It’s not very often that we see a new watch from Hermès on the site, and we see watches like this one-off model even less. The Arceau Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes combines two sophisticated complications in one unique-looking package that features just a bit of whimsy, enough to make it different but acceptable.
The dial is where most of the action is. Part of it is white with black italic (for the rose gold version, the white gold gets blue with silver) numerals and a cutout for the tourbillon at 6 O’clock. The other part has been skeletonised to give you a view of the repeating mechanism of the movement. But, if you take more than a passing glance, you’ll notice that the cutout is shaped like the head and neck of a horse. Horses are a recurring theme for Hermès, so it’s interesting to see how they’ve incorporated that theme into the watch. The extended lug bar at the top of the watch is also unique to Hermès watches, and I like that it’s there.
Inside the watch is the calibre H1924, a movement which has not been made in-house by Hermès. That’s hardly surprising, Hermès owns a stake in Fleurier-based manufacturer Vaucher, so you’ll see their movements cropping up a lot in the Hermès range. However, this time Hermè has turned to Geneva-based Manufacture Haute Complications (MHC), which has collaborated with the likes of ArtyA, Dolce & Gabbana and H. Moser & Cie. The movement is mostly dark grey in colour with polished hammers for the minute repeater. The tourbillon cage alternates between brushed and polished finishes as well to break up the dial. The calibre H1924 features a balance wheel operating at 3Hz, is hand-wound and has a power reserve of 90 hours.
Both the white gold and rose gold versions of the watch are unique pieces and command a high price because of it. In rose gold, the cost of the watch is $269,000, but that price jumps to $282,000 if you want the white gold version. The cases of each watch are 43mm in diameter.