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Katherine S. Cunanan
November 28, 2022     |    

Flight Of Fancy

Let’s take to the skies

Man has always been fascinated with the skies and flight. Looking to the sky allows you to dream of what could be, of what you might see, and of what you might achieve. Even today when you ask young children, and the young at heart, which superpower they would want to have, the ability to fly is one of the most popular. The power of flight would give you freedom to move around, and afford you a new perspective. Not to mention make you the envy of mere mortals who would sadly be earth-bound. You could be flying away from something, or flying to someone. Your journey, and not the destination, could even be your primary goal.

les folies du ciel

Beauty on a scarf
This fascination with freedom and flight found its way to the famed Hermès scarves back in 1984. Loïc Dubigeon was a French artist, sculptor, and muralist. He was trained as an architecture at the Arts et Métiers de Paris. It is not surprising that the structure of architecture as an art form perhaps led him to the beauty of other art forms, ones that afforded a little more freedom of expression. He has created several designs for Hermès scarves involving different architectural forms, but also precious images of teddy bears, for example. Such range this artist had. Loïc Dubigeon’s interpretation of les folies du ciel, or follies of the sky, as a silk scarf motif was fantastic. The dreams and visions were interpreted in such a dreamy and fanciful way that it just made the desire for flight more real.

The Les folies du ciel scarf features hot air balloons, airships, and other flying vessels. Taking a closer look at the scarf design will reveal small drawings of people on some of the flying machines. You can practically feel the excitement and adrenalin of the characters, seeing new sites for the first time, looking out at the horizon from a different height. If you’re interested in a beautiful silk scarf to match your watch, there is a double-face version with hand-rolled edges that is simply to die for.

les folies du ciel

Interpreted on a watch
This wonderful flight of fancy expressed so well on a scarf then made its way onto a watch. Not just any watch, mind you, but the Hermès Arceau watch. The Arceau is a clean, classic watch that has had different models over the years, sometimes in stainless steel, sometimes in white gold. The clean aesthetic of the Arceau allows it to have different enhancements added to it without overwhelming the whole look.

The Hermès ARCEAU Les folies du ciel watch carries the artistic interpretation of the Loïc Dubigeon design onto the dial of the Arceau watch. The 38 mm white gold case pairs well with the mother-of-pearl dial. Mother-of-pearl is the iridescent, milky interior shell of the fresh water mollusk. Each mollusk is different, so each piece of mother-of-pearl is unique. The creamy white color of the dial here adds to the dreamy essence of the watch, and allows the rest of the artwork to take center stage.

Speaking of center stage, a white bird-shaped gondola takes pride of place just above the 6 o’clock space. The bird is, of course, the initial inspiration for flight. The hand-painted bird in yellow and pink with touches of green is playful. The gondola has 2 hot air balloons, in pink and green neoralite, and three green chimneys in the center. Peeking out from behind the green chimneys are thin gray wisps of smoke, also in mother-of-pearl, that make it seem like the gondola is mid-journey. The tiny people are seen on the watch dial too. I can just imagine their anticipation. Where are they heading to? To new lands of interesting sights and experiences, we’d like to think. Take us with you, we whisper.

The whimsy doesn’t end there though. At the 12 o’clock spot is another balloon, but this one actually moves. It spins on its axis as your wrist moves too. Also seen at the 12 o’clock spot is the embossed Hermès Paris sign. Each surface on the Hermès ARCEAU Les folies du ciel watch is artistically done and highly polished to bring the flights of fancy to life.

Power and beauty
The Hermès ARCEAU Les folies du ciel watch has a mechanical self-winding movement, the Manufacture Hermès H1837 movement. The movement measures 25.6 mm in diameter and 3.83 mm in thickness. It has the hours and minutes functions, and really, that’s all you need.

The round white gold case creates the perfect frame of the delicate artwork on the dial. The alligator leather strap is Chantilly is gentle partner to the watch, keeping the focus on the dial itself. The Hermès ARCEAU Les folies du ciel watch is a numbered limited edition of just 24 pieces. Take the watch and imagine your next journey.

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