The Hermès Releases at Watches and Wonders 2024 Embody an Artistic Sense of Play

Alongside the Hermès Cut watches, two stunning models showcasing the brand’s equestrian heritage were also unveiled
The Hermès Releases at Watches and Wonders 2024 Embody an Artistic Sense of Play
April 13, 2024
The Hermès Releases at Watches and Wonders 2024 Embody an Artistic Sense of Play

At Watches and Wonders 2024, Hermès unveiled a range of exciting novelties including the new Hermès Cut collection that debuted against a vibrant scenography curated by New York-based artist Erin O’Keefe, an installation that invited visitors to embark on a whimsical journey through dreamlike landscapes. The brand’s other launches included the Arceau Duc Attelé and Arceau Chorus Stellarum with both models serving as a bold testament to Hermès’ equestrian heritage. GMT India takes a closer look at the timepieces.

New York-based artist Erin O’Keefe's dreamy scenography set the stage for the debut of the Cut Collection (© Team Whaaat!)

The Cut Collection

A celebration of simple silhouettes, the Hermès Cut makes use of sharp angles, round-ish shapes, and crisply drawn lines to highlight the vocabulary of geometry that is so dear to the brand. At first glance, the shape of the satin-brushed and polished 36mm case is arresting; the bold, non-traditional placement of the crown at half past one—embellished with a lacquered or engraved H—demands attention as well. The bevel-cut bezel harmonises with the simplicity of the dial’s slightly curved edges, resulting in a playful interpretation of minimalist geometry that gives the timepieces a distinct visual identity.

The uniquely shaped case of the Cut immediately stands out (copyright: Joel Von Allmen)

Depending on the reference (there are eleven in total), the Cut is available in steel or in an elegant two-tone combination of steel and rose gold with 56 bezel-set diamonds or without; the silver opaline dial is common to all. The Arabic numerals also have rounded edges that align with the overall playful visual language. The seamlessly integrated metal bracelet features supple links with a rounded profile. Additionally, a rubber strap is available in a range of eight colours that draw from the Hermès palette: white, orange, gris perle, gris étain, glycine, vert criquet, bleu jean and capucine. The interchangeability system makes it easy to play with styles.

The numerals have rounded edges as well, further amplifying the playfulness of the silhouettes (copyright: Joel Von Allmen)

The models are powered by a Manufacture Hermès H1912 movement, a mechanical self-winding calibre—visible through the sapphire crystal caseback—that drives the display of hours, minutes and seconds. The elegant baton-shaped hour and minute hands are polished, phosphorescent and partly openworked, the large seconds hand bears a luminous dot, all of these elements offset perfectly against the silver-toned dial with its grey- and orange-accented minutes track.

The coloured strap options lend an extra stylish appeal, allowing wearers to interchange them with ease (copyright: Haw-lin Services)

At 36mm, the timepiece is being marketed as a sports watch for women but the versatility of its design language makes it amenable to a wide range of enthusiasts. 

Arceau Duc Attelé

First designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978, the Arceau case with its round shape and asymmetrical stirrup lugs made it the perfect vessel to showcase the brand’s artistic expertise. The Arceau Duc Attelé presents an understated yet distinct reinvented version of that case, in polished titanium or rose gold, highlighting the Hermès world of Haute Horlogerie and equestrian aesthetics as it houses the central triple-axis tourbillon and the ‘tuning-fork’ minute repeater.

The timepiece is a perfect blend of Haute Horlogerie and the brand's equestrian aesthetics (copyright: Joel Von Allmen)

The dynamic striped guilloché decoration of the 43mm titanium model echoes the minute repeater hammers crafted in the shape of a horse. Chiming the hours, quarters and minutes via a dedicated slide on the side of the case, they strike the elongated U-shaped branches of the long hardened steel gong visible around the edge of the dial. This tuning fork structure ensures optimal resonance. The tourbillon is an astonishing feat of mechanical miniaturisation featuring three cages, axes and speeds of rotation operating within a curved, eccentric hour-circle. The tourbillon features 99 components, as well as mirror-polished carriages where each one takes a different time to complete a single revolution, enhancing the overall accuracy of the timepiece.

The attention paid to every detail is stunning, a testament to the brand's artistic expertise (copyright: David Marchon)

The equestrian heritage of the brand shines through the entire timepiece, another case in point being the Arabic numerals inclined like a galloping horse. To amp up the overall visibility, the claw-shaped hands appear around the rim of the chapter ring. Their blue hue is an easy complement to the 48-hour power reserve indicator at the base of the dial. Limited to 24 pieces, the timepiece is equipped with the manual-winding Manufacture Hermès H1926 movement that offers a power reserve of 48 hours.

The model is run by Manufacture Hermès H1926 movement that offers a 48-hour power reserve (copyright: Joel Von Allmen)

Arceau Chorus Stellarum

In the case of the Arcea Chrous Stellarum, the Henri d’Origny-designed case transforms into the ideal vehicle for Hermès to spotlight the brand’s mastery over artistic crafts such as the embellishment visible here via meticulous engraving and miniature painting.

Both models draw inspiration from the Chorus Stellarum silk scarf designed by Daiske Nomura (copyright: Joel Von Allmen)

The two interpretations, inspired by the Chorus Stellarum silk scarf designed by Daiske Nomura, encapsulates a rich, decorative world that is simultaneously fantastical and futuristic. The skeleton riders are embodied in dynamic yellow gold appliques, engraved and painted by hand. A spring mechanism linked to the 9 o’clock pusher pushes these elements into action, making them move around a gilded constellation crafted by the champlevé technique. The equestrian elements—borrowed from the Émile Hermès collection—steal the spotlight.

The skeleton riders are embodied in dynamic yellow gold appliques, carefully engraved and painted (copyright: David Marchon)

A timepiece and a wearable work of art, the model is cased in a slender white gold case measuring 41mm, set with 70 diamonds on the version adorned with a skeleton horsewoman. It’s run by the Manufacture Hermès H1837 movement whose fine finishing can be marvelled at through the sapphire crystal caseback. A matt abyss blue or pearl grey alligator strap functions as the perfect accessory, further elevating the vibrant colours of the two models, each limited to six pieces.

Image credits: Hermès