Hermès Watchmaking - Part 2
11th May 2020
Hermès built its empire inspired by the equestrian world, first producing horse equipment, then travel accessories, moving on to scarves and finally offering any kind of fashion, home and jewellery products. The luxury lifestyle brand was founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès and quickly gained reputation for its high quality saddles and harnesses which lead the family firm to largely develop its business. Read the first part of the article here.
Following the huge success of the Kelly Bag, Hermès decides to develop the icon in a feminine and fashionable watch: the Kelly watch appears in 1975. The strap reminds of the bag’s closing system while the dial is confined in a steel case lock, powered by a Quartz movement.
Kelly Watch, Hermès
In 1993, the family firm launches a new disruptive timepiece for women: the Médor watch. Going through its archives, Hermès take inspiration of a simple dog collar to create a trendy secret watch. The pyramidal studs standing along the strap are called “Clous de Paris”, and the central bigger can open to unveil the dial.
Through the years, Médor has been available in various materials in steel, yellow or pink gold, with paved diamonds, accompanied with an alligator or calfskin, single or double, strap of any color. In 2016, Hermès produces two diamond pave watch versions. The first one presents three fully paved studs of baguette cut diamonds, while the second model features ten fully paved brilliant cut diamonds pyramids set all over the dog collar watch.
Médor Watch, Hermès.
Adding to its refine cocktail watch offer, the Faubourg model appears in 2014. The classic lines and lugs’ design recall the equestrian world. For a change, the round watch exists with a leather strap as well as with a thin metal bracelet. The following year, Faubourg Joaillerie is unveiled with its 652 paved diamonds, priced at 75k CHF.
Faubourg Full Pavé Watch, Hermès.
The latest new watch model of Hermès was introduced last year at SIHH 2019. Galop d’Hermès is the fruit of an interesting collaboration between the luxury brand and the Switzerland-based designer Ini Archibong.
Hermès involved an external artist to create a unisex signature watch, sticking to the brand’s heritage. Galop d’Hermès is inspired by the shape of a stirrup, translating movement and lightness.
Instead of sitting on the usual right side of the watch, the crown is nested below the dial, in between the lugs which creates a clean design and gives more perspective. This is emphasized by the increasing size of the calligraphic numbers on the dial, and by the curvy line of the case.
The watch exists in several gold colors, also with a paved bezel, and only with a leather strap. Prices start from 3’550 chf.
Galop d'Hermès Watch, Hermès
Hermès also creates artistic watches, taking major inspiration from the fauna. Leather and wood marquetry, glass mosaics, weaving, engravery, miniature painting, enamel painting, many savoir-faire are gathered to produce unique pieces.
Hermès Dial Crafts. Legends on pictures.
On a different note, Hermès watchmaking offer also includes the Apple watch, fruit of a successful collaboration between the two giant brands. It was back in 2015, that the electronic device shook up the market. This partnership combines a technology genius with a historical craftsman to produce an ultra-modern timepiece with a heritage touch.
The Hermès codes are the hand-stitched leather strap (available in double tour band), the logo on the dial and the distinctive hour indicators. Furthermore, the watch is sold in an orange box, iconic color of the French fashion brand.
Originally the Apple Watch Hermès was only sold in selected flagship stores of the brands and was not purchasable online. Today, both e-commerce websites present the product in a number of variations and straps can be bought separately.
Every year, Apple updates the device while Hermès offers new strap possibilities and patterns.
At the time, price was starting from $1’100 USD, however today, the Apple Watch Hermès isn't sold for less than $1’250 USD.