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Monday, August 15, 2011

Hermès Watches Reinterpret the Passing of Time

Arceau Temps Suspendu in a steel case and opaline silver dial with herringbone motif.

In the world you and I inhabit it may seem that time moves in a linear fashion. But in the world of Hermès time can be suspended and days can disappear while hours can travel at an unpredictable pace.

The famed Parisian luxury house, the apple of Bernard Arnault’s eye, recently introduced two watch lines that are not only aesthetically pleasing but challenge the assumptions of how one uses a watch.

Arceau Temps Suspendu in a steel case and black dial with herringbone motif.

The Arceau Temps Suspendu watch has a button at the 9 o’clock mark that when pressed, the hands move to the 12 o’clock mark. Also, the hand on the retrograde date complication disappears. Thus, time is suspended. To return to the proper time just press the 9 o’clock button again and as long as the automatic movement is running the hands will return to the right places.

Arceau Temps Suspendu in a rose gold case and opaline silver dial with herringbone motif.

The sophisticated mechanics are located inside a refined face that makes the movements possible. The retrograde date function, on the lower portion of the watch dial, between the 7 o’clock and 3 o’clock markers, is raised to make it easy to read—a function that is all too rare in watches. When in its suspended mode, the date hand disappears into a slightly raised section at the bottom of the watch. In addition, as part of the suspended motion, the hour and minute hands collapse into a slight V shaped depression on either side of the 12 o’clock mark.

The watch is housed inside 43 mm-diameter case available in rose gold or steel.

Cape Cod in steel with anthracite dial. The hour display accelerates from 7 a.m. till 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. till 5 p.m. It slows from 11 a.m. till 1 p.m. and from 5 p.m. till 7 p.m. It comes with a matte graphite alligator strap.

Meanwhile, the handsome Cape Cod Grandes Heures dons three different dials where the user can choose the pace of how the watch details the time. The curved, rectangular case reveals a dial that provides time made to measure with a guilloché setting swept over by skeleton hands. The hours on the dial are bunched together and spread apart in a seemingly haphazard fashion, but there is a method to this madness.

Cape Cod in steel with silver dial. The hour display acelerates from 8 a.m. till noon and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. It slows from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. and from noon till 2 p.m. It comes with a matte havana alligator strap.

The tempo of the hours on the automated movement accelerates and slows to correspond with the arrangement of the hour markers while the minute hand keeps at a constant speed. That’s because of a toothed oval wheel system that enables the hour hand—thanks to the shape of the gear—to speed up or slow down its motion.

Cape Cod in steel with anthracite dial. The hour display accelerates from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It slows from 8 a.m. till 10 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. It comes with a matte graphite alligator strap.

1 comment:

  1. HEllo,
    Do you know when Hermes quit making the cape cod watch case in sterling silver?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete