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Object of Desire: Galop d’Hermès

By Nancy Hass

Adam Kremer

Four years ago, soon after the 35-year-old Los Angeles-born-and-raised designer Ini Archibong finished design school in Lausanne, Switzerland, Philippe Delhotal, the creative director of Hermès Horloger, the Paris-based company’s watch division, saw the young designer’s furniture and lighting portfolio and asked if he wanted to try something new. It was a good fit for the 182-year-old firm’s sleek equestrian roots: Archibong, who practices in Neuchâtel, Swizerland, has recently gained recognition for his sophisticated aesthetic, including a collection last year for the London furniture maker Sé featuring graceful blown-glass light fixtures, sculptural upholstered chairs and round-based tables. Now, he has created Galop d’Hermès, a range of women’s timepieces. Inspired by Archibong’s visit to the company’s private archive outside Paris, their arched cases suggest a stirrup, with numerals that grow and shrink as they circle the dial. Some versions have an edge embedded with tiny diamond baguettes — though even embellished, this watch remains as streamlined as a thoroughbred. $9,500, hermes.com.