Hermes sense of artistry is a tough concept to categorize in terms of minimalism or elaborate and complicated ornamentation. At one end one has a simplistic overall structure, but the sense of craftsmanship and ornamentation along the body, or etched on in another part act as total contrasts to each other. We noticed that in the previous pocket watch, the Promenade de Longchamp, where only the dial told a classical story, this time, the luxury brand has displayed its workmanship with gold marquetry and hand engraving on the rear face of the Arceau Volutes timepiece. The design inspiration has been the Henri d’Origny creation for Hermes Silk carre in 1972, where the silken patterns came into being. This has manifested into the back face of this special timepiece.
The design definitely seems to be an intricate piece of work, but the process is known to be a far more complicated and elaborate one. The technique used here, is called ramolayage where the craftsman engraves the sub divisions of the individual scrolls of gold, so that the requisite volume is attained. In order to have the light reflected at the proper angles, there is intricate carving done around the metal at right angles of the unit. Then there is the delicate hammering to blacken the white gold areas somewhat so as to create a contrast between the miniature surfaces. Then the unit is dipped in a Ruthenium bath, after which the varnish is removed to reveal the golden parts in 3 distinctive shades of rosy pink, light gray, and dark gray.
Technically speaking, the Volutes pocket watch has a hand wound Vaucher H1928 movement, which has 55 hours of power reserve. The vibration rate is 28,800 per hour, which translates into 4 Hz frequency. There are 32 jewels in the movement of the timepiece which has functions of hour and minute only. The physical unit of the dial is 48mm wide created with 750-grade white gold, and protected with anti-glare sapphire crystal covering. Overall, there is water resistance up to a depth of 30 metres. The leather casing seen alongside, is of Hermes’ alligator leather in Havana Brown shading.
Hermes has created masterclass watches in different designs as well. TheArceau Grand Lune, Arceau Marqueterie de Paille series, and Clipper chronograph are other examples from what the craftsmen at Hermes really do. Perhaps it justifies why their horological adventures are more of jewels than anything else.