Hermes Freezes Time with the Arceau Le Temps Suspendu

Ever wanted to stop time? Maybe just freeze that moment for a while? Hermes has found a way with their cutting-edge timepiece, the Arceau Le Temps suspendu.

Founded in 1837, Hermes began their business as a Parisian saddle shop. Creating some of the finest harnesses and bridles for the carriage trade, Thierry Hermes earned first-class awards for his work. Eventually expanding into leather goods and clothing, handbags and scarves, Hermes hired Swiss watchmaker Universal Geneve in the mid-1930s as the brand’s exclusive watch designer.

The Hermes Arceau Le Temps suspendu is a watch with a new aspect on the subject of time. A stop/start push-piece on the side of the watch at the 9 o’clock position allows you to “suspend time.” It stops the hands by sending them back to the 12 o’clock position. There they will stay until called back by the owner. And when the watch is called to resume time with the push of the button, it picks up right where it left off with no lack of precision.

Hermes Arceau Le Temps Suspendu
Hermes Arceau Le Temps Suspendu

To make such a complicated timepiece, Hermes enlisted a well-known expert in retrograde displays, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht with Agenhor. He explains that the watch has three retrograde hands that rotate between actual time and suspended time. These two function through the third module which is based on two coordinating column wheels. When the button is pushed to suspend time, a column wheel raises a segment of the watch. Sound complicated? It is. New technology has permitted the points of the cogs to be exact to within one micron. The system is composed of 140 parts and took about four years to develop.

Hermes Arceau Le Temps suspendu is an innovative watch with a simple, but pleasing face. It is available in three variations:

  • Rose gold with a silvered dial (limited edition)
  • Stainless steel with a white dial
  • Stainless steel with a black dial

The watch comes with either a matt Havana brown or black alligator leather strap. It is water-resistant to 30 meters and has a power reserve of 42 hours. The case size is rather large at 33 millimeters. The bezel is round with Arabic calligraphy numerals and a hallmark on the face.

Hermes has certainly mastered time with the Le Temps suspendu. The craftsmanship and precision required to create such a timepiece is beyond many watchmakers. This is a watch that lets you control time, to slow down and stop for a while. What other watchmaker can make such a bold claim?

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