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Hermès mixes lacquer work with fine horology

October 6, 2014 • Jewels & Watches

Used to creations of fin savoir-faire, Hermès once again demonstrates his passion for horses in a new collection combining the meticulous French lacquer work with traditional but nonetheless demanding watchmaking savoir-faire. In this limited edition collection both sober and colourful, artistic qualities seem to take precedence over its mechanical functions.


An artistic collection of timepieces

Lacquer work is an ancestral art which is done in France by mixing coloured pigments with a Copal based lacquer. For this occasion, this type of work which requires precision and patience was not completed on wood as is traditionally done but on a metal substrate for an impressive result.

The lacquerer starts by making a black basis which will need three days to dry. It will then be polished and the next layer will be added. Each step takes a few days to dry, which effectively demonstrates the time and patience required by this art. For this exceptional timepiece, the lacquerer continued adding layers of black in order to get the deep black colour just right before starting the second phase.

Once the base done, the lacquerer drew and lacquered the equestrian patterns appreciated by Hermès, following the same process. After about 30 layers for the base and 20 for the drawings, the lacquerer finally achieved his work with 10 transparent layers to bring out the colours and protect the ornaments for the many years to come. The last step is to polish it.


french lacquer art


A fine horology success

Inspired by one of Hermès’ iconic tableware collections, the Arceau Cheval d’Orient collection is refined but its technical functions have not suffered in the least.

Equipped with an automatic movement, this exceptional timepiece has 50 hours of power. It is composed of 24 pieces and its white 18 carats gold case is combined with the elegance of a hand-sewn alligator leather strap. It is finally under a sapphire crystal that appears the indexes and hands, the latter also in white gold.


cheval arceau hermes watch models

The Arceau Cheval d’Orient is a prestigious collection, combining art and technical savoir-faire. A magnificent way of honouring its famous tableware and paying tribute to the equestrian arts that the brand loves so much.

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