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This fall, men can indulge their inner Harry Potter with luxury watches that enable them to move back and forth in time—symbolically, at any rate.
This story first appeared in the September 26, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Hermès Arceau Time Suspended ($18,500), on sale in November, is a prime example. One of the most talked-about innovations at this year’s watch fair in Basel, Switzerland, it looks classical enough at first glance. But its winding crown at two o’clock hints this is no ordinary timepiece.
Press the silver push button to the left of the watch, and the hour and minute hands stand at attention around the midday marker, while the retrograde hand disappears from view—effectively stopping time in its tracks. A simple push of the button, and it switches back to standard time. The watch’s movement keeps track of the correct time and date, thanks to a module developed by master watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht based on a triple-retrograde system, which Hermès says is a world first.
If this sounds abstract, it’s supposed to. “Our mission is to make our clients dream,” says Luc Perramond, chief executive officer of La Montre Hermès. “We want to convey poetic and philosophical values,” he adds.
Hermès isn’t alone in this metaphysical quest. In a similar vein, Hublot has unveiled its limited edition MP-02 Key of Time ($260,000), whose three-position crown allows the wearer to modulate the speed at which time passes. Thus, one hour is represented as a quarter of an hour or vice versa, enabling the wearer to “make happy moments last four times longer or make difficult moments four times shorter,” according to the brand.
All a little too fanciful for your taste? Not to worry: You can return to “real” time at any second.