Hermès Arceau Mon Premier Galop Watch

Designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978, the timeless Arceau watch revels in playing the transformation game. Epitomising Hermès style, its round case with stirrup-shaped lugs welcomes several highly creative and demanding artistic crafts. Enhanced with leather marquetry, silk threads and miniature painting, the Arceau Mon Premier Galop watch thus unites a diverse range of skills. Its singular aesthetic reveals a joyful interpretation of the Mon Premier Galop shawl by artist Tong Ren.

Fascinated by traditional basketry work, the Chinese-born designer combines simple lines, colour blocks and refined decorative-trimming motifs. His drawing depicts a horse moving across the sand, accompanied by a fluttering butterfly and lit up by a mischievous sun playing with the clouds. Its faltering gait imbued with a sense of fragility and daring evokes the moment of grace of those first steps of horseback.

This magical moment comes to life on the dial of the Arceau Mon Premier Galop watch with its 30-piece jigsaw-like nature uniting several skills deeply cherished by Hermès. The sky and the radiant sun are crafted in enamel, a meticulous technique that involves applying a multitude of enamel layers with a brush and drying them in a kiln to guarantee unique colours and contrasts.

Standing out against this radiant blue background, the horse composed of silk threads along with fine tesserae in various shades of leather that are first trimmed to just 0.5 mm thick. Individually assembled on the dial, the leather and silk threads form a delicate, colourful decor enlivened by a tiny hand-painted gold mobile applique.

Issued in a 24-piece limited edition, the Arceau Mon Premier Galop watch in white gold set with 82 diamonds beats to the rhythm of the Manufacture Hermès H1912 movement. The sapphire case-back reveals the finishes and the «sprinkling of Hs» motif adorning the bridges and oscillating weight. Adding a final touch, a Zephyr blue Swift calfskin strap accentuates the play on light and textures adorning the watch face.

I am loving it!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Hermès
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Hermès Horloger – Arceau Costume de Fête

Graced with pearls, sequins and coloured leather, the Arceau watch appears decked out in festive finery inspired by Polish folk culture.

The Arceau watch created in 1978 by Henri d’Origny mingles classicism with singularity. Its round shape set on a stirrup lends itself to infinite expressions of creativity and expertise. Framed by this case with asymmetrical lugs, the Arceau watch embodies the Hermès style and highlights original forms of craftsmanship. Miniature painting, leather marquetry and sequins reinterpret the Costume de Fête silk scarf designed by Warsaw-born artist Jan Bajtlik.

Two versions – one in white gold, the other in rose gold – set with 82 diamonds feature a dial combining craft techniques as creative as they are demanding, expressed through colours varying according to two respective palettes. The lively, joyful equestrian motif is inspired by Polish folk culture. Illustrator, typographer and graphic designer Jan Bajtlik’s imagination is nurtured by traditional Krakow costumes and ornaments. His characters, animals and flowers draw on his native country’s popular art of paper cut-outs (wycinanki).

Miniaturised to dial size, the horse comes to life at the hand of Hermès artisans. Brightly coloured beads take shape on a sculpted metal base that is uniformly painted, a process punctuated by innumerable layers of micro-paint successively applied with a brush.

Emerging from this floral decoration, the spirited steed is revealed through equally meticulous piece of work: leather marquetry. Slim tesserae cut from different coloured leathers previously trimmed to just 0.5 mm thick are individually juxtaposed on the dial. This patient craftsmanship is complemented by delicately applied sequins. Six tiny, precisely selected shiny discs are pierced and sewn together with copper wire. As a final touch, the details of the harness are meticulously hand-painted on the leather.

Housed in a case measuring 38 mm in diameter, the Manufacture Hermès H1912 movement reveals the finishing and the ‘sprinkling of Hs’ pattern adorning its bridges and oscillating weight through the sapphire crystal caseback. A sakura pink or electric blue Swift calfskin strap complements the lively tones of these two watches, respectively issued in 24-piece editions.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Hermès
DISCLOSURE: We may earn commission from links on this page, but I only recommend products I love. Promise