Hermès Kelly Watch

Hermès Just Revamped Its Iconic Kelly Watch for the First Time

This refresh has been nearly 50 years in the making and offers an even more playful take on the Kelly collection with its removable padlock case that provides endless styling possibilities.

By Cait Bazemore

The Kelly collection from Hermès is one of the most iconic in the brand’s catalog.

The original 1975 Kelly watch is notable for its padlock design, reminiscent of the signature clasp of the bag that started the collection. However, instead of incorporating the lock into a clasping mechanism, on the Kelly watch, the padlock (which hangs playfully from the strap) serves as the case, with a time-only (hours and minutes) display on its small dial.

The first Kelly timepieces featured a single or double tour strap made with the finest Hermès leather, which mimicked the handbag’s side straps. For years, its design remained largely unchanged, but then, Philippe Delhotal, Hermès Horloger’s current Creative Director, decided to revisit the Kelly line.

The Refresh

The latest incarnation of the Kelly watch marks the first major overhaul of the collection since its inception nearly 50 years ago. And while the new Kelly models were announced at Watches & Wonders 2022 in Geneva, it is only now, over a year later, that the long-awaited collection is finally available.

The revamped Kelly watch retains the trademark padlock case as the focal point of the timepiece. However, it swaps Hermès’ emblematic leather strap for a metal bracelet with links designed to echo the hardware of the bag that inspired it all.

With this new generation of Kelly watches, we also get five iterations that offer different combinations of metals, dial materials, and gem setting, meaning there are stylistic options to suit almost any preference.

The Options

First, the new Kelly collection has two metal options: a sporty-looking stainless steel or an elegant rose gold. Then, there are several gem-setting arrangements, ranging from no gems to the full disco ball treatment, from which to choose, depending on the amount of sparkle you desire.

If you’re looking for a fancier statement piece, opt for one of the two rose gold variations. The first is a fully blinged-out model set with 179 diamonds on the so-called bezel of the padlock case and a whopping 1,161 diamonds on the all-new metal bracelet.

The second rose gold version offers a slightly simpler yet equally gorgeous design with just 43 diamonds framing the case and 221 diamonds on the top section of the bracelet where the padlock case attaches. Both rose gold models feature a natural white mother-of-pearl dial with a single diamond set at the 12 o’clock hour marker.

For a more understated look that is perfect for everyday wear, there are also three stainless steel iterations. The most basic version showcases no gem setting on the case or bracelet, just a classic stainless steel construction.

The next variation offers only a subtle touch of sparkle on the watch case, which is set with 24 diamonds.

Lastly, you have a stainless steel version similar to the simpler rose gold model with 43 diamonds on the case and 221 diamonds on the top section of the bracelet where the padlock case attaches.

The stainless steel Kelly watches also have two dial options: a natural white mother-of-pearl dial with a single diamond at the 12 o’clock hour marker or a spangled white lacquer dial with or without the diamond hour marker.

The Endless Style

Each Kelly timepiece is a simple, time-only watch powered by a Swiss-made quartz movement. However, there’s one other exciting new feature of the reimagined Kelly line: The lock of the padlock case is functional, which means that the watch can be removed from the metal bracelet and worn in endless ways.

First, there are a couple of different options using the metal bracelet. Here, the padlock can be left to dangle and move freely. Or, it can be locked into place with a simple click.

Next, to get your creativity flowing, each model comes with a clochette secured to a leather cordlet that transforms the wristwatch into a sautoir necklace. The rose gold models come with either a matte black alligator or black box calf clochette. Meanwhile, the stainless steel models are accompanied by only the black box calf clochette.

Each of the five new Hermès Kelly watches are finally available. The models start at $6,350 for the most basic stainless steel variation with no gem setting. The next stainless steel option with a gem-set bezel is priced at $8,540, while the stainless steel iteration with diamonds on the case and bracelet will set you back $22,700.

Alternatively, the rose gold models start at $59,170 for the simpler model and go up to $124,990 for the variation with the fully blinged out case and bracelet.

For more information, visit the Hermès website.

(Photography by Pierre Vogel)

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