In 1992, French artist Annie Faivre, known for her vivid abstract work, designed Hermès’s now-famous “Grands Fonds” scarf – the first of many wildly colorful scarves depicting marine life. Using the Arceau watch as the canvas, Hermès has taken inspiration from the “Grands Fonds” in creating the Arceau Grands Fonds : a limited edition of six pieces showcasing a unique glass mosaic technique on the dial. Its dial is a stunning depiction of the craftsmanship behind Hermès’s gifted artisans. In its turquoise ‘waters’ swims a blue and yellow fish, sprinkled with white spots, meticulously crafted out of a mosaic of colored glass tiles. This technique requires over a month of work on each dial, with each specialist selecting a range of colored glass tesserae, melting them at temperatures of over 700 °C to form thin filaments, cutting them into small squares and then carefully placing them one by one on the dial where the motif has been reproduced to scale. After being left to dry for a month, the mosaic is examined to see whether the tiles have settled to form the uniformly flat surface required for fitting the dial smoothly into the white gold case, yet incredibly challenging given the nature of molten glass. The delightfully whimsical Arceau Grands Fonds embodies Faivre’s original work, highlighted by the talent of artisans at the heart of Hermès’ manufacture.
Arceau Grands Fonds
CASE : white gold with sapphire crystal caseback SIZE : 41mm MOVEMENT : Manufacture Hermès H1837 movement, mechanical self-winding, 50-hour power reserve FUNCTIONS : hours, minutes DIAL : Glass mosaic STRAP : sapphire blue alligator strap