Fresh out of Baselworld, Hermès has unveiled their first-ever in-house movements alongside their new timepiece collections for this year, the very handsome Arceau and Dressage collections.
While Hermès may more often be associated with the Kelly, Collier de Chien and yes, the Birkin, the House has enjoyed a watchmaking tradition that dates back to 1912. One calibre has given rise to two exclusive movements, the mechanical self-winding H1837 and H1912. These movements are a collaboration between Hermès and its longstanding partner, Vaucher Manufacture.
The Dressage watch, created in 2003 by Henri d’Origny, has been updated with a sleeker, more contemporary silhouette, while remaining true to the House's supremely elegant aesthetic.
While the case size remains the same, the opening diameter is 1.5 mm wider to offer you a better view of the complex, layered dial. The bevelled tonneau shape is complemented by lugs flowing into the case, ensuring a seamless curve. “Bridled” by a leather strap or metal bracelet, the case design also takes its cues from Hermès’ love of equestrian sport.
The Dressage collection, comprising ten different models with the H1837 movement named after the founding date of the House of Hermès, is offered with either a large central seconds hand and a date display at 6 o’clock, or with small seconds at 6 o’clock.
Meanwhile, the Arceau collection is offered with a new feminine version housing the first 10½’’’ H1912 movement. Its name has a poignant backstory: it refers to the date of a photo in which Jacqueline Hermès, from the fourth generation of the founding family, is shown wearing a “porte-oignon”, the term for an ingenious system serving to hold a pocket watch in place on the wrist.
The Arceau is offered with a new 34 mm diameter, with sloping numerals and asymmetrical stirrup-shaped strap attachments – yet another reference to the equestrian world. For a discreet touch of luxury, Hermès has also accented the crown with a rose-cut diamond. The Arceau comes in six versions in either steel or rose gold, accompanied by a choice of the finest hand-sewn alligator straps.