In an age where anyone can tell time with a casual glance at the screen of their mobile phone, to even own and wear a watch is hardly a necessity. So why wear one at all? These days, watches can be used to denote style, class, good taste–all ways to subtly yet definitively distinguish yourself from the common man.
Hermès takes this distinction one step further by creating a pocket watch that’s a true object of luxury. The latest incarnation of the Arceau Pocket Millefiori presented at the 2018 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie was inspired by the superior technique of the Crystallerie Saint-Louis. These master crystalmakers based in northeastern France were bestowed the royal seal of approval by Louis XV, and for years have closely guarded and upheld the secrets of their incredibly precise, delicate craft. Stunning examples are their 19th-century paperweights boasting kaleidoscopic patterns made using their artisans’ glassblowing expertise.
For this timepiece, glassmakers painstakingly created and assembled the intricate dial that resembles animal scales, echoing the matte black alligator leather on the case back. This is perfectly complemented by the alligator leather cord strap from which the watch can casually dangle off your vest pocket or wrist. So while everyone else is pulling out their phones and tapping on the screens, you can nonchalantly slip this one into your palm and tell time in the manner a true gentleman would. That is, if you can get your hands on it—only two of its kind in the world exist, so by owning it, you truly are separating yourself from everybody else.