There are materials whose apparent simplicity is, for the artisan, a great source of inspiration. Here we see another fine example of the talented folks at Hermes whose passion and expertise lies in the art of straw marquetry. It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of these types of dials, particularly those done by Hermes — I absolutely LOVE how Hermes indulges its passion for this craft. Hermes had a number of nice pieces this year at Baselworld but this one really stuck with me.
Hermes Arceau H Cube
Limited Edition 10 Pieces
41mm white gold case, straw marquetry dial, automatic mechanical Hermes Cal H1837 (Vaucher), alligator strap by Hermes
Hermes is of course well known for its use of unique, repeating geometries — including those created with marquetry (see my review of the Hermès Arceau Marqueterie de Paille). This piece is particularly special in that it uses an interlocking Hermes “H” pattern motif.
Each blade of straw has been hand selected, carefully cut, dried and dyed in hues of orange, burgundy, fuscia, coral and purple.
Of course pieces like this do not lend themselves to mass production — this is a limited series of 10 pieces.
For more on straw marquetry, be sure to visit my previous discussion of Hermes Arceau Marqueterie de Paille.
Here’s a first look at a spectacular new piece from Hermes, the Hermès Arceau Lift Flying Tourbillon. Production of this superlative piece is limited to just 176 pieces, and to own one will set you back $165,000. The ornate geometry of the tourbillon carriage and barrel bridge is inspired by a lift/elevator which is installed at the Hermes Paris boutique, 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
More high res pics on the click
Baselworld 2013 preview…
This new pocket watch from Hermes, with a 48mm white gold case, combines the craft of gold marquetry and hand engraving. The pattern on the lid requires upwards of 150 hours to create. The “volutes” reference in the name refers to the watch’s swirling pattern, a pattern which is inspired by a design of Hermès artist Henri d’Origny 1972. The effect is created with separate white gold and rose gold discs are first crafted separately, before being assembled and welded together by firing in a furnace. We’ll take a closer look below.
Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s a quick first look at a new piece in the Hermes Arceau collection for 2013, the Arceau Bridon. The piece will be offered in the version shown here, and a dark blue dial with orange hands. There is also a new Clipper design coming this year, among other new pieces that Hermes will also introduce for 2013. This piece has a 43mm steel case, an ETA 2824 base caliber, and will be priced around 5150 EUR. Generally a fan of Hermes, I’m mpt super excited about this new Bridon — I think it is the puny chrono pushers. How about you what are you first impressions?
Dainty little chrono pushers, arent’ they?
Hermes marks the 35th anniversary of its Arceau collection this year. Marking the occasion, the maison introduces the Arceau Petite Lune, in choice of black or white mother-of-pearl dial and moon phase indicator.
Click through for more details and a closer look at the Hermes Arceau Petite Lune
Inspired by the motif of a tie designed by Henri d’Origny, long time Artistic Director of Hermès (see “Did You Know” below), the Hermès Arceau Pocket Amazones exalts the spirit of the Maison Hermès through centuries-old hand-crafted expertise: grand feu enamelling, along with the miniature painting and paillonné (spangled) techniques. The horse and rider scene is accented with gold spangles which have been delicately applied one-by-one during the enamelling process. The hand-sewn alligator strap and attachment, inspired by the equestrian world, nicely complements the scene. Inside the pocket watch, the Hermès Manufacture calibre H1928 features manually chamfered and polished finishes and a solid gold oscillating weight adorned with the Hermès decorative motif (sprinkling of H symbols), all visible through the sapphire crystal case-back.
Hermès Arceau Pocket Amazones
43mm rose gold case, Mechanical self-winding H1928, hand-sewn matte Havana alligator strap
Did You Know?
The first Hermès tie was introduced at the company’s store in Cannes, France, after a neighboring casino refused to allow patrons inside without a necktie. Henri d’Origny, long time Artistic Director of Hermès, designed the first Hermès necktie in 1949. Since then the family-owned company has employed only three neckwear designers: Henri d’Origny, who originated the classic house style featuring horse, hunt, and marine motifs; Philippe Mouquet, known for his whimsical animal prints; and, most recently, Natsuno Hidaka, who specializes in abstracts and geometrics.
Montre Hermès turns to the wonders of the sky with this new model in its Arceau collection. The celestially inspired design features the emblematic “Duc Attelé” Hermès emblem which is created with using the paillonné enamel technique (demonstrated in this video by Van Cleef & Arpels). First the gold dial is meticulously hand-engraved with the Hermes pattern, then covered with translucent blue pigments and repeatedly fired in a kiln at nearly 800°C. Hand made gold stars also placed during the enamelling process for further visual effect. The watch is powered by the auto-mechanical Hermes H1928 movement (exclusively crafted by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier) with a solid gold oscillating weight adorned with a sprinkling of H symbols, visible through the sapphire crystal case-back (sorry no, pics). Paired with a matching indigo colored gator strap.
Hermès Arceau Attelage Céleste
41mm white gold case, automatic mechanical H1928 movement by Vachuer, matte indigo blue strap
by Kyle Stults on March 13, 2012
Baselworld 2012: For 2012, house of Hermès presents its first manufacture movement (the Caliber H1837) and sets it within the understated Dressage Petite Seconde watch, a mainstay of the brand since 2003. Whilst many associate Hermès with saddlery, scarves and ties, the brand has slowly but surely been establishing its horological credentials – starting in 2006 with a 25% stake in Vaucher Manufacture, then in 2008 the H1 was showcased (a proprietary movement developed with Vaucher), and now this year the manufacture caliber H1837. On the design front, I have long been a fan of the brand’s pieces — be it the Clipper Chrongraph in titanium, the Hermes Arceau Temps Suspendu (Best Men’s Watch at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix 2011), or the Hermès Arceau Marqueterie de Paille. This year’s Dressage with manufacture movement will be available in either 18K pink gold case (limited to 175 pieces) or a stainless steel edition. Available both in opaline silver and black, the dial of the timepiece features the traditional stamped vertical striping in its center and is equipped with dauphine-shaped open-worked hands, with applied numerals and markers and a recessed small seconds at 6 o’clock.
Hermès Dressage Petite Seconde with Manufacture Movement
limited edition 175 pieces in pink gold; steel case (non limited)
38.4mm x 40.5mm case (steel or pink gold), automatic mechanical Hermes Caliber H1837, alligator strap
close up (pink gold case)
“After 100 years of Hermès being involved in watchmaking, we are taking a big step this year with the first Hermès Manufacture in-house caliber,” says Luc Perramond, CEO of Hermès. The movement, which was five years in the development process, was created in conjunction with Vaucher Manufacture in Fleurier, a movement maker of which Hermès is a 25 percent owner (with Sandoz Foundation owning the rest). The Hermes Caliber H1837 is named in honor of the year that the brand was founded. The Hermès “H” is prominently incorporated onto the movement aesthetic.
Marquetry with Straw…
Hermès honours the ancient art of straw marquetry, a form of expertise that has become extremely rare, with these two beautifully dialed watches. Marquetry (also spelled as marqueterie) is the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures. Presented for the first time on a watch dial, the Hermès Arceau Marqueterie de Paille (literally, “marquetry of straw”) watches reflect a highly complex miniaturisation of the marquetry technique. The blue and black motifs depict two iconic Hermès tie patterns featuring chevrons and tiny squares. The rye straw used in these models is produced by only one farm in France — read more about the process below. These two collector’s models are presented together in a precious Makassar ebony presentation box, itself adorned with straw marquetry. Magnificent!!!!
Hermès Arceau Marqueterie de Paille
41mm white gold case, automatic mechanical movement exclusively for Hermes by Manufacture Vaucher, matt indigo blue alligator strap
These two watches feature the Hermès Arceau model’s signature asymmetrical lugs, however the the distinctive italic typeface of the Arceau hour-markers has vanished so as to give pride of place to the exceptional straw marquetry graving the dial.
Mass-coloured on the spot and then laid out flat to dry, the straw which is subjected to weather conditions, variations in humidity and various baths, never displays the exact same shades of colours. Its natural colours subtly illuminate the marquetry motifs. Split open with a thin blade and then manually flattened with a bone tool, the wisps are then cut up into various lengths. This calls for accurate gestures and considerable physical strength. Playing with the colours and the directions of the various wisps, the artisan assembles his motifs on a sheet of graph paper. Glued in much the same way as a leather book binding, the straw marquetry motif is then assembled on the watch dial.
“Only Watch” is a biennial charity auction of one-of-a-kind watches created by many of the most renowned watch brands in Switzerland. This exceptional event is held every two years in Monaco during the Monaco Yacht Show and is under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II. All the proceeds from Only Watch go to support Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research which is why many of these watches go extraordinarily high prices.
Starting today Perpetuelle will begin its coverage of Only Watch 2011. Stay tuned in because over the next few months, you will get to see awesome “piece unique” watches from each of the participating brands for the 2011 event:
Click through to see our in-depth preview of each watch:
- Harry Winston Midnight GMT Tourbillon
- Patek Philippe Ref 3939A Minute Repeater
- Urwerk UR-103 “Phoenix”
- Romain Jerome “Rock the Rock”
- Hublot Oceanographic 4000m dive watch
- MB&F HM-4 “Flying Panda”
- TAG Heuer “Monaco Mikrograph”
- Bell & Ross Pink Gold “Casino”
- Louis Vuitton Tambour Diver Chronograph
- Blancpain Villeret Grand Decoration
- Piaget Altiplano Skeleton
- Breguet Reveil Musical Watch
- Audemars Piguet Gstaad Classic
- Jaquet Droz Petit Heure Minute
- Van Cleef & Arpel “From the Earth to the Moon” Watch
- Girard-Perregaux ww.TC
- Corum Golden Bridge Automatic Titanium
- Vulcain Anniversary Heart Watch
- Chanel J12 Marine Watch
- Franck Muller “Totally Switzerland”
- Ulysse Nardin Freak Diavolo
- Vacheron Constantin “Dove” Watch (M.C. Escher-inspired)
- Zenith El Primero “Destro” watches
- Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsograph
- Ikepod Red Hourglass by Marc Newson
- Bovet Fleurier, Celsius, Chaumet, Chopard, De Bethune, Delacour, De Witt, Frédérique Constant, Hermès, Laurent Ferrier, Maurice Lacroix, Richard Mille
Only Watch 2011 will be held September 24, 2011 and managed by watch auction house Antiquorum. But you don’t have to wait this long — because part of the excitement leading up to the September 24, 2011 event is the release of each participating brand’s special edition watch.
ONLY WATCH 2009
If you are interested in looking back, I covered the Only Watch 2009 auction extensively including blogging about several of my favorites inlcluding: Piaget Emperador Coussin, MB&F Sage Vaughn HM-2, Bovet 3-in-1 Mona Lisa Watch, Tourneau Jump Hour, Louis Vuitton Tambour, Chanel J12 Joallerie with pink sapphire, and Blancpain 500 Fathoms. The Only Watch 2009 auction was hosted by Patrizzi & Co.
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