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Hermès: extreme craftsmanship with a new interpretation of the Pendentif Boule

Applying the enamel
Hermès‘ new interpretation of its Pendentif Boule is quite an unusual one: it appeals to cloisonné enameling, a very unique skill that is rendered all the more complex here with the rounded nature of the back of the watch, on which the enameller creates a unique motif for the Maison.
Everything begins with a white gold half-sphere, on which the artisan marks off the central point of the motif using a compass. The initially geometrical operation then becomes unmistakably artistic with the putting in place of white gold cloisons or partitions, a change from the yellow gold generally used in cloisonné enameling.
With infinite patience, the
artisan positions the partitions
that will house the various
shades of enamel. Starting from
the centre, he gently bends
the slim gold ribbons that he
individually shapes by hand
until they mould the curve
of the sphere. He then draws
the slimmest petals, before
sketching out the lower rows,
whose tapering, staggered arrangement will enliven the surface with an elegant visual dynamic.
The entire
art of the enameller lies in the perfect adjustment of each partition and of the
surface of the dome. Without this meticulous fitting and joining process, the
enamels – once molten in the kiln – would seep out of their golden compartments.
Putting in place the partitions
Then comes the time for colour.
Using his brush, the artisan
applies the finely crushed enamel
powder to these white gold-hemmed petals. Whether shades
of blue or red, or juxtaposed
bright Harlequin hues, the
various nuances will reveal their
radiance after numerous firings at
a temperature of 800°C.
Dangling gracefully from a white gold chain, the Pendentif Boule whirls and
twirls, presenting its two faces as desired: a multi-coloured corolla motif on the
back, or white mother-of-pearl on the dial side where the time ticks by with
exquisite delicacy.