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New release: Hermés Arceau Duc Attelé watch

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For Watches and Wonder 2024, Hermés has announced a new, very intriguing addition to the Arceau line, characterized by its rounded case and asymmetrical lugs. The Arceau line was home to a number of fascinating timepieces, including the L'heure de la Lune and the Le Temps Voyageur, both floating, rotating timepieces. This year, however, they did something different. The Hermés Arceau Duc Attelé takes the Arceau line to a new level with a three-axis tourbillon and a minute repeater.

Let’s dispense with the case details first. The Arceau Duc Attelé features a 43mm case available in either grade 5 titanium or 5N rose gold. The case is 43mm wide and features a crown at 3 o'clock and the minute repeater actuator at 9 o'clock. It's fully polished, which goes well with the rose gold, although I would have liked to see some contrast on the titanium case. Of course, the characteristic stirrup lugs remain at 12, while the blunter lug shapes can be seen at 6. The watches are combined with color-coordinated leather straps that are equipped with folding clasps made of the same metal as the case.



As is often the case with the Arceau line, the dial is a real eye-catcher. A floating hour and minute ring (black for titanium, white for rose gold) surrounds the three-axis tourbillon under a massive domed sapphire crystal. Two peripheral indicators float around the slanted ring, showing the time without obscuring the view of the tourbillon. The tourbillon's polished titanium cage is decorated with intertwining Hs, which the brand says represent the union of Emile Hermés and Julie Hollande in 1900. The design could also be seen in the ironwork in the original Paris boutique. The three axes complete their rotations in 300, 60 and 25 seconds. The actual dial of the titanium model features wide guilloche stripes that we don't normally see in this type of engraving, with the lines running in dramatic curves through the dial. On the rose gold case, the same space is covered with a layer of sparkling aventurine. At 6 o'clock the hammers of the minute repeater are visible and there is a power reserve indicator between them and the hour ring. The entire dial is covered by the minute repeater gong spring, which when activated displays the hours, quarter hours and minutes.

The new manufacture reference H1926 powers the watch and at the same time offers its very own show. The movement, visible through the sapphire crystal case back, is constructed with a symmetry that makes it resemble the Duc Attelé, a four-wheeled carriage pulled by two horses. The striking bridge is made of sapphire, while the other bridges have an anthracite PVD coating to highlight the striking mechanism, using a horse and mane-shaped frame borrowed from the Hermés carriage emblem. The 563-component movement is hand-finished, features polished screws and gold chatons, and offers a 48-hour power reserve (despite an obvious double barrel system).

This is a big step forward for the Arceau line. Although I personally consider L'heure de la Lune to be the most compelling Arceau ever, this is a stunning creation. Not only the fascinating dial but also the creative architecture and design of the movement are impressive. Consider this another win for Hermés, which appears to be in an easy phase at the moment. The price for the Hermés Arceau Duc Attelé was not available at the time of publication; Both models are limited to 24 pieces. For more information, visit the brand's website.