Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Delightful Dial of the Hermès Arceau Mon Premier Galop

Silk thread, leather marquetry and enamel enliven the dial of this watch inspired by an Hermès shawl designed by Tong Ren.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 2 min read |
Hermes Arceau Mon Premier Galop

Consistently ranked as one of the world’s most valuable luxury brands, Hermès is still a family-run business with a flair for producing exquisite products. Renowned for its superlative leather goods and silk scarves, you might be surprised to know that the sale of watches at Hermès is enjoying a record high. Creativity, artisanship and a unique and often whimsical spirit infuse all the brand’s products, watches included. Faithful to its origins as a purveyor of quality saddles and harnesses in the early 19th century, the Maison is fond of equestrian motifs. Following the latest trajectory of taking designs from silk scarves and incorporating them on the dial of watches, the latest 38mm  Arceau Mon Premier Galop watch is a joyful interpretation of a shawl designed for the brand by Chinese-born artist and illustrator Tong Ren. 

Hermes Arceau Mon Premier Galop

Hermès has selected a 38mm white gold Arceau model with 82 brilliant-cut diamonds set in the bezel to house this miniature work of art. Designed by Henri d’Origny in 1978, the celebrated artistic director of Hermès, the Arceau is the brand’s most equestrian-inspired watch with its signature stirrup-shaped lugs.

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Hermes Arceau Mon Premier Galop

The cashmere and silk shawl by Tong Ren depicts a horse taking his first strides in the sand accompanied by a butterfly. Almost naif in its portrayal, the delightful composition reveals Tong Ren’s appreciation of simple lines, block colours and the texture of finely woven wicker baskets. To recreate the motif on the dial, Hermès has pooled together diverse artistic techniques.

The light blue sky and sun are created with layer after layer of enamel, while the horse’s body is a patchwork of silk thread and leather marquetry. Recreating the texture of wicker baskets featured on the shawl, the silk threads used on the horse’s body, the blue billowing clouds and the sand dunes add volume and movement to the composition. Leather tesserae, trimmed to a thickness of just 0.5mm, enliven the composition with bursts of colour, including the brand’s signature bright orange. Two hand-painted gold appliques representing a butterfly and a mobile flower further enhance the scenery.

Hermes Arceau Mon Premier Galop

On the back is the Hermès H1912 calibre made by Vaucher in Fleurier (Hermès has a 25% stake in the manufacture since 2006). Operating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, this high-grade automatic movement can store up to 50 hours of power reserve and is decorated with ‘H’ motifs on the bridges and rotor.

Availability and Price

Presented on a supple, grained Hermès Swift calfskin strap in Zephyr blue, the Arceau Mon Premier Galop is a limited edition of 24 pieces. The watch retails for EUR 85,000. For more information, please consult

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