Sometimes you can learn a lot from a name. The new Arceau Chrono Titane from Hermes is exactly what it sounds like: an Arceau watch that has a chronograph function and a titanium case. It really is that simple. And, luckily, the results look quite intriguing, drawing on the classic design while injecting enough new life to make this watch intriguing all on its own.
The Arceau was first designed by Herni d’Origny back in 1978 and it’s been a part of the Hermes watch collection ever since. It’s defined by a round case with the semi-wire lugs (which Hermes says are inspired by stirrups) and the fancy Arabic numerals that swirl around the outer edge of the dial. This watch has all of those things, but with slightly less buttoned-up styling.
For the Chrono Titane, the case is 41mm in diameter, which is considered the “very large model” in the Arceau family. It is rendered entirely in grade 2 titanium that has a soft bead-blasted finish to is. The result is almost a gunmetal color, which I really like, especially as a frame for the detail-rich dial. The dial has a galvanic black ground with the Arceau numerals printed in bright white and a mix of rhodium-plated and red-colored hands. There is a date window tucked at an angle between four and five o’clock, but it’s subtle enough that it shouldn’t really bother the haters too much. The running seconds sub-dial at three o’clock also has a grey ring around the track that echoes the color of the case, tying everything together. I’m really looking forward to seeing this dial in person it looks like the sort that pictures can’t do justice.
While Hermes does make its own in-house movements now (through its part-ownership of Manufacture Vaucher) and has for years, this watch does not contain one of them. In fact, Hermes manufactures a few complications, but not its own chronograph. Inside the Arceau Chrono Titane is an automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve and 37 jewels, though Hermes is not specifying exactly what caliber it is by name.
The Hermes Arceau Chrono Titane is available with two different strap options, one a classic natural Barenia calfskin and the other a black Barenia calfskin with an embossed racing-inspired design. With either strap, the watch will retail for $5,100, which seems more than a fair price for a titanium watch from such a respected maker. It will hit stores in February 2018.
For more, visit Hermes online.