When La Montre Hermès adopts sport as its theme for 2013, it conjures up visions of the sea dotted with elegantly billowing spinnakers – colourful sails on the cover of the Arceau Pocket Voilier with the light shining through them thanks to an ancient filigree technique similar to that of stained-glass windows and called plique-à-jour enamelling.
The goldsmith begins by cutting out a plate revealing the spinnaker motif, of which the contours are accentuated by fine gold partitions. The “pliques” or frames thus formed are then delicately filled with enamel, before the successive firing operations begin. Each firing in a kiln heated to 800° brings out the colours of the sails one by one in all their translucent radiance. At the end of the process, the base is removed.
In order to perfect the motif, the remaining gold surfaces of the boat and its surroundings are hand-engraved as an extension of the motif itself. The latter is then revealed in all its glory, like a miniature stained-glass window. The light shines through the enamel, which exudes the velvety-smooth glow of each of its shades, capturing the shimmering effects of daylight.
For the very first time, a pocket watch by Hermès features a cover that does not hide the case-back, but rather the dial. The latter is also enamelled in elegantly graded shades of blue and grey, adorned with champlevé numerals that naturally adopt the characteristic sloping style of Arceau watches.
The mechanical self-winding H1837 movement beating at the heart of the Arceau Pocket Voilier, reveals its wealth of finishes through the sapphire crystal case-back, including a circular-grained and snailed baseplate, as well as the satin-brushed bridges and oscillating weight sprinkled with the famous “H” letters and adorned with the Hermès engraving. Setting the final touch to this pocket watch is a tempest blue alligator pouch crafted by the Hermès master leather artisans.
Mechanical self-winding movement, crafted in Switzerland, Manufacture Vaucher H1837
Diameter: 26 mm (11 ½’’’)
Thickness: 3.7 mm
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Jewelling: 28 jewels
Frequency: Oscillations at 28,800 vibrations per hour/4 Hz
Decoration: Circular-grained baseplate. Bridges and oscillating weight satin-brushed and sprinkled with “Hs”, “Hermès Paris” engraving
Functions: Hours, minutes
Case, dial & strap
Shape/dimensions: Round, 48 mm diameter, top cover, open back
Material: 18-carat white gold (116 gr)
Crystal: sapphire crystal glare-proofed on one side
Water-resistance: 3 atm
Dial: Enamel in graded shades of blue and grey, champlevé numerals on white gold
Cord-Strap and Pouch: Tempest blue smooth alligator