The first thought of Hermès always invokes fine leather, faultless craftsmanship and years of history and their newest edition of Slim d’Hermès lives up to all those expectations and more.
While the idea of a heritage leather label making watches seemed distraught at first, the past few years have deemed the absolute opposite. What sets them apart from their peers is their immaculate attention to detail and masterful craftsmanship. The house has created a niche by crafting pieces that not only look beautiful but also tick with the power of their own in-house movements which is no small feat.
The Slim d’Hermès first surfaced in 2015 and has only grown from then on with a variety of dials, materials and many many artful editions. What first struck the eye was its slimness which sits on a cool 2.6mm, but once you go past that it’s everything else that catches you—the look being the key. The series has a unique font for its numerals developed by font specialist Philippe Apeloig and when those aren’t in play, the dials are dressed with artworks that Take you back to the label’s heritage.
The Slim d’Hermès C’est la fête is this year’s edition which features the iconic C’est la fête scarf to life. Originally made by Japanese designer-illustrator Daiske Nomura in 2012 for a men’s scarf, this edition takes from his whimsical design and converts it into a paillonné enamel and engraving composition harbouring the dexterity of the artwork. The paillonné enamelling technique consists in inserting gold or silver leaf paillons (spangles) between the layers of enamel to create a variety of light, transparency and relief effects. Made in white gold, this delicate operation highlights the contours of the motifs on a hand-enamelled and polished surface.
This is then further enhanced by using a very fine brush to adorn it with various coloured glass powders mixed with natural oils. Several coats later it is successively dried and fired in the kiln to fix the pigments and paillons in place. The rightfully chosen technique brings out the true nature of the skeletal horseman which are meticulously welded by the engraver, carving out the depth of the figures and allowing the perfect play of light and shadow to make the artwork shine through.
Limited to only eight pieces, this watch is powered by the ultra-thin Manufacture Hermès H1950 self-winding movement with a power reserve of 42 hours and a 3 bar water resistance. The watch comes in a comfortable 39.5mm with a matt abyss blue alligator strap. Also the watch is as beautiful inside as it is out, the whole self-winding mechanical movement is sprinkled with ‘H’ all over, indomitably making the timepiece marked with the brand’s signature.
It’s almost fitting that Hermès watches are more than what meets the eye, the house has always stood for creating objects, and time to them, as they describe it is yet another dimension to explore, opening interludes for spontaneity and arouse emotions that lead to looking that things in a playful manner.
All images by David Marchon