La Montre Hermès announced its brand-new core collection called Slim d’Hermès at Baselworld 2015, which was an instant hit with critics and collectors alike. At the very same time this creative company co-announced a limited edition of 12 pieces decorated using a special artistic technique found in Japan. Called Koma Kurabe, the edition honors Kamo Kurabe Uma, a famous Japanese horse race. A talented Japanese artisan graces the elegant new timepieces with porcelain dials that reproduce scenes of the horse race that still takes place once a year in the spring when the picturesque cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Yup, I would wear a women’s watch. The Arceau Temari is Hermès’ incredible take on embroidered Japanese temari balls combined with hard stone marquetry and diamond snow setting. The result, clearly, is a mesmerizing visual feast!
When I entered the office of Laurent Dordet, the new CEO of La Montre Hermès, I was singularly impressed by the down-to-earth attitude of a man who has worked within Hermès structure for two decades – his most recent position had been in leather, Hermès’ stock-in-trade. Dordet seems genuinely happy to be active in this new field, which he had taken over just weeks before Baselworld 2015 started. My impression was that he was also perhaps a tad surprised by what he’s found there.
Philippe Delhotal, creative director of La Montre Hermès, looked a bit apprehensive as he pulled out his new line to show me. He hadn’t had much feedback from anyone outside La Montre Hermès yet, and he was probably more than curious to know what others would think. Still, he needn’t have worried. The Slim d’Hermès is . . . well, really so Hermès; the perfect synthesis of the things that Hermès does so well. Which means that it is by no means ordinary and beyond perfect in every detail while remaining eminently wearable.
Almost as whimsical as the Hermès Arceau Le Temps Suspendu (“Suspended Time”), which won the prize for best men’s watch at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2011, the Dressage L’Heure Masquée “veils” time instead of hiding it like Le Temps Suspendu. An interesting GMT module plays temporal hide-and-seek as the wearer dictates by pushing the button integrated into the crown.
You may be familiar with the old Christmas diddy “The Twelve Days Of Christmas.” Let me sing you the final verse of this song, including what my true love gave to me on the twelfth and final day, in horological terms…
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.
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.