The Arceau, launched in 1978, was the family-run brand’s first in-house wristwatch. It was designed by legendary artistic director Henri d’Origny, and featured asymmetrical, stirrup-shaped lugs. The family’s appreciation of fine craftsmanship and “making things that last” is echoed throughout its collections, and the leather marquetry in this year’s limited edition 41mm Arceau Cavales captures the equestrian links, as well as the artistry of the 2018 Kelly. Although there wasn’t much from the métiers d’art at the fairs this year, with everyone getting back to basics, colour is all the rage and Hermès is certainly well-versed in the decorative arts.
The inch-perfect dial, framed by a slim, white-gold bezel, is the canvas for horse-headed knights inspired by the Hermès’ Samarcande chess set, meticulously cut out of 0.5mm-thin hide and skilfully placed, showcasing the expertise of the Maison. The familiar tilted numerals are absent from the kaleidoscopic dial of this edition, but the Arceau’s elegant leaf hands will be keeping precise time, thanks to a standard in-house calibre H1837 automatic movement with a power reserve of 50 hours. The symmetrical Cavales dial motifs are available in Hermès Red with highlights of nasturtium or Indigo Blue, and are limited to an edition of six each, with matching Hermès calfskin straps, of course.
If lassoing one of these pieces proves a little difficult, you could try for one of the striped herds boldly emblazoned on the dozen or so dials of the Slim d’Hermès Les Zèbres de Tanzanie. Picot & Moss, 011-669-0500