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Businessweek

How Hermès Grew Past Fashion Watches to Join Top Swiss Maisons

A surge of sales in 2021 shows how the luxury leather goods house has made strides with its watchmaking bona fides.
Hermès’s new Arceau Le Temps Voyageur, which tells the time in 24 cities around the globe, is offered in platinum and steel versions.

Hermès’s new Arceau Le Temps Voyageur, which tells the time in 24 cities around the globe, is offered in platinum and steel versions.

Illustration: Izzy Lawrence

It was a silly visual trick that turned Hermès International into a serious competitor in the watchmaking world. In 2011 the brand released Time Suspended, a mechanical watch featuring a fun little complication: Push a button, and the hour and minute hands would stop, effectively freezing a moment in time. A hand that kept track of the date slipped out of sight completely.

Hidden beneath the face of the watch, the timekeeping mechanism continued to work, but you could theoretically leave the hands locked in place as long as you’d like—a minute, an hour, a week—until you pushed the button again, returning them to the correct time, the watch as accurate as ever.