Established in 1837 as a maker of fine saddles and harnesses, Hermès immediately gained a reputation for its luxurious leathers and quality craftsmanship. As times changed, Hermès kept pace. Hermès began designing luggage, trunks, gloves and car accessories.
Through the years, the company branched out into other areas. As wristwatches took the world by storm in the 1920s, Hermès carved out its own niche creating elegant watchstraps for the finest companies. In the 1970’s Jean-Louis Dumas-Hermès reorganized the company and established La Montre Hermès SA in Bienne.
Located in the heart of the traditional Swiss watchmaking area, it benefits from the wide-ranging expertise that has made this area famous. It’s unique Parisian creativity has given rise to a great many new, exciting models and ensured the company’s steady development over the years. Over the decades, Hermès has unveiled a variety of important watch collections, including Kelly, Cape Cod, Arceau, Clipper and Heure H signature watch line.
An “initial” design created in 1996 by Philippe Mouquet, an H-shaped case stating that it is both resolutely Hermès and that decisively Horological: the Heure H watch proudly bears its letter patent of nobility.
With the latest version of the Heure H watch the case remains the same, but now frames a revised dial that is subtly writing this new chapter in the history of the Heure H. The numerals have been redesigned in a highly readable, more graphic style, and are arranged facing the centre. In the jewellery versions, apart from at 12 o’clock, diamond hour-markers replace the hour numerals. The hands are now dagger shaped.
A simple tool supplied with the watch enables the wearer to easily change the straps that will be available. The traditional alligator and calfskin straps will be complemented by an entire line of Jacquard woven silk straps in the ﬁnest tradition of the fabric-making art, with a herringbone motif combining navy blue and black, etoupe and ebony, bright red and Hermès red, ecru and dark beige.
For the very ﬁrst time, a large-sized (32.2 mm x 32.2 mm) men’s model is available in a mechanical self-winding version. Its seconds hand and its date display at 6 o’clock immediately set it apart from the quartz models. This more distinctively horological version plays with the H-our aesthetic codes, featuring the base of the seconds hand reﬂecting the shape of the case lug that forms the base of the letter H.
Created in homage to the celebrated handbag of the same name, whose buckle design has been reinterpreted. Whimsical and refined, it has been unaffected by fashion trends for over thirty years, dressed in gold, in steel and with the most elegant leathers.
Cape Cod, the elegant seaside resort on the east coast of the United States, is also the name of a line of Hermès watches expressing a style based on “elegance in movement”.
This case, more cambered today, has given rise to the Cape Cod tonneau, which revives the curvaceous design of the original link. Another signature feature of the collection is the double tour strap; an iconic design which has reinforced its figurative ties with the line since 1998.
In 1978, Henri d’Originy imagined the Arceau model, a timeless and classically elegant watch inspired by saddler: a stirrup detail. The original asymmetrical shape of its lugs, the elegant shape of its numerals and its equestrian references: both its design and its connotations have combined to make the Arceau an iconic Hermès watch.
Ever since, through successive evolutions and variations, the model has been constantly renewed while remaining loyal to its original spirit. The new Arceau Chrono Colors in their white and navy blue versions feature matching dials and straps that thus extend and enrich the collection. On both these models, the saddle stitching and soft, smooth feel of the Evercalf indigo blue and Epsom white calfskin straps testify to the House tradition of excellence in leather craftsmanship. The three counters and date are harmoniously arranged on the dial framed by a 43 mm-diameter steel case. The chronograph hands and the small seconds at 3 o’clock discreetly display the signature Hermès shade of orange.
This year, the legendary Clipper has adopted a 44mm case in titanium, undoubtedly an allusion to the world of sailing where this material is highly prized for its high performance and lightness. The reference to the famous three-master that has given its name to this collection is even more striking. Inside the case, an automatic chronograph movement, a marvel of reliability and precision, gives rhythm to time and, for an instant, suspends its flight. Offered in a variety of sizes, the range has not lost any of its original elegance. Nor any of its allure, which evokes the famous sailboat’s porthole.