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Hermès - Leather everywhere

Hermès Leather everywhere

Hermès had a lot to offer on its first appearance at the SIHH.

Hermès’s presence at this year’s SIHH for the first time ever was just one of three milestones for the brand this year. The second, and arguably most important, of these is the 40th anniversary of the brand’s presence in Switzerland, which coincided with the launch of the Arceau watch designed by Henri d’Origny. The return of the Carré H, eight years after it was first introduced, is welcome news and the third significant event in the trilogy.

Leather everywhere

Carré H © Hermès

For its 40th anniversary, the new Arceau chronograph in titanium has been slimmed down, passing from a diameter of 43mm to 41mm and thus keeping with the current trend for smaller diameters. Unusually, it has a case in grade 2 titanium, which is 99% pure titanium, unlike the alloyed grade 5 titanium used in most titanium watch cases. The gunmetal grey colour of the metal is achieved by a micro-beading process.

Leather everywhere

The Arceau Chrono Titane and its two different straps © Hermès

The galvanic black dial has distinctive sloped Arabic numerals that are typical of the off-beat approach that Hermès takes to watch design. The strap attachment at 12 o’clock is meant to recall the design of a stirrup and the equestrian world with which Hermès has been associated as a world-renowned manufacturer of leather goods. Naturally, the two straps available for this model are produced in-house from start to finish from the finest quality skins. A natural Barenia calfskin strap with contrasting saddle stitching creates the obvious link with the equestrian world, while an embossed black Barenia strap with tone-on-tone stitching offers a sportier look. Timekeeping is provided by a self-winding chronograph movement with 42 hours of power reserve. Prices start from 5,050 Swiss francs.

Leather everywhere

Arceau Pocket Millefiori © Hermès

At the opposite end of the Arceau range is the new Arceau Lift Millefiori, which uses the larger 43mm diameter case and is in 18-carat white gold. The strictly limited edition of just three watches uses the techniques of the Cristalleries Saint-Louis to produce the effect of leather scales on the dial using individual fragments of hand-blown black crystal. They adorn the upper half of the dial, while the tourbillon is visible in the lower half, complete with its “Lift” motif and hand-chamfered and polished bridges. The hand-wound H1923 movement offers 90 hours of power reserve. In the Arceau Pocket Millefiori the black crystal fragments cover the entire dial of the 50mm pocket watch in 18-carat white gold. This larger version is powered by the self-winding H1837 in-house movement with 50 hours power reserve and costs 105,000 Swiss francs.

Du cuir à foison

Arceau Lift Millefiori © Hermès

The new Carré Cuir pushes the leather theme to the extreme, creating a seamless texture of lizard skin on both the strap and dial. This unified look in navy blue is housed in a 24mm square stainless-steel case that is available with a polished or diamond-set bezel and a Swiss Made quartz movement. This discreet model would undoubtedly pair well with a matching lizard skin handbag and offers a reasonable point of entry to the Hermès watch collection, priced at 4,050 Swiss francs, or 7,400 for the diamond-set version.

Leather everywhere

Carré Cuir © Hermès

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