Hermès Takes The Porcelain Dial To New Heights

Hermès Takes The Porcelain Dial To New Heights

Adrienne Faurote
By Adrienne Faurote June 17, 2020

For Hermès, the dial of their watches is often the perfect canvas to express their creativity and craftsmanship. This is also the case with the new Arceau Harnais français remix. The brand got inspired by one of their vintage scarfs, which was designed by Hugo Grygkar, who served as Hermès in-house designer between the 1940s and 1959. He based his design in turn on a painting which was part of the private collection of  Émile Hermès, which showed a team of horses in colorful harnesses with feathers.

Arceau-Harnais-francais-remix_4DavidMarchonPhoto Credit: David Marchon

To translate such a beautiful work of art into a watch, Hermès took an unusual approach. It carved the horses out of a thin plate of unglazed Limoges porcelain. After this, colors are applied. As these are enamel, successive firings at very high temperatures are needed to fix these colors on to the dial and enhance their hue further. This is a very precise work, as even the slightest mistake can ruin the dial. The result is a dial that is not only three dimensional, but in which the colors also make the horses come to life.

A great piece of art always becomes better when an equally good frame matches it. The 38mm large Arceau case of this watch was created in 1978 by Henri d’Origny and features a subtle yet distinct stirrup-design. Framed by a bezel set with 82 brilliant-cut diamonds, is it the perfect match for the stunning dial. Inside we find automatic manufacture caliber H1912, which runs at 4Hz and offers a power reserve of 50 hours. Hermès has quite the reputation to uphold when it comes to leather. With the strap of the Arceau Harnais français remix, they prove that they are an absolute master in this. It is crafted from alligator leather and comes in a very vibrant color that Hermès fittingly named ‘raspberry.’ It is the perfect match for the dial, which takes the art of porcelain dials to new heights.