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This Just Makes Me Smile: The New Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel With the Delightful ‘Kabootar’ Is Perhaps The Most Fun Novelty From Watches & Wonders 2022

Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties. Before we get to dive deep into them, here’s our preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.

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The New Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel In A Nutshell

The industry perhaps doesn’t give watch face designers enough credit. In a sea of watches that are released every year, a certain mundane aesthetic sets in. In that, if they can create something truly different, that’s an achievement worth praising. 

My first reaction to the new Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel was to smile; it genuinely lightened my day up. Being the only writer of our website, covering all the novelties from Watches & Wonders 2022 has been exhilarating yet downright exhausting. Heck, at some point I counted, a major website had the same number as us 23 articles coverage with an entire team, as just the two of us here working. In this hectic schedule, when something makes a smile crawl across your face, it’s meant to be cherished. So for me, the new Arceau Les folies du ciel will perhaps be the most fun and eclectic watch from Watches & Wonders 2022. And that colourful ‘kabootar’ — Hindi for pigeon — shaped flying gondola on the dial at 6 is just an excellent touch of a nod to the simple life of yore where birds and pigeons would carry important notes. 

So what is it? The new Arceau Les folies du ciel is inspired by a silk scarf motif designed in 1984 called Loïc Dubigeon’s «Les folies du ciel» and features a delightful mix of the arts of painting, engraving and animation with mechanical watchmaking.

Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel

Quotable 

“The Arceau Les folies du ciel watch is a dreamlike, airy composition from the early days of the conquest of the sky. A tribute to the pioneers who were foolish enough to believe that man could perhaps fly one day… ”

Press release
Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel
Making of La Montre HermËs chez GVA Cadran GenÍve, le 07.02.2022 Photo: David Marchon

Basic Specs

The new Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel features a 30m water-resistant 38mm diameter white gold case with an anti-glare sapphire crystal on top and and case-back. 

This decently medium sized case frames a stunning dial with a mother-of-pearl base, that has been treated to give it a smokey texture alongside including paintings of “wisps of smoke from the chimneys”. On this dial there are four main elements:

  • a hand-painted and applied animated balloon that spins on its axis in step with wrist movements
  • «Hermès Paris» embossed like a secret signature
  • two kiln-fired and hand polished neoralite curved pink and green hot-air balloons  
  • a hand-painted white gold gondola in the shape of a bird that is attached to these balloons
Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel
Making of La Montre HermËs chez GVA Cadran GenÍve, le 07.02.2022 Photo: David Marchon

Inside the case of the new Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel ticks the Manufacture Hermès H1837 movement which is an automatic-winding mechanical movement measuring 25.6mm x 3.83mm. The movement beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h) and features impressive finishing including circular-grained and snailed baseplate, satin-brushed bridges and oscillating weight with signature “H” pattern.

Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel
Making of La Montre HermËs chez GVA Cadran GenÍve, le 07.02.2022 Photo: David Marchon

Limited to only 24-pieces, the new Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel was announced yesterday on 30 March 2022 as part of the Watches & Wonders 2022 March 30 to April 5 (both online and at the Salon).

It’s for those travellers who would like something unique, interesting, and light at heart. Or even connoisseurs like me who are ‘kabootars’ at heart, wanting to fly away at leisure.

Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel

To find out more about the new Hermès Arceau Les folies du ciel and their other watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy are © Hermès 2022. All rights reserved. Make sure to check out our reviews of other Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties here.

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