Hermès has been making watches for a very long time, long before everyone else, remaining true to its strategy to relocate to those areas harbouring a thriving concentration of watchmaking skills. Hermès understood early on that its legitimacy as a Swiss watchmaker could be quickly established by adding a French touch that would set it apart from its peers. Assertively, with humour, style and class, in 2017 it unveils the full extent of its capabilities. With even greater legitimacy, it proudly presents its watchmaking offering, at once playful and distinctive, but always of top quality.
Characterful timepieces with a sense of humour
Humour is once again omnipresent. After the Arceau l'Heure Suspendue and the Dressage Time Veiled, we now have the Slim d’Hermès Impatient Hour. The mechanical hourglass was developed in collaboration with Agenhor and the world-class Jean-Marc Widerrecht, the prince of micromechanical poetry.
Thus, a new complication has been invented in 2017 to convey the brand's distinctive approach to time. Time is an ally for Hermès. It takes time for a skill to be mastered. For more than 10 years, since it acquired a stake in the Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, Hermès has turned the industrial science and artistic refinement of watch movements into an art form, and brings to bear an expertise culled from its other spheres of competence. Its knowledge has been shaped, finely honed and perfected in the process of time. Hermès does not engage upon the fanatical quest for chronometric performance, of which it nonetheless remains a proud symbol, but lingers more readily upon the poetry of passing time.
A unique watchmaking philosophy
With the Impatient Hour, the global luxury house invites us to dare to suspend time. It focuses not on the stress inherent in the time that eludes and evades us by passing too quickly, but instead highlights the mounting tension of life's special key moments, the moments we look forward to impatiently, longingly; the moments that excite the senses and the imagination. The frisson of expectation. All this can be found in the impatient hour as it proceeds in its emotional crescendo towards the anticipated, awaited, appointed hour.
The retrograde hour hand is wound via the crown positioned at 9 o'clock. The time is set for a tryst with a loved one, a journey, or to mark the end of meditation. Whatever the occasion, it's a happy one. We may follow the hand's progress as it starts its countdown towards the upcoming event in a delicately grained counter with tiny indices numbered in the brand's distinctive style, and ends on a single playful note. When the 1.6 second gong sounds the culmination of the wait, our impatience is rewarded, our joy is released. It's simple, it's fun, it's exquisite. It's the spirit of Hermès.
The three complications are now united within a presentation box produced in a limited edition of just 5 pieces for collectors and watchmaking history and poetry lovers.
Surprises at every corner
Another splendid surprise courtesy of La Montre Hermès is a limited edition of 100 pieces of the Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar cloaked in a sumptuously elegant blue. Lovers of fine, yet functional complications will rejoice: hours, minutes, date, month, leap year, moon phases, second time zone and day-night indicator. All are housed within a platinum watchcase, which sells for CHF 38,000.-. One thing's for certain, stocks will most likely run out fast! Once again, this will not disappoint discerning collectors on the lookout for rarity, beauty and Swiss watchmaking excellence all rolled into one.
Hermès also proposes other new additions to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Cape Cod, including the Cape Code Shadow, encased in ultra-modern, contemporary, sleek matt black, which is selling for CHF 3,750.-. Other models fitted with a Workshop-crafted quartz movement complete the collection, with a mini Nantucket to round off the Hermès quartz offering. And last, but not least, Hermès unveils another playful work of old craftsmanship by adopting a familiar motif of its famous silk squares, another of the Maison's legendary icons: the Slim d'Hermès ‘Grrrrr!', displaying the delicate technique of miniature enamel painting in the form of a scary, child-like depiction of a grizzly bear.
All in all, it has been a most excellent Baselworld vintage for La Montre Hermès. An event resplendent with smiling faces, extreme added value and whimsical fancy. Swiss excellence displayed in the inimitable style of Hermès, with a sprinkling of the unabashed luxury that is now internationally equated with good taste. An invitation to have fun, amuse ourselves, enjoy the time that is bestowed upon us… Joyfully, frivolously.