he new Arceau Hermès Story timepiece was born from the lively pencil of English designer John Burton, who recently designed the Hermès Story silk scarf in the spring/summer 2022 collection.
In this work, he reinterprets the uses of social media, the singular art of staging, an offbeat universe that he depicts beneath the gaze of various fauna amused by the selfie exercise. The giraffe has donned his best bow tie, the toucan his top hat and the turtle his hat – which is of course a bowler by the very British John Burton! At the centre of the scene, a rider on a wooden horse in full regalia captures this improbable animal reunion, which is already giving rise to a few “likes”.
The two Arceau Hermès Story watches capture the essence of these fantasy animals. The first version, issued in a 12-piece limited and numbered edition, features a tiger composed of wood marquetry. The feline with turquoise eyes combines plum, tulipwood, ash-olive, maple and sycamore in 290 pieces of wood patiently cut, stained and assembled one by one. The tiger alone requires five days of work to render all its nuances and subtleties.
Nothing less is needed to breathe life into the bestiary surrounding it: butterflies, hummingbirds, turtles and peacocks give unique depth to the dial through their hand-engraved and painted gold applique. Next to them, rabbits and praying mantises are miniature-painted in various layers that endow them with subtle depth achieved after five days of artisanal devotion. This playful yet technical composition is framed by a 38 mm rose gold case featuring a bezel set with 82 diamonds.
Another scene, another craft: a white gold version in a 24-piece limited and numbered edition features miniature painting on mother-of-pearl. Varnished, polished and smoothed by hand, it is adorned with 20 or so layers of multiple colours designed to reveal its subtle nuances and shimmering reflections. Eight days and a few firings in the oven later, the magic happens: the princess appears on her wooden horse at the heart of an animal circle where toucan, turtle, peacock, swallow and rabbit vie for the best spot in a countryside selfie.
- Manufacture Hermès H1912 movement
- Mechanical self-winding, Swiss made
- Diameter: 23.30 mm
- Thickness: 3.9 mm
- Power reserve: 50 hours
- Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour / 4Hz
- Functions: Hours, minutes
- Decoration: Circular-grained and snailed baseplate, satin-brushed bridges and oscillating weight, with signature ‘sprinkling of Hs’ pattern, rhodium-plated oscillating weight.
- Shape / size: Round, 38 mm diameter
- Material: Rose gold, bezel set with 82 diamonds
- Glass: Anti-glare sapphire crystal and case-back
- Water-resistant to 3 bar
- Dial with miniature painting on agate, wood marquetry, engraved and hand-painted gold appliques
- Chantilly alligator
Limited and numbered edition of 12