The round case with its asymmetrical stirrup shaped lugs is the hallmark of the timeless allure exuded by the Arceau watch, designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978. This understated yet singular curvature lends itself to the creativity and demanding expertise of Hermès. Available in two limited series of 24 each, the Arceau Into the Canadian Wild watch in white gold and diamonds captures the spirit of wild Nature on its dial.
The animal themes interpreted here – a polar bear and a snowy owl – both stem from the Into the Canadian Wild silk scarf designed by British artist Alice Shirley in 2017, on the occasion of Canada’s 150th anniversary. The original drawing depicts the abundance of flora and fauna, natural treasures of Canada’s vast territories bathed in oceans, lakes and rivers. From this hymn to nature, Hermès Horloger has drawn two interpretations: a snowy owl – emblematic of Quebec – flying amid the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) graces the first model; while the other features a polar bear with its cub, standing on top of waves populated by fascinating creatures.
The artisan devotes more than a week per dial to accomplishing this miniature work, tracing the contours of the motif on the glittering aventurine base, before placing it in the kiln to fire it in place. The different volumes of the landscapes and animals are then formed by means of successive layers of paint alternating with successive firings. The major requirement of such a work lies in the miniaturization of a drawing with multiple volumes, tones and subtle details.
Combining watchmaking and craftsmanship, the Arceau Into the Canadian Wild watch is powered by a mechanical self-winding Hermès movement. It displays hours and minutes on the model adorned with a polar bear, along with a moon phase on the model featuring the snowy owl. An elegant white gold case set with 82 diamonds frames the hand-crafted dial and is complemented by a smooth sapphire blue alligator strap, also made by the Hermès Horloger artisans.