Hermès Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes
The Hermès Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes features a lacquered dial with an equine-themed aperture. The combination of a flying tourbillon and a minute repeater distinguishes this watch as truly exceptional. Hermès has produced just two watches, one presented in white gold case and the other in rose gold.
The mere mention of Hermès evokes thoughts of luxury and uncompromising quality. The brand’s nomenclature features on various luxury items, including handbags, scarves and silk ties. Often the brand’s products incorporate depictions of horses, a reference to the firm’s close ties to the equestrian world.
In the world of horology, Hermès offers a diverse array of watches. Some are comparatively simple, like the quartz-powered Nantucket model, while other watches are imbued with artistic crafts such as engraved or miniature painted dials. In terms of complications, the brand offers GMT and squelette models. More recently, the luxury Maison released the highly inventive L’heure de la lune, a watch with two rotating dials indicating the prevailing moon phase in the northern and southern hemispheres. Irrespective of the particular Hermès timepiece chosen, all of the company’s models exude a high quotient of style.
With the advent of the Hermès Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes, the brand has ascended to the rarefied heights of haute horlogerie. This latest watch features two high complications, a flying tourbillon and a minute repeater. In watchmaking parlance, a timepiece with this combination would often be described as a ‘grand complication’.
In 1801, Abraham-Louis Breguet patented the tourbillon. This mechanism placed the escapement and regulating organ within a rotating cage, driven by the gear train. The cage usually rotates 360° every minute, negating the adverse influence of gravity on the regulating organ, thereby enhancing precision. A flying tourbillon lacks an upper bridge, thereby affording superior views of the escapement and regulating organ in motion.
The minute repeater is often regarded as the most challenging complication to master. The first minute repeaters appeared in the mid 18th century. Usually, the minute repeater necessitates the watchmaker forming a gong using steel wire. The shape of this wire is carefully honed, subjected to repeated heating and thereafter quenched in liquid. Two gongs are held with a plot which is then affixed to the mainplate and the case. The gongs are carefully filed to achieve the desired sound. The time is indicated by two hammers striking the gongs in sequence.
The Hermès Lift Tourbillon Répétition Minutes features a lacquered dial with an aperture designed to replicate the shape of a horse’s head. The luxury brand has produced just two watches, one presented in a white gold case and the other in rose gold. By creating these two models, Hermès has demonstrated its watchmaking prowess and its extraordinary ambition.
The brand’s press release
Designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978, the Arceau watch displays an understated yet distinctive nature. Its timeless silhouette takes the form of a round case with stirrup-like asymmetrical lugs. A one-of-a-kind model in rose or white gold, the Arceau Lift tourbillon répétition minutes features a white or Abyss blue-lacquered dial revealing part of its entrancing mechanism.
Framed by the equestrian profile cut-out hugging the curves of the case, the complexity of the double-gong minute-repeater mechanism is captivating. This traditional horological complication is combined here with another horological exception – the flying tourbillon – coiled inside the horse’s neck and visible through a round aperture at 6 o’clock. Forming a double H, the architecture of the tourbillon is inspired by mot emblematic of the Hermès boutique on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. This design crowning
the tourbillon carriage and barrel bridge picks up the pattern of the artistic wrought ironwork adorning the entrance, railings, staircase and lift at the Parisian establishment.
The pleasing overall effect is swept over by slim openworked hands and punctuated by the Arceau line’s characteristic sloping numerals that evoke a galloping horse.
Visible through the dial cut-outs and the sapphire crystal case-back, the new mechanical hand-wound movement H1924 from Manufacture Hermès emits the clear chime of its minute repeater from a white or rose gold case measuring 43 mm in diameter. Re-designed to incorporate two major Haute Horlogerie complications, this precious case was designed in the Hermès Horloger workshops, as were the lacquered dial and matt black alligator strap.