The limited edition Arceau Toucan de Paradis timepiece, only 24 in production, by Hermès features a miniature enamel and silk thread toucan.
The Arceau Toucan de Paradis by Hermès is composed of 500 silk threads, a process that requires a full week of craftsmanship. (Photo by David Marchon for Hermès)
The Arceau Toucan de Paradis in silk threads was inspired by British artist Katie Scott's Toucan de Paradis silk scarf. (Photo by David Marchon for Hermès)
The Arceau Toucan de Paradis timepiece is composed of 500 silk threads, applied by hand in a week-long process. (Photo by David Marchon for Hermès)
Hermès' Arceau Toucan de Paradis is embellished with 82 diamonds framed by a white gold case. (Photo by Claude Joray for Hermès)
Love, love, love the latest in the Hermès collection of limited-edition timepieces — the Arceau Toucan de Paradis. With only 24 in production and price upon request, it is destined for serious collectors and we would hope that one or more reside in Texas. The colorful toucan face flanked by 82 diamonds with a Zanzibar blue calfskin band is a vibrant, whimsical beauty that has totally captured this writer’s imagination.
I long to see it on the wrist of a Lone Star diva such as Dallas art collector Cindy Rachfosky or perhaps Dallas Cowboys executive Charlotte Jones. In Houston, we see philanthropists Windi Grimes and Susan Sarofim as candidates for the toucan. Or perhaps one of the state’s fashion forward gents.
With this colorful timepiece, Hermès revisits the Arceau, first designed in 1978 with the diamond-set round case and asymmetrical stirrup-shaped lugs. Created by Hermès legendary artistic director Henri d’Origny, the watch lends its classic lines to Hermès dazzling illustrations such as the toucan. This latest was inspired by the Toucan de Paradis scarf designed in 2020 by British artist Katie Scott, known for her stylized botanical and animal illustrations.
The colorful toucan on the dial is composed of 500 individually assembled silk threads, the assembly requiring a full week of precise craftsmanship. It took five years to develop Hermès unique and exclusive technique in which multi-colored silk threads are highlighted by the intensity of the miniature enamel. The process was inspired by a kimono weaving workshop in Japan.
Hermès describes the painstaking process: “The white gold base is first enameled. The artisan uses a very fine brush to coat it with glass powders mixed with natural oils, which are then applied in several layers, dried and fired in the kiln. Recesses to house the silk threads are engraved around the enameled surfaces.
“Each thread is meticulously positioned and fixed into place with infinite care so as to create subtly shimmering light and preserve a perfect weave.”
The unique dial is framed by a white gold case measuring 38 mm in diameter and housing the Hermès H1912 self-winding movement.