The Hermès Arceau


A homage to the original Hermès Arceau dating back to 1978 when Henri d’Origny first imagined it, Hermès has revived the magnificent watch into a numbered edition of jungle-inspired novelties, each depicting a playful animal. 

Amongst the most recognisable designs of the Maison, Arceau is distinguished by its unconventional form and was deliberately crafted to ignore the symmetry synonymous with fine timepieces. 

Shaped to be inspired by the world of equestrian in a nod to Hermès’ roots, the watch’s aesthetic echoes its past shape with only one lug designed to mimic a stirrup in this reimagined take on the timeless original. 

Capturing the free-spirited nature of the animals, two Arceau Hermès story watches have been released, the first of which is a 12-piece limited edition featuring a tiger, and the second is a 24-piece edition showing a miniature painting on mother-of-pearl. 

 Words by Jaz Grewal 


The Himalaya Birkin: The “Most Important Handbag in the World” – SOLD (GBP 236,750)

Christie’s London Handbags & Accessories Auction Totals £2,936,500

On 12 December 2018 Christie’s Winter Season Luxury sales in London concluded with the Handbags & Accessories auction, which totalled £2,936,500 / $ 3,670,625 / €3,236,023, and achieved sell-through rates of 93% by lot and 89% by value. The leading lot of the sale was a 2010 Hermès, Matte Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin 35 with 18k White Gold & Diamond Hardware (estimate: £100,000–150,000), which sold for £236,750 / $295,938 / €260,899 and established a European record for a handbag sold at auction.

An additional sale highlight was an extremely rare aluminium Explorer Trunk by Louis Vuitton, which realised £162,500 / $203,125 / €179,075. Dating to 1892, this extraordinary trunk was created at a time when the production of aluminium was so complex it was more expensive than gold, and as a result only a very small quantity of aluminium trunks were crafted. These trunks were coveted by explorers and high society alike due to their durability, weight and rarity.

HERMÈS (GBP 68,750)

Rachel Koffsky, Christie’s Head of Sale, Handbags & Accessories London: “We are delighted with theresults of today’s auction, including two record breaking lots; an Exceptional Diamond Himalaya Birkin in the 35 size and an Aluminium Louis Vuitton Explorer trunk. The overall sell-through rate, 93% by lot, demonstrates the appetite of collectors for these sought-after iterations. We are happy to conclude a year ofsuccessful sales in the Handbags & Accessories department at Christie’s with these phenomenal results.”

Further exceptional prices were achieved throughout the auction, including the 2017 Hermès Quelle Idole (estimate: £35,000-40,000), which sold for £68,750 / $85,938 / €75,763. Also known as the Kelly Doll, this Custom Quelle Idole in an exotic is an extremely rare iteration, crafted of matte alligator and accented with swift leather. Released in 2000 in celebration of the millennium, and designed in collaboration with then-Chairman Jean Louis Dumas, the Quelle Idole immediately took the handbag world by storm. Discontinued for a generation, the Quelle Idole has become one of the most sought-after limited edition pieces.