Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hands-on with Hermes' Le Temps Suspendu

I had the pleasure, during a recent trip overseas, of getting hands-on with the Hermes 'Le Temps Suspendu', which simply means ‘time suspended’. The watch is based on the Hermes Arceau case and was a popular feature at BASEL 2011.

The watch houses a mechanism made by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, probably best known for his involvement in the engine for the MB&F timepieces Horological Machine No.2 (HM2) + Horological Machine No.3 (HM3), the Harry Winston Opus9.

So, what sort of complication is 'suspending time'? The philosophy is based on the idea that with the watch, you can simply activate the function, that is, 'suspend time'... and you will be in that moment for as long as you want. To achieve this, you simply press down on a button that is located on the left side of the watch case. And when held down, the hour and minute hands assume a “11-1” position. In the meantime, the watch is still ticking underneath...keeping precise time. And if you press the button again, the watch reverts back to telling the time... and it catches up from when it was pressed, meaning time is kept. And for as long as there's reserve power, the watch will catch up when released from suspension. Watches of this calibre are sold with a automatic watch winder too, which I thought was a great touch!

Impressions of the watch: it had a nice weight to it. The polished chrome case wears nicely on the wrist – with or without a business shirt, it sits very nicely. And the Hermes watch strap, typically Hermes, is lush, premium leather. It is also worth pointing out the watch was flown in and delivered to the store that morning to coincide with my visit. So I felt very privileged (thank you to all concerned for your efforts in flying it in) to be able to see it in the flesh, try it on and also to take some pictures and to talk about it.

The skeptics will question if this is yet, another luxury brand's attempt at getting into a product line that is not their core... after all, Hermes' heritage is in fine leather goods. 

Having spent over 2 hours in the store and speaking with my gracious hosts, I got to learn about Hermes ambitions for more stores likes this and for a evolving range of watches dedicated to the discerning wearer. Having Vaucher develop in-house movements for Hermes certainly demonstrates their keeness to be a serious player. "Watch out, there's a new kid in town!"

If you could suspend time, just once, where and when would you do it?

Many thanks to my gracious hosts (and friends) at the Hermes watch boutique for sharing your time with me. I do look forward to seeing the evolution of Hermes time pieces.

Specifications of the watch can be found in an earlier post HERE.


[Note from Ed : Many thanks to Dex for his guest post]


The Sydney Tarts said...

Dex - thanks. What was it like playing with the 'suspending time' mechanism? I didn't know that it came with a winder.

kewpie said...

hey guys, it was like no other. i've not owned a nice chrono.... but the buttons on the watch was very smooth... it had a nice spring... and the hands just has this very effortless GLIDE to assume the 11-1 position. feels great in the hands, feels great on the wrist.... i really like their chrono too! titanium case with a very comfortable rubber strap.

ahhh, back to reality....

Head Tart said...

I'm impressed , you are definitely a full fledged Tarts after that excellent article :-)

kewpie said...

muchas gracias all! it is nice being looked after... and not having EYES following you... similar to when you guys had the special invite to Vendome here in sydney....