Unconventional Horology: Hermès Reveals Two Surprising New Complications
Watchonista meets with the Hermès team in its Geneva boutique to discover two new high complications and a Tyrannosaurus rex!
Hermès already released a few of its 2020 timepieces during the lockdown, including the magical meteorite Arceau L’Heure de la Lune editions (read HERE) and the Nantucket Jeté de Chaîne d’Ancre (read HERE). But the brand saved two of its star launches for a physical meeting, and what a delight it was to see them in person.
Playing With Time
Continuing on from its series of unconventional complications that started with Le Temps Suspendu in 2013 and persisted with the Dressage L’Heure Masquée and the Slim L’Heure Impatiente, Hermès returns to its love for playing with time with two new Arceau Lift Tourbillon Minute Repeaters.
Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Minute Repeater & Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh!
Both of these new haute horlogerie timepieces feature a new movement developed by master watchmaker Pierre Favre (Manufacture de Hautes Complications: MHC, Genève) and includes a flying tourbillon and a double-gong minute repeater. Even if these two complications are quite traditional when compared to Hermès’s other horological creations, the way they are presented is particularly playful.
An Equestrian Touch
The first model – the Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Minute Repeater – has two large apertures, one of which has been cut out of the dial in the shape of a horse’s profile, while the other showcases the Lift tourbillon at 6 o’clock. A look through the sapphire crystal case back also reveals one of the main bridges that has been playfully crafted into the shape of a horse’s profile.
The Lift Flying Tourbillon
The design of the Hermès Arceau Lift flying tourbillon was inspired the architectural design details found on the wrought ironwork adorning the entrance of the maison’s historic Paris boutique at 24, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. This double “H” can also be found on the boutique’s handrails, banisters, and above the lift (or elevator for our American readers), thus giving the complication its name.
Two Limited Editions
The Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Minute Repeater comes adorned with open-worked hands and sloping numerals designed to evoke the movement of a galloping horse. There are two versions, both in a 43mm case. One is in a rose gold case with a white dial and a Havana brown alligator strap, and the other is in a white gold case with an abyss blue lacquered dial and abyss blue alligator strap. They are both unique pieces.
Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh!
The second timepiece to be revealed for Fall 2020 is the fun Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh! featuring a jolly, yet slightly scary, dinosaur on the dial. The dinosaur first appeared on a silk scarf designed by English artist Alice Shirley before finding its way onto the cover of this Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh! Crafted using the techniques of leather marquetry and leather mosaic, the Tyrannosaurus rex has a life-like texture paired with a yellow cabochon-cut Grand Feu enamel eye. The eye traverses the case, almost as if it is keeping an eye on the time for its owner while the pocket watch is closed!
All The Details
Once the pocket watch is opened a beautiful white enamel dial with sloping numerals and the same Manufacture H1924 minute repeater and tourbillon movement are in charge of delivering the time as it is in the Arceau Lift Tourbillon Minute Repeater. Three unique pieces are planned with the Tyrannosaurus rex, and each will depict the T. rex in different colors using different métiers d’art. If dinosaurs didn’t already attract your attention when you were a child, they certainly will now!
Hermès continues to show its playful way of telling time, and it will surely appeal to both the hardened watch collector as it will to new customers to the haute horlogerie scene.