French luxury house Hermes plays with time with its new Arceau Le Temps Suspendu, a creative update to the classic line first imagined by Henri d'Origny in 1978 and developed in collaboration with master watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. The timepiece features a Swiss-made automatic movement and a complex 360?hour and minute retrograde system. Pressing the pusher at 9 o'clock makes the hour, minute and seconds hands come to a halt at 12 o'clock, and the date hand disappears from the off-centre date dial. Another press returns the three hands to the correct time. The Arceau Le Temps Suspendu comes with a choice of case and dial: a black or silvered dial with stainless steel casing or a rose gold casing with silvered dial, the latter of which comes in a limited numbered edition of 174. Hermes has also released new references for the Arceau Chrono Classique, the Arceau Chrono Colors and the Arceau Grande Lune. Also playing with the idea of time are three new references for the Cape Cod Grandes Heures. The timepieces feature a stainless steel case, silvered or anthracite dial and irregularly spaced hour indexes to reflect how the wearer usually spends time - or how time 'speeds up' or 'slows down' during a regular day. The first reference shows the 10, 12, 2 indexes and its corresponding 4, 6, and 8 are closer than the others; the second shows 8, 10, 12, and 2, 4 and 6 indexes closer; and the third, the 1, 3, 5, and the 7, 9, 11, indexes are closer. The variable speed hour hand is powered by a mechanical self-winding movement, and a 42-hour power reserve. Besides the Grandes Heures, new Cape Cod references include the Tonneau and the Simple Calendar. Other highlights of Hermes are the house's exceptional pieces that feature high craftsmanship, whether in terms of dials with diamond snow settings, grand feu enamelling or marquetry. The Arceau Pocket watch has a gold carriage motif inspired by the Promenade de Longchamp silk carre design by Philippe Ledoux, and is hand-engraved on a mother-of-pearl dial using the relief modelling technique. The timepiece is powered by the in-house H1928 movement with a 55-hour power reserve. Silk carre designs also serve as motifs for the enamelled dials of the Arceau H Dedale, inspired by a design by Sandry Queudrus, and the Cape Cod Puzzle, featuring a design by Joachim Metz. Both watches also are powered by the H1928. Two other unique pieces are the Arceau Skeleton, also powered by the H1928, and comes with a platinum case and features a grand feu enamelled open-worked white gold dial that reveals the bridges, and the Arceau Pocket Puzzle, featuring an enamel-coated guilloche gold dial, rhodiumed hands and a caseback with intricate marquetry work by master craftsman Jerome Bouttecon, depicting a silk carre design by Joachim Metz. The motif comprises 47 wooden parts featuring three types of wood: chestnut, walnut and maple. Marquetry poses a much bigger challenge to artisans than normal enamelling, as the colour of the material is very much dependent on what nature has to offer, Bouttecon says. 'It's really nature imposing itself on me. I have to stock many different types of wood, but essentially it is what nature can offer me and what I really need,' says the master craftsman, who has been practising his art for 25 years. Bouttecon travels the world seeking out different types of wood and has more than 120 different types stocked. The complication also comes in with the treating and cutting of the wood, which requires intricate instruments. The wood needs to be stored in the right humidity and left to rest for one month to allow it to settle into a stable condition and the cutting work takes about 17 days. 'You really need to reach perfection with this because it is immediately obvious when something is wrong. That's why it is different. It needs to be perfectly cut, assembled, matched and finished,' Bouttecon says. The Arceau Pocket Puzzle also houses the H1928 in its 48mm white gold casing and comes with a matt havana brown alligator cord strap.