Monochrome Watches
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The Striking New Arceau Duc Attelé, a Remarkable Hermès Creation

This Duc Attelé, with its central high-frequency triple-axis tourbillon and a minute repeater, is an unmistakably Hermès timepiece.

| By Denis Peshkov | 5 min read |

In watchmaking, creativity is a constant topic of conversation. Few can match the innovation of Hermès, and many can learn from the brand’s approach. The new Hermès Arceau Duc Attelé, featuring a central triple-axis high-frequency tourbillon and a minute repeater, showcases impeccable craftsmanship and construction. Seamlessly blending the equestrian theme into its design, this timepiece is truly a sight to behold.

Hermès journey in haute horlogerie

Hermès, known initially for producing horse equipment and later expanding into travel accessories and fashion, home, and jewellery, embarked on its wristwatch journey in 1928 when the company began producing watches for sale in collaboration with the Swiss manufacturer Movado, yet the first Hermès wristwatch was crafted as a gift for Emile Hermès’ daughter in 1912.

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In 1978, a significant moment unfolded with the establishment of La Montre Hermès division in Biel and the debut of the iconic Arceau watch, conceptualized by then-creative director Henri d’Origny. The Arceau’s distinctively spaced and curvy lugs, drawing inspiration from the shape of a stirrup, perfectly encapsulated Hermès’ fusion of elegance and equestrian heritage.

Since its inception, the Arceau collection has continually evolved, offering various complications, colours, dials, and materials while retaining the elegance and classic lines often reminiscent of the horse-riding milieu. The Arceau Lift Tourbillon volant, unveiled in 2013, with the hand-wound H1923 movement crafted by La Joux-Perret, signalled Hermès’ foray into high-end watchmaking. Similarly, the Arceau Lift Tourbillon répétition minutes introduced in 2020 showcased the H1924 hand-wound movement, boasting a flying tourbillon, minute repeater, and an impressive 90-hour power reserve, developed in collaboration with the late Pierre Favre of Manufacture de Hautes Complications. These timepieces featured the intertwined, double “H” tourbillon cage, inspired by the wrought-iron door of the elevator at Hermès’ flagship store in Paris, located at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, hence the “Lift” moniker.

The striking Duc Attele

The latest addition to the Hermès Arceau collection, the Duc Attelé (harnessed duke in English), maintains the double H lift motif while placing equal emphasis on showcasing its striking – pun intended – mechanism; let’s take a closer look at the titanium version we photographed (the watch is also available in a 5N rose gold case). 

The Arceau Duc Attelé grade 5 titanium case is meticulously polished and measures 43mm in diameter. The distinctive stirrup lugs remain intact, accompanied by a crown positioned at 3 o’clock and a minute repeater lever opposite. The dial unfolds through the imposing domed sapphire crystal, revealing a captivating display set against the dramatic backdrop of a striped guilloché motif with an anthracite coating.

A domed light grey and rhodium-plated hour and minutes ring, adorned with a sunburst finish, encircles the mesmerizing triple-axis tourbillon. This chapter ring appears suspended above the main surface, and the two blue indicators traverse its slope, marking the passage of time. Meanwhile, hallmark Arabic indices, inclined in harmony, seemingly follow the movement of the “hands.” 

The polished titanium cage of the central triple-axis tourbillon is adorned with the double H, and its three carriages complete their rotations in 300, 60, and 25 seconds, the outer taking the longest. The mirror-polished minute repeater “equestrian” hammers are prominently displayed at 6 o’clock, accompanied by a power reserve indicator with blue accents matching the time indicators, above.

The U-shaped peripheral “tuning-fork” gongs crafted from tempered steel encircle the entire dial. When activated, these gongs chime melodiously to mark the passage of hours, quarters, and minutes, adding an enchanting dimension to the timepiece. In addition, this unprecedented shape for the gongs (but actually a very natural one…) enhances the sound and resonance effect. 

Through the sapphire crystal caseback, the new manually wound Manufacture H1926 calibre, a result of collaboration with Le Cercle des Horlogers, a renowned movement developer from La Chaux-de-Fonds, is proudly displayed. The movement’s bridges are treated with anthracite PVD, and the openworked sapphire-crystal striking bridge offers a glimpse into the intricate workings and enhances the resonance of the gongs. Upon personal testing, the sound quality produced by the gongs proves to be truly remarkable.

Named after the year of a significant renovation at the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré store, the H1926 movement pays homage to the horse-drawn carriage that inspired the contemporary logo of Hermès. This emblem, in turn, draws inspiration from the artwork “Duc attelé et groom à l’attente” by Alfred de Dreux, a renowned artist of the 19th century.

The influence of this heritage is evident in the intricate details of the movement – for instance, the unusually narrow spokes of the gears, designed to resemble the carriage’s wheels. Additionally, observe the horse-and-mane-shaped quarter rack positioned at 6 o’clock, where the repeater barrel is located alongside the hour rack and rack pinion. At the centre of it all, the minute snail sits adjacent to the 12-toothed star wheel mounted on the hour snail.

The triple-axis tourbillon enhances timekeeping accuracy by mitigating positional errors, while the balance wheel’s 5Hz (36,000 vibrations/hour) frequency enhances its motion stability. However, both mechanisms require considerable energy, and to meet this demand, the timepiece is equipped with a double-barrel system, ensuring a 48-hour power reserve. As one would anticipate, the hand-finishing on the 563-component movement is nothing short of exemplary.

Availability & Price

Paired with either a matte anthracite (titanium case) or matte abyss blue alligator (rose gold case) strap meticulously crafted by Hermès, the new Hermès Arceau Duc Attelé comes in limited editions of 24 each in titanium and rose gold. Pricing is available upon request. For further details, visit

2 responses

  1. Heads Up :- If you need to ask the price, you cannot afford it! (Yep, #MeToo.)

  2. Very nice however I think the JLC Master Grand complication celestial rotating floating tourbilion minute repeater (Q5023580) is better .

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