Hermès has introduced their latest artwork-on-the-wrist timepiece with the unveiling of the Arceau Wow. The story behind the creation of this stunning timepiece begins with young comic book artist Ugo Bienvenu, who designed a beautiful silk scarf for Hermès two years ago. The name of this scarf? Wow. It was given this expressive name because of Hermès much-loved equestrian theme being turned into stunning comic art.
Hermès’s Arceau Wow timepiece comes in two variants, which we will touch on later, but more importantly, has a double-sided dial! The workshops in Switzerland loved this idea provided that the dial could be thin and translucent like the silk scarf the design has taken inspiration from. The dial encompasses different shapes; squares in a circle and small squares in a large squares.
The central theme behind both timepiece creations is the image of the Hermès woman on the saddle of a super horse. The identity of this mysterious woman is left to interpretation. Is she a secret agent? Parasian heroine? Whatever she may be, it is clear that she’s here to impress viewers with her glorious display on the dial. Surrounding the Hermès woman is the rectangular and square comic-book-style panels, which show different images.
On each watch, the dial is made from mother-of-pearl, an elegant and feminine material that also happens to allow light to show through, which enables the artisian to create a more radiant motif. The front side of the dial shows the multicoloured interpretation of this artwork, while the case back shows a monochrome version of the same art. The multicoloured work is first done in black ink, which then becomes visible on both sides. The whole décor of the motif is then hand-painted, with the pastel colours being applied one-by-one. The layers of the pastel are done to absolute precision so that it is thick enough to give it depth while being thin enough to allow light to shine through. Hermès says that it takes about 20 layers to complete this vibrant design.
The second face is detailed in the same manner as the dial side. However, it now has a sharper colour and thicker volume whilst still having the design just as lively as on the dial. It takes not only incredibly steady hands but also diligence as it requires up to 35 hours to complete a single dial.
As mentioned earlier, two variants of the Hermès Arceau Wow are available. The difference between the two models is the colour palette. The first has a more summer/day-time tone with the more prominent colour being pink. The second watch has more of a night theme as the colours are darker, especially on the surrounding comic panels on the dial.
While the artwork is certainly the centre of attention on the Hermès Arceau Wow, the case also does the watch justice. The 38mm 18k white gold case has 82 diamonds set around the bezel, which not only adds to the feminine touch of these models but also turns this from a stunning comic-art timepiece into a luxurious piece.
Both variants come with Hermès Manufacture H1912 self-winding movement. This movement operates at a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4hz) and gives out a steady power reserve of 50 hours. Hermès has given colour-matching straps for each of the models. The pink-tone variant gets a Sakura pink calfskin strap, while the blue-toned timepiece gets a Brighton blue calfskin strap.
The Hermès Arceau Wow will certainly make you say “wow” when first seeing the dial. The artisans at Hermès, through painstaking effort, have given life to a very playful and colourful timepiece. Each of the two variants is limited to 24 models.
- Case: 38mm
- Case Material: 18k White gold with 82 diamonds on the bezel
- Dial: Miniature painting on double-sided mother-of-pearl
- Crystal: Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
- Water resistance: 3 Bar (30m)
- Movement: H1912 movement
- Power reserve: 50 hours
- Bracelet/Strap: Either Sakura pink calfskin or Brighton blue calfskin strap.