We saw glimpses of them at BaselWorld 2015, and now the cat is officially out of the bag. Hermès has just unleashed its new slim d’Hermès collection in the region, consisting of watches that were created out of a desire to focus on essentials and aesthetic purity.
Hermès isn’t new to the watch market, on the contrary, the brand has offered mechanical watches as part of its overall portfolio for decades. In fact, in the mid 1930s, the company actually contracted watchmaker Universal Genève as its first, and exclusive, designer of timepieces. The partnership resulted in men’s chronographs and art deco cuff watches for women.
In contrast to that approach, the new slim d’Hermès collection consists of watches that are produced almost completely in-house. The overall aesthetics and design are the handy-work of Philippe Delholtal, Creative Director of La Montre Hermès, and with this collection, Hermès is hoping to give buyers a watch that can be worn on a day-to-day basis.
Two models are being introduced initially, the slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar, which is the flagship of the family, as well as a time-only model called the slim d’Hermès 39.5mm. Both timepieces measure 39.5mm in diametre, and while the Perpetual Calendar is only offered with a rose-gold case, the time-only model can be had in either steel or rose-gold. Both watches ooze elegance.
For the design of the movement, the brand turned to Vaucher Manufacture, a company that is partially owned by Hermès. The automatic, ultra-thin H1950 calibre measures 30mm in diametre, and is just 2.6mm thick. The power reserve, when fully wound by the ultra-thin micro-rotor, is rated at 42-hours.
For the Perpetual Calendar, Hermès opted for a modular approach. So, while the base movement is the same H1950 calibre, the perpetual calendar complication is provided via a module from Agenhor. This isn’t the first time Hermès has collaborated with Agenhor however, the companies first worked together to bring the Le Temps Suspendu Watch to fruition.
For this new project, Agenhor developed a high-end perpetual calendar module exclusively for Hermès. It measures just 1.4mm thick, which means the H1950 base and calendar module work out to just 4mm thick. This is incredibly thin considering it is a modular movement and the complication is, well, quite complicated to engineer. What this ultimately means is that the slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar, though slightly thicker than the time-only piece, is still a very svelte timepiece.
Both watches feature opaline silvered dials, and sapphire crystal casebacks, so you can actually see the movement when you want to. From the pictures we received, it looks as though the calibre is quite well finished overall, and there’s even a special Hermès decoration, H symbols, sprinkled onto the bridges and micro-rotor.
The watches are scheduled to arrive in Middle East stores in the coming months. The perpetual calendar is expected to carry a price of approximately US $39,000, whereas the steel slim d’Hermès 39.5mm in steel should come in at approximately US $7,700.
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