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Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

At SIHH 2018 Paris-based Hermès released a very compelling new version of the Arceau chronograph with the Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane collection. I was a big fan of these lovely new elegant sport watches, especially the version on the embossed black Barenia calfskin strap. The watch begins with the Hermès Arceau case, which according to Hermès was originally designed in 1978 by French designer Henri d’Origny. The Arceau is not the only case d’Origny designed for Hermès, but like his other designs it has clearly lasted the test of time and looks remarkably relevant today in this sport watch that is imbued with a series of classic and formal design elements.

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

All images by Ariel Adams

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I’ve always had a very soft spot for sporty/casual timepieces that have traditional and formal design elements. Case in point on the Hermès Arceau is the ring of italicized and radially-aligned Breguet-style Arabic hour numerals. These theoretically belong on dressier watches but in my opinion help add a refined character to this and other sportier designs. A slightly textured matte charcoal gray dial contrasts very well with the hands and hour markers. Hermès effectively uses red color accents on the dial to enhance the sportiness of the design, and leaf-style hands (also a formal versus sporty design element) are acceptably legible.

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Arceau case is said to be inspired by Hermès’ history with producing equestrian riding equipment and saddles. The round case has a unique way of playing with asymmetry by having a different lug design for the top and bottom of the watch. The inspiration according to Hermès are riding stirrups. The upper lugs are loop-style even though there is a traditional pin bar securing the strap. On the bottom part of the case the strap connects more directly to the case. Strap width is 21mm wide on both ends. The resulting look is one that provokes the eyes but does not offend one’s sense of good design given the balanced look. Hermès has used the Arceau case for a long time as it has consistently been a successful seller for the brand. Sport versions of it like this Arceau Chrono Titane are in my opinion quite rare.

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

As the “Titane” part of the product’s name implies, these watches are produced from titanium. Hermès uses grade 2 titanium for what I believe is its slightly darker color. I happen to really like how the Arceau-style case feels in titanium in both aesthetics and the lightweight feel on the wrist. According to Hermès the 41mm wide width of the Arceau Chrono Titane positions it as a “very large model” though comparatively speaking it certainly is not. The rear of the case is also in titanium and has a pleasant Hermès brand motif – though a view to the movement through a sapphire crystal window would have been appreciated. Over the dial of the watch is an AR-coated sapphire crystal and the case is water-resistant to 30m (not super sporty).

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the Arceau Chrono Titane is an automatic mechanical chronograph movement produced by Hermès’ own movement manufacture, Vaucher. The movement is appropriate without any particular standout features aside from the fact that I don’t worry about its operational characteristics, since it was designed to be reliable. The movement operates at 4Hz (28,800 bph) with a power reserve of 42 hours. Functions include the time, 12-hour chronograph, and the date with a window positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock.

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Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane Watch Hands-On Hands-On

For the money I think there is fair value here. Normally I come to expect serious price premiums for any wristwatch coming from a major fashion house like Hermès. No, the Arceau Chrono Titane is not a budget watch, but it doesn’t feel terribly overpriced given the branding, case and construction quality, movement, and ability to serve as a timeless, versatile fashion item. As I mentioned above, Hermès is offering the titanium-cased Arceau Chrono Titane with two Barenia leather strap options. One is in “natural” brown calfskin leather and the other (my favorite) is on the black, embossed strap with its hip horizontal “quilting” pattern. What a difference a strap makes, right? This might be the first Hermès timepiece I’ve seen that is meant to go with a cool biker’s jacket. Price for the Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane watch is $4,950 USDhermes.com

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Comments

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  • Horum Positivium

    Dear me, this is a horrible watch. I can’t see anyone purchasing this.

    • Boris N. Natasha

      this isn’t a watch my friend, this is FAH SHONE! this is the fashion game. this game is not for you.

  • Sam Soul

    I like it.

    • egznyc

      I guess we cannot always agree ;-). The watch does look thinner than a typical 775x would look, but that’s about all I like about it.

      • Sam Soul

        And how dare you disagree!?
        Well, I guess I need to have it in my hands and feel how it’s like in real.

  • Lindsay

    It looks interesting but now I feel dizzy

  • Raymond Wilkie

    The font annoys me.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      You having a wee back read Berndt?

  • SuperStrapper

    I had to laugh:

    “I’ve always had a very soft spot for sporty/casual timepieces that have traditional and formal design elements.”

    It reminds me of how I like short and tall women that are curvy or fit who have red or dark hair that are career professionals or musicians/artists.

    • LetoAtreides69

      Surprised you didn’t go after the titanium

      • SuperStrapper

        I reserved those comments out of broken record fear. I can make an edit if required.

        • Kuroji

          Maybe the bead-blasted finish won’t show the scratches as much.

          • SuperStrapper

            Bead blasted is probably the best titanium finish in my opinion, but it actually serves to make scratches look worse. A shiny glinting scar on a matte background.

    • Mr. Snrub

      I like women that are tied down but available.

      • SuperStrapper

        Wink wink nudge nudge

    • Curvy and fit are not mutually exclusive. Neither red or dark hair. Just sayin’ 🙂

      • SuperStrapper

        There are no red headed ravens. Unfortunately. I think.

        • Why do you think God invented highlights?

  • “This might be the first Hermès timepiece I’ve seen that is meant to go with a cool biker’s jacket”

    Perhaps, if you don’t really ride and are into watches from a woman’s handbag manufacturer. I’ll take the Tudor Fastrider at that price point.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cce7ce5ac2ed8bad61895724f93ebcd5a1a4a1d242bf8cce4d480cf946583b6a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4e6b875e5f137e67b32ba15a2c5b2bb7ac6f53141c0888dd3965f23a461e8698.jpg

    • SuperStrapper

      Love that shade of green.

      • I’d love to one day see a Pelagos dial in that color, with a black bezel.

      • Gokart Mozart

        Green is nice and the strap is nice…. Not sure about the rest of it

        • SuperStrapper

          Yeah, not a huge fan of the watch or the strap. But the green is nice.

          That shade of green is really great in a bronze case. Very complimentary.

          • egznyc

            Agreed, but I like Blues even better with bronze. Man, that green looks like the official color of the ‘70s.

          • SuperStrapper

            When I first tried out bronze as a watch material I did it with an indie brand and chose their blue dial. It is a nice combo for sure, but I think I still prefer green and bronze:

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cb1387927d00113f5cf6fd769ada044305e5b7eb196aa052960a478a083d9b92.jpg

          • egznyc

            Nice, rugged look there.

            I also think The Blues are good with some brass ;-).

          • SuperStrapper

            ;-).

          • joe Shmoe

            it is the same color as the refrigerator i grew up with, 70’s olive green. groovy.

    • Kuroji

      But it lacks the hideous Tudor hands!

      • Thanks goodness! I hate the snowflake hour hand.

  • Berndt Norten

    Marius would have fun with this watch.

    How many of us would save up money to buy a Hermès? We’d do it for a JLC, AP, Lange, Rolex. But Hermès?

    These watches will be purchased on a whim by kept women on hefty monthly allowances. They’ll see Hermès and think of their scarfs. They’ll assume their menfolk will want the watch. This is for the 7th arrondissement leisured class—they buy Hermès on impulse as readily as I buy beef jerky at 7-11. You know the type: they blow 200 euros a day at the Bon Marché on basic groceries and treats.

    • Omegaboy

      Ooooo. That’s a wee bit rough. But probably true. Beef jerky at 7-11. Really?

      Watches like these are maybe interesting, but you’re right – most of the readers of this blog don’t have ready cash to purchase whimsical watches. So we save, then buy something that’s going to look and run good tomorrow, next week, and 10 years down the road.

  • Nello Alexandri

    “I would like that croc skin Birkin in black, and throw in a couple of those crazy watches.”
    Crap.

  • LetoAtreides69

    I tried one on (3 hander).. I really wanted to like the look of them but I couldn’t. Saw a gal out with the brown face 3-hander that was on point for her look as a fashionista. The asymmetric case doesn’t work for me.

  • Always liked the look of the Arceau case. The bead blasted finish in G2 Ti gives it an interesting industrial feel. As the power reserve was noted in the 40 hour range, I’m going to guess they utilized the VMF 3022/12 movement. IMHO it would be a more interesting package had they utilized the newer 6710 column wheel movement and still kept it around that price point.

  • IanE

    Strange how all hour markers in the bottom of the dial are essentially upside-down except the “6” – and it can’t be just to avoid confusion with “9” since the “6” in the hour sub-dial IS upside-down! Fortunately (for me) the rest of the watch (esp the main dial texture) is so unattractive that this is not too significant however.

  • Never for that price but it ia cool looking

  • Gokart Mozart

    Why did they not give it a display back. Gaucher’s are pretty decent looking movements.

    Hermes watches are the type of watch you can’t decide if you like it or not.

    Like the Coke Cola with the Steviol plant sweetners

    • SuperStrapper

      Any coke that doesn’t come in a red can is garbage.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    This watch is so ugly, my glasses cracked.

    • Tempvs Mortvvs

      HA!

  • Ross Diljohn

    Where’s Marius when we need him? To be fair I do like the look but it’s certainly not worth that price. Again I feel like these companies are out looking for a sucker with some cash and no new iPhone to spend it on.

  • Timestandsstill

    Most often on a chronograph the chronograph hands match each other and the time keeping hands and running seconds hand match. This just looks strange (wrong) with both seconds hands being red.

  • joe Shmoe

    it’s as if they had a rule that every element of the watch had to be awkward and out of place. truly hideous.

  • I like the straps – see I found something nice to say. The rest…where to begin, so much went wrong – like watching a clown car (full of clowns) getting hit at a railroad crossing and causing a derailment. Horrible to see but as much as you want to, you have a hard time looking away. When you do, the bad dreams may linger. Out, out of my head disfigured watch!

    I could give a point by point critique but what’s the point – they won’t change anything as these freak show watches are reported to sell well enough.

  • PR

    Is it a 6 is it a 9 who knows and who cares? It’s design. Let’s just print numbers in all directions! Hurrah

    • Berndt Norten

      Now if a 6
      Turned out to be 9
      U don’t mind…

  • BNABOD

    I suppose this thing has potential and the price might be ok especially w a Vaucher mouvement in it BUT damn are those sub dials microscopic and the font on the numerals is just so wrong. It is a sport watch that wants to be dressy or the other way around I don’t know I am confused .
    Hermès is trying to imitate Cartier in the watch department but I don’t see it so far working out . aside from the strap style which I like a lot but also nothing new the whole package leaves me a bit cold wanting a lot more . Could be the beginning of something but it feels half baked

  • Let me join the chorus of opinions no one really cares about, by saying that I see those watches being succesful as a fashion accessory. Very successful in fact. The black strap reminds me of the leather seats in some Italian exotics of old. Very Miura, I think.

  • Rob Crenshaw

    I like this watch quite a bit. The case design is eye-catching and original, the lugs asymmetry fascinating. This is the kind of design that is largely lost these days, because most large companies either soldier on with repetitive evolution, or dig into the past and produce heritage editions and retro updates. I admire a company that sets its own design language, much as Cartier does. Hermès is not Cartier yet, but their brand prestige is almost as good, and their purchase of a movement maker shows they are in for the long haul. I hope they evolve and provide beautiful watches for generations ahead.