Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Around The World with Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur

The Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur turns time into a literal globetrotter.

Jul 15, 2022 | By Yong Wei Jian
Hermes Arceau Le temps voyageur
Image: Hermès

In his aptly named poem “The Voyage”, Charles Baudelaire wrote that “For the child, in love with maps and prints, the universe has the measure of his vast appetite.” Indeed, worldtimers have the uncanny ability to inspire an insatiable wanderlust. Just look at them. Highly sophisticated and sought-after, their distinctive ring of cities are veritable calls to adventure — one in each of 24 time zones.

Who better to express this poetic desire for travel than La Montre Hermès, the watchmaker known for igniting the imagination with their whimsical take on classical complications. The Arceau Le Temps Voyageur brings to life the notion of “time travelling the world” with a subdial that circumnavigates the globe with you.

Simply by activating the pusher, the satellite displaying local hours and minutes glides from one time zone to the next, automatically adjusting to its destination. The 122-component “travelling time” module took three years to develop in partnership with Jean-François Mojon and his team at Chronode, adapting the ingenuity and illusion of the 2019 Arceau L’Heure de la Lune and its twin revolving subdials. To underscore the technical complexity involved in this seemingly straightforward complication, even the little red marker that points to the cities travels in tandem with and around the wandering subdial. All of these moving parts are seamlessly contained within the 4.4mm thick module, itself integrated within the Hermès H1837 automatic calibre.

The Arceau Le Temps Voyageur is actually a dual time zone watch, with 24-hour home time indicated via the aperture at noon. Nevertheless, the feature is not treated as an afterthought. Locations affected by daylight savings time have an extra position marked with “S” for summer, or the corresponding alphabet in their respective languages (“V” for verano in the Spanish-speaking territories, for example). There is even a playful nod with “24 FBG” in place of Paris; 24 Rue du Faubourg is the home of La Maison Hermès.

Hermes Arceau Le temps voyageur
Image: Hermès

The otherworldly manner in which the subdial soars without any visible mechanism evokes daydreams of carefree roaming. And since dreams are being hatched, might as well do so over a fantasy map drawn from the imagination of artist Jérôme Colliard. His “Planisphère d’un monde équestré” (“Map of an equestrian world”) graphic was initially depicted on a giant globe at an Hermès show jumping competition in Paris, and subsequently printed on an Hermès silk scarf. Now, his mythical topographies are etched onto the dial of the Arceau Le Temps Voyageur, possessing such thematic names as “Dressage”, “Éthologie Équine” and “Les Aides du Cavalier”.

The references to Hermès’ horse-riding heritage continue in the Arceau watch case designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978 featuring asymmetric stirrup-shaped lugs, as well as the signature “galloping” numerals. The Arceau Le Temps Voyageur is presented in black with a 41mm platinum case and matte-black titanium bezel, and in blue with a 38mm steel case, both fitted with alligator or Swift calfskin straps made in Hermès Horloger’s own workshops using the Maison’s long-established saddle-making and leather craftsmanship expertise.

Movement: Automatic calibre H1837 with second time zone and city names; 40-hour power reserve
Case: 41mm in platinum and titanium or 38mm in steel; water-resistant to 30m
Strap: Alligator or Swift calfskin leather
Price: NA

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