Arije Hidden Paris with Arije
Away from the monuments and legends, the City of Light also has its secrets. Arije is our guide on a horological escapade that begins up in the air and ends in a more earthy fashion
Before striding out along Paris’s cobblestone streets, worn smooth by seventeen centuries of history, visitors to the capital may wish to take a loftier view. Where to go? What to see first? In which case, what better than a hot-air balloon for supervising – in the literal sense of “seeing from above” – the city. Fortunately for us, there happens to be one just a short walk from the Seine. Tethered, though still free to rise above the river and its bridges, it rivals its neighbour, the Eiffel Tower, for height and for its sweeping view. Not unlike Corum’s Golden Bridge, available from Arije. A watch that isn’t round like a balloon but tonneau-shaped, and which offers its own sweeping view of the balance wheel through a maze of bridges and plates that recall the meanders of the Seine.
Golden Bridge © Corum
For a breath of fresh air before delving into the city’s secrets, a visit to the Japanese garden at the Albert Kahn Museum in Boulogne (a suburb touching south-west Paris) whisks you halfway around the world to the Land of the Rising Sun. Keep your time zones in order courtesy of the Bulgari Octo Roma Worldtimer. Its flawless intersecting of angles and curves can be likened to the carefully mastered aesthetic of a Japanese garden.
Octo Roma Worldtimer © Bulgari
Paris is not one city but many, where the straight lines and formality of Le Nôtre’s Tuileries gardens and Baron Haussmann’s boulevards give way to a cheery jumble of hidden passageways. Once legion, there are now a dozen or so of these covered arcades that run between buildings, connecting one street to another. Home to purveyors of weird and wonderful objects and rare collectibles, they are the place for improbable encounters. The ideal watch when exploring these nooks and crannies is one that has a secret of its own, such as Bovet’s Virtuoso VII, which has a public face as well as a private one, hidden against the skin. Reversible, it can also be carried as a pocket watch.
Virtuoso VII © Bovet
Vendôme for ever
As the sun sets over the Tuileries, enjoy the last rays of its warmth from the south-west-facing Place Vendôme, whose contours inspired Chanel for the case of the Boy.Friend. The perfect piece of wristwear for taking in this emblem of Parisian luxury.
Boy.Friend © Chanel
Paris has its saucier secrets too, and the Pigalle district is known for them. Who hasn’t heard of the Moulin Rouge? Erotic watches, though not easy to come by, can still be found. Blancpain continues to give life to these timepieces that prefer to stay discreetly out of sight, under a shirt cuff. The most dedicated collectors will appreciate versions with automata...
Erotic Watch © Blancpain
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