FE­LINE ART

World of Watches (Singapore) - - Basel Report | Highlights -

Her­mès con­tin­ues to push the en­ve­lope in the field of metiers d’art, this time with the Arceau Ti­gre, which de­buts a new tech­nique pre­vi­ously un­seen in watch­mak­ing

On the metiers d’art front this year, Her­mès has un­veiled the stun­ning Arceau Ti­gre, cre­ated in part­ner­ship with the hus­band-and-wife team of Olivier and Do­minique Vaucher. The time­piece marks the first time the shaded enamel (enamel om­brant) tech­nique is used in watch­mak­ing, and sports the mo­tif of a tiger in the like­ness of an il­lus­tra­tion by Robert Dal­let, an artist with whom Her­mès col­lab­o­rated in the 1980s.

As a tech­nique, shaded enamel is de­rived from litho­phanes – thin and translu­cent porce­lain plates that dis­play three-di­men­sional im­ages when back­lit. The de­sign on a litho­phane is formed by the porce­lain’s vary­ing thick­ness, which lets dif­fer­ent amounts of light through to cre­ate this ef­fect. In the Arceau Ti­gre, am­bi­ent light is used in­stead; to cre­ate the same ef­fect, the tiger’s im­age is first carved in re­lief on a base of white gold, be­fore translu­cent black enamel is ap­plied over it and fired. This two-step process com­bines the best that each tech­nique has to of­fer. The en­grav­ing is able to cap­ture ev­ery nu­ance of Dal­let’s orig­i­nal draw­ing, down to the in­di­vid­ual strands of hair on the tiger. Enamelling, on the other hand, ac­cen­tu­ates the en­grav­ing’s depth, as deeper parts of the en­grav­ing con­tain a thicker layer of enamel and ap­pear cor­re­spond­ingly darker. The fi­nal prod­uct is an ex­tremely life­like re­cre­ation of a tiger that looks three-di­men­sional de­spite the smooth dial sur­face. Housed in the asym­met­ric Arceau case, the time­piece has a sim­ple two­hand lay­out that max­imises the view of the dial art. The Arceau Ti­gre is lim­ited to just 12 pieces world­wide. MOVE­MENT Self-wind­ing Her­mès H1837 with 50-hour power re­serve

CASE 41mm in white gold, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 30m

STRAP Brown al­li­ga­tor with white gold ardil­lon buckle

PRICE $127,400

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