Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente Unique Piece For Only Watch 2017: Well Worth The Wait
Since its launch in 2005, Only Watch has been one of the most – if not the most – significant auctions in the watch world. A biennial charity auction founded by Luc Pettavino, Only Watch is organized by the Monegasque Association Against Muscular Dystrophy (MAAMD) under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Brands donate unique timepieces to be auctioned; the proceeds are used completely to help finance research against Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a debilitating and life-threatening genetic disorder that affects around one in 3,500 boys, including Pettavino’s own son, who died of the disease in November 2016.
La Montre Hermès is one of the 50 watch brands taking part in this year’s edition of Only Watch by Christie’s, which will be held in Geneva on November 11, 2017. And, as connoisseurs of the brand may have expected, it is a stunning derivate of one of this year’s horological highlights, the Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente.
A match made in heaven
What happens when one of this era’s genius watchmakers meets an ambitious high-end brand with a deep passion for the playful and unusual? They join forces to truly surprise us with a horological masterpiece offering a completely new feature that not only has you looking (or hearing) twice, but also touches your heart.
We’re talking of course about the brilliant Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and his family-owned complication-specialized Agenhor teaming up with the house of Hermès; a partnership that has established a unique reputation for going off the beaten path over the course of the last seven years. Their teamwork has blazed a trail for unprecedented creative complications full of character that offer new and playful takes on time, beginning with the Arceau Temps Suspendu in 2010.
This deeply charming timepiece brought to life by Agenhor and the Hermès team under the aegis of creative director Philippe Delhotal literally “suspends” time. With the push of a button, the hour and minute hands dash to 12 o’clock and the retrograde date hand hides. All remain “frozen” in their positions until the button is pressed again – at which point the hands fly back to their correct positions to indicate the exact time as the movement itself has not stopped running when the time suspends.
This highly creative and very philosophical approach toward timekeeping earned Hermès fame in the world of horology, culminating in an award in the Men’s watch category at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2011.
The story continued at Baselworld 2014 with the introduction of the Dressage L’Heure Masquée, a truly amazing GMT model.
Instead of “freezing” the time completely like Le Temps Suspendu, it simply – pardon the lack of a better descriptive since the underlying mechanism is anything but simple – hides the hour hand and the second time zone on demand, as its name – “hour in disguise” – suggests.
However, the minute hand remains untouched in this light-hearted complication, creating the wonderful illusion that it could be any hour of the day, thereby somewhat slowing down the hectic pace of our daily routine.
Eagerly anticipated, Hermès surprised watch lovers again at the 2017 edition of Baselworld with a timepiece that offers an unexpected yet very playful interpretation of time: L’Heure Impatiente is clad in the sophisticated dress code of the Slim d’Hermès line, which displays the time with the style-forming typeface by award-winning designer Philippe Apeloig that has been met with great response by experts.
This unconventional watch expresses the type of impatience that most of us have known so well since our childhoods as it counts down an event that is a maximum of 12 hours away. This could be Christmas morning, a birthday party, or the delivery of your preordered Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente.
The subdial located at 4 o’clock “patiently” counts down the first eleven hours. In order to increase suspense even more, the final 60 minutes are displayed by a retrograde hand on a separate arc at 7 o’clock. At the end of the final hour, the grande finale is acoustically accompanied by one single cheerful gong. The wait is finally over!
This innovative countdown complication was made possible by Agenhor’s “impatient hourglass” module, found on Hermès’s manufacture Caliber H1912. A mere 2.2 mm in height, this powerhouse module comprising 131 components gathers enough energy in only 12 hours to emit a sonorous single chime.
While the collection Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente model is made of pink gold, the special edition for Only Watch comes in a case made of grade 2 titanium, lending it a decisively contemporary and, one might even say, sporty look. But it is also an alloy that improves sound transmission.
This light and scratch-resistant material frames a smooth, dark, opaline silvered dial displaying a variety of textures and Apeloig’s signature Arabic numerals in charcoal gray – though one of these, the “12,” stands out in a bright yellow, a hue repeated on the inseams of the graphite-colored alligator-skin strap.
Highlighting the auction’s serious topic, this color scheme recalls that of the Only Watch charity’s logo.
Quick Facts Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente Unique Piece Only Watch 2017
Case: 40.5 x 10.67 mm, grade 2 titanium
Movement: automatic manufacture Caliber H1912 with “impatient hour” module, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency; power reserve 50 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, impatient hour function (60-minute countdown with single chime)
Limitation: one unique piece
Estimate: €32,000 – €50,000 / $36,000 – $57,000 / 35,000 – 55,000 Swiss francs
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