Hermès pushes the boundaries of its watchmaking finesse with these one-of-a-kind timepieces
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 […]

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.


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