The double-H pattern is a symbol of the union between the Hermès and Hollande families, which were united in 1900 through the marriage of Emile Hermès, grandson of the fashion house’s founder, and Julie Hollande (no relation to current French President FrançoisHollande). Hermès chose to use this motif in its most challenging and demanding watchmaking reinterpretation, as part of a so-called flying tourbillon.
The tourbillon at 6 o’clock does, indeed, appear to be flying, with its elegant rotations accompanied by those of the double H, whereas the second “Lift” motif, above the barrel bridge in the upper part of the watch, remains fixed in place.
The movement in the Arceau Lift, Calibre H1923, represents an authentic technological feat for Hermes, and is named for the year when the elevator was installed in the Paris boutique.
Certain parts of the multi-layered movement form the dial, with a raised chevron motif. The finishes alternate between purely decorative and more specifically horological.
Some of the finishing on the components of Caliber H1923 (which is produced in cooperation with La Joux-Perret in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland) include bevelling on the bridges, wheels and screws, all done entirely by hand; and a mirror-polishing technique called specular polishing used for the 12 o’clock jewel surround as well as the double “H” topping the tourbillon carriage.
This complicated movement may be admired from the back as well as the dial side; the gold caseback, bearing a Hermès engraving, features a small, round window to the inside of the watch.
The Arceau Lift is fitted with an alligator strap crafted in the workshops of La Montre Hermès, and each of these 176 limited-edition watches has an engraved series number. Above are Hermès’s photos of the new watch. Below are some of the original photos of it that I took in Paris.
Let me know what you think of Hermes’s first tourbillon watch. And for more news, opinion and updates from the world of watches, visit my blog, Watch-Insider.com.