Hermes Arceau Lift Tourbillon

Paris premiere, the Tourbillon Lift of La Montre Hermès

The new timekeeper which Hermès presented in Paris on the 1st October is called «Lift». It doesn’t go up, it turns and it is a superb flying tourbillon.

By Eric Othenin-Girard
Specialised journalist

Why Lift as an elevator? Because at Hermès, they don't forget brand founders’ creativity and intelligence. It is to bee seen as a quid pro quo full of admiration and a tribute to their sense for well-executed work.

Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon The outstanding Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon

As is, this new tourbillon carries a very beautiful story. Philippe Delhotal, director of the company’s watch creation explains: «For each of our Haute Horlogerie creation, we look for a «catcher» in terms of our brand to perfectly stay within the «Hermès spirit». Some time back, we had decided to create a tourbillon. However, we had not wanted to enter the market with just another tourbillon, it was not worth it. We had also agreed upon the fact if we were going for a tourbillon, a flying tourbillon it would be».

Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Case Back The engraved case-back of the Hermès Lift Tourbillon

The creation director, also head of Research and Development further explains: «Thus, as it often happens, I was pacing up and down our head office’s boutique, at the Faubourg du Saint-Honoré, looking for a hint when suddenly, I stopped in front of an ancient elevator’s door. At eye level, I discovered a magnificent engraving of two intertwined wrought-iron H. At my inquiring, I learnt that they embodied the union of the Hermès and Hollande families. This architectural element is a superb witness of the epoch’s passion for wrought-iron work.

Hermès Arceau Lift Movement Carriage Hermès Arceau Lift detail on the tourbillon

We started off with drawings, which was in fact not so easy. We wanted to make this emblem turn, without crushing the tourbillon frame. After endless tries, we came up with the solution found on the watch, allying aesthetics and equilibrium. This reflects our working methods. Each creation must be personalised and to this purpose, there is neither deadline nor plan.

In terms of movement, since we opted for a flying tourbillon, we have not been able to equip the watch with a movement from our manufacture. We thus asked the La Joux-Perret manufacture in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, which owns such a movement.

Hermès Arceau Lift Bevelling Hermès' craftsman precise bevelling

We thus sat around a table and even though we had never worked with this company, we can only congratulate ourselves for this collaboration whereby the terms had already been sealed before a Japanese group bought this company. Besides, this change in ownership was never any hindrance for our project. All in all, we worked approximately 6 months on the creation itself of the Lift watch and 18 months on the flying tourbillon movement.

Finally, since we wanted a watchmaking finish which would correspond to our company’s spirit, the choice of a flying tourbillon seemed obvious as we never want to carry out style exercises but integrate everything that is beautiful by Hermès in each novelty. Of course, operating in the traditional watchmaking niche is very tempting, but we owe it to ourselves to be different. It is what defines our fame and we certainly do not want to yield to facility. We can also say that if we are very serious in what we do, our creations somewhat always wink, which shows that we don’t take ourselves too seriously!»

Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon Barrel bridge Hermès Arceau Lift Tourbillon - barrel bridge

Hermès will thus produce 176 copies of the Lift flying tourbillon. This number is synonymous of the company’s foundation date.

As for the price of this creation, which is already at the disposition of clients at the sale points, it has been fixed at CHF155’000, VAT included, which will nevertheless not deny it a great success.

Hermès Lift Tourbillon - technical sheet :

Manual winding mechanical type, Swiss Made (H1923) Diameter 32.6mm (14 ½’’’) Width 5.75mm 90-hour power reserve 18 rubies jewelling Frequency of 21’600 vibrations per hour / 3Hz Bridges hand-chamfered and hand-polished decoration, perfect polish screw Hours, minutes function Flying tourbillon particularities, tourbillon escapement, flying tourbillon frame decorated with the “Lift” motif

Round form/dimension, 43mm diameter Pink gold 750 5N (83g) material. Anti-reflection sapphire glass, ex libris motif engraved. 3 atm water resistance

Silver flange. 4N gold hands.

Lug ends

17mm pink gold 750 5N (24.87g) safety deployment buckle

Matt havana alligator

Hermès Faubourg's lift Hermès Faubourg Lift's door

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