French brand celebrates its 175th year in business and its 100th year in watchmaking:
Hermès’ story is rich with tradition and heritage that the brand continues to perpetuate into the 21st century. Regularly unveiling creative masterpieces that delight us in their ability to tell time differently (such as the Time Suspended watch), Hermès is also a master at tying its newest watches to its rich past as a leather goods and equestrian brand. This year, the brand combines all of its visionary expertise and long heritage together in an all new movement - released in a great new line.
The movement, H1837, is an automatic calibre that was developed by Vaucher Movement Manufacture (of which Hermès is a 25 percent owner) for Hermès. The beautiful 193-part movement with 28 jewels features an oscillating weight adorned with the special Hermès H logo decoration. Beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, the calibre offers 50 hours of power reserve and features double barrels.
“It is the beginning of a new venture for us, as we can now move forward with adding small complications on to this movement,” says Luc Perramond, CEO of Montres Hermès. “After 100 years of Hermès watchmaking, we are taking a big step this year.”
To house the stunning new calibre, Hermès elected the Dressage case in a totally modernized rendition. The Dressage was first created by Henri d’ Origny and was updated in 2003. Now, the new versions retain much of the DNA of the series, but with a modern twist. The watches are elegantly curved and feature a tonneau shaped case with an inner round dial for a harmonious design appeal. Its curved and extended lugs are an important part for the overall look of the watch. It is offered in either a Simple Calendar version, or a Small Second model - both with a choice of dial colours, and available in stainless steel or rose gold.
The brand also unveils a high-end straw dialed watch that is a true collector’s piece. Herein, the brand utilizes the centuries-old technique of straw marquetry to create stunning dials with the H logo intertwined “This is the beginning of a new family that underscores our watchmaking expertise,” says Perramond, who adds that the watch was five years in the making. “We are Hermès, after all. Everything we create has to be the best; it has our label on it.”
There are ten new models in the Dressage collection, including a special Limited Edition piece in rose gold with a matte graphite dial - made in 175 pieces for the brand’s anniversary. While the steel watches are offered with a steel bracelet, all of the timepieces are naturally offered with an in-house made Hermès quality leather strap. Hermès is the only watch brand that has a factory dedicated to making straps and can create stunning straps from start to finish. In further celebration of its two anniversaries, the brand has created a special homage museum to Emile Hermès who was a great collector of leather goods, travel-related and other articles, that the brand hopes will bring inspiration to designers globally.
First Published in Men's Passion Issue #40 May 2012