and more impressive timepieces from the House In the future.
The Arceau Lift Tourbillon Minute Repeater is available in rose gold (HK $ 2,076,000) or white gold (HK $ 2,181,000). Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh Prize! Is available on request. Learn more about hermes.com.
The best time to visit Italy are the months of May, June, and September. Compared to the peak summer months of July and August, these months offer more comfortable temperatures and there are fewer crowds ( except around Easter ). The country experiences four classic seasons per year, although there is a marked difference between the wetter, cooler North and the drier, warmer South. The rainiest months pretty much everywhere are usually October and November.
Fall ( September – November ) : temperatures cool down gradually, although September is usually still very pleasant. Expect crisp fall leaves and some sunnier days, but plan for wet weather too. Fall carries many of the same benefits as spring, but with slightly less predictable weather.
Winter : temperatures in the South remain mild in winter, while Northern Italy is normally wet and cold. Winter in the Italian Alps is fantastic though for skiing and snowboarding, but the ski resorts do get crowded so book early.
Travelers wishing to visit Italy can use a bus, train, plane, or boat to get there. Most tourists arrive by plane though, often landing in Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, the country’s busiest airport. This is the preferred point of entry in Italy when you want to visit Rome, or saut the entire country. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Rome.
Although Rome is the main getaway for most visitors to Italy, it’s often easier and cheaper to fly directly to/from one of the country’s other airports. It can also save you a lot of time to book a multi-city ticket, hereby arriving in one airport and leaving from another ( for example fly in Milan in the north and fly out via Naples in the south ). The following airports are of interest for most tourist itineraries :
Milan Malpenza Airport ( north ) is the largest international airport in the Milan metropolitan area in northern Italy ( and also the main getaway to the Italian Lakes ). Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Milan.
Venice Marco Polo airport ( north ) is the international airport of Venice. It offers flights to many European metropolitan areas as well as some partly seasonal long-haul routes to the United States, Canada, South Korea and the Middle East. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Venice.