Quill & Pad speaks with Guillaume de Seynes, member of the Hermès family and now managing director in charge of manufacturing and equity investments, to understand the brand’s corporate philosophies and history in watches a little better. De Seynes, previously in charge of the timepiece division, was the force behind supplier acquisitions such as the group’s stake in movement maker Vaucher.
SalonQP isn’t simply a watch exhibition: it’s a watch exhibition inside an art gallery (the Saatchi Gallery), a setting that both the defines and enriches the brands and watches on display. And Hermès, very cleverly and very creatively, especially attracted visitors’ attention at SalonQP.
Hermès, whose 177-year-old roots are in saddles and harnesses, has “grown up” to become a multifaceted luxury brand whose oeuvre today includes leather goods, fragrances, serious watches . . . and now the new Nautilus pen collection, which was designed by Marc Newson in conjunction with Pierre-Alexis Dumas.
Contendors in the Artistic Crafts category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève are: Chanel’s Coromandel Twin Volute Enchantée, Precious Watch Attrape-Moi… Si Tu M’aimes by Chaumet, Greubel Forsey’s Art Piece 1, Arceau Millefiori by Hermès, Jaquet Droz’s Petite Heure Minute Relief Saisons and Hisui by Kari Voutilainen. Which of these exceptional works of art would you choose in this category if you were on the jury?
According to the GPHG’s rules, these are watches demonstrating exceptional mastery of the art of jewelry and gemsetting, which is also distinguished by the choice of stones. The contendors are: Bulgari’s Diva High Jewellery Emeralds, Lion Mosaique by Chanel, Green Carpet Collection Watch by Chopard, Graff’s Multi-Colored Butterfly watch, the Ultimate Emerald Signature by Harry Winston and Arceau Temari by Hermès.
I find intense joy and satisfaction in attempting to construct objects, images, or spaces based on science, mystery, and beauty and find that the color, design, materials, and inner workings of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Hermès Atmos Clock are a perfect marriage of all three.
Early American historian and Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich titled her 2008 book ‘Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History.’ Ulrich would probably be very interested to know about three famous Swiss and French brands whose very first wristwatches were made for – and in a way by – women. Their watches have made history.
The Hermès Arceau Millefiori introduced at Baselworld 2014 represents a few hundred years of expertise that comes from a little-known location in the Alsace-Lorraine region in the northeast of France called Pays de Bitche, home to the country’s finest crystal makers including Cristalleries de Saint-Louis.
Hermès’ introduced two exceptional timepieces at Baselworld 2014: a playfully complicated watch called Dressage L’heure masquée and Arceau Millefiori, which features an artisanal crystal dial made by Cristalleries Royales de Saint-Louis, an Hermès manufactory in Alsace, France.