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Hermès

“La Montre Hermès” has adopted an epicurean philosophy that values the creation of sober, contemporary timepieces.

About

Thierry Hermès was born in 1801. The son of an innkeeper, he decided to become a saddler, setting up his workshop in Paris in 1837. The Firm quickly earned a reputation for its quality, and the owners of the finest horses came there for their harnesses and saddles.

His son, Charles-Emile, took over from him in 1859. He in turn was aided by his two sons. By that time, the saddler's had moved to 24 rue du Faubourg St Honoré in Paris – and earned itself an international clientele.

The family Firm developed its business using the name ‘Hermès Frères'. After a trip to the United States, where transport was booming, Emile-Maurice Hermès had the idea of designing luggage and travel accessories and developed new uses for the zip fastener. The latter was as yet unknown in Europe, and Hermès obtained exclusive rights to the device.

In 1912, Émile Hermès had his workshops produce a first wristwatch for his daughter Jacqueline, featuring Hermès' distinctive poetic, minimalist aesthetic appearance. However, it was not until 1928 that the Firm made a long-term move in the direction of watchmaking. It started out by presenting the ‘Ermeto' model, produced by the Swiss manufacture Movado and equipped with an in-house leather fitted case.

By that time, the Hermès brand had also moved into off-the-peg garments, leather goods and jewellery. Favoured by celebrities the world over, in the early 1970s Hermès opened stores on all continents.

On the strength of its successful watchmaking creations, in 1978 the Firm opened its ‘La Montre Hermès' subsidiary in Bienne, and in 2006 acquired a stake in the Vaucher manufacture. In 2006, it also opened a leather strap workshop in Brügg near Bienne.

The Firm is now celebrating a century of watchmaking and pursuing the development of its own watchmaking line, presenting a ladies' version of the Arceau model equipped with a moon's phase complication. The Firm offers affordable models as well as complicated timepieces that maintain Hermès' particular reserved and yet evocative style, with watches such as “Le temps suspendu”, which gives the wearer the illusion of being able to halt the course of time at their whim.

1801
Thierry Hermès born.
1912
First wristwatch made by Hermès.
1928
The firm embarks on watch production.
2006
The firm buys a stake in Vaucher Manufacture.
2012
Acquisition of Natéber SA and a stake in Joseph Erard SA.
Philosophy

“La Montre Hermès” has adopted an epicurean philosophy that values the creation of sober, contemporary timepieces.

The Firm, which still belongs to its founder's family, is continuing to cultivate its distinctive spirit of quality, enlisting the help of the best craftsmen and their attention to detail and finishes.

Whilst remaining faithful to its saddler origins, the Firm has successfully added noble watchmaking values to its fundamentals: good workmanship, precision and elegance. Simple, poetic and self-evident, La Montre Hermès is unfettered by fashion or time.

Collections

Arceau

The Arceau collection represents French elegance. Originally launched in 1978, it has endured well beyond its times. Featuring a round case, it is characterised by its dial with sloping numbers and upper clasp in the shape of a stirrup.

Cape Cod

The distinctive features of this square and rectangular collection are the horns integrated into the case and the lack of bezel, giving the timepieces a minimalist, contemporary style.

Clipper

Clipper is Hermès' sports collection. Its porthole-shaped bezel with six protruding rivets recalls the yachts of times gone by.

Dressage

Presented for the first time in 1993, it still represents the Hermès manufacture line.

Heure H

The Heure H collection is the Firm's most iconic. It comes gold-plated or in steel, and features an H-shaped case.

Kelly

Drawing its inspiration from the bag of the same name – paying tribute to Princess Grace of Monaco – Kelly is a locket watch.

Kelly 2

The Kelly 2 boasts a slim steel case housing a white dial and topped with four protruding inserts.

Watches

Everything you should know about Hermès Watches. Hermès Cape Cod, Hermès Arceau or Hermès Kelly?

Established by Thierry Hermès in Paris, France in 1837 as a harness-maker for European noblemen, Hermès is a luxury House that today specializes in leather goods, high fashion clothing, perfumes, accessories, home furnishings, jewellery and watches. Among its most famous accessories are silk scarves and ties, the Hermès Kelly and Birkin bags for ladies, and the long double tour fauve Barenia calfskin leather strap for watches. Hermès produced watches from the 1930s to the 1950s, notably cuff watches for ladies and men’s chronograph wrist watches in a gold or stainless steel case, in partnership with movement maker Universal of Geneva. In 1978, Hermès set up a subsidiary with production facilities for watches – La Montre Hermès – in Biel/Bienne Switzerland, a move that led the way to the impressive development of Hermès watches, remarkable in terms of both creativity and technical achievements. Hermès watches now comprise twelve different men’s and ladies’ collections with quartz and mechanical movements, including such well-known names as the Arceau, Cape Cod, Clipper, the Hermès Dressage, the Hermès Heure H, the Hermès Kelly watch and the award-winning Slim d’Hermès introduced in 2015. The Slim d’Hermès Quantième Perpetuel GM has been acclaimed by the watch industry, collectors, and press alike. Classic, elegant and playful, Hermès watches are also resolutely modern, having successfully partnered with Apple to create the Apple Watch Hermès, featuring handmade Single Tour and Double Tour leather straps and watch faces based on the iconic Cape Cod, Clipper and Espace Hermès watches. Headquartered in Paris, the Hermès flagship store on the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré continues to enchant visitors from all over the world with unparalleled products and window displays.

Celebrating over a quarter of a century with Hermès Cape Cod watches.

Launched in 1991 for ladies, inspired by the “Chaîne d’Ancre”, the anchor-chain motif of a Hermès bracelet, Hermès Cape Cod watches were instantly recognizable with the clean lines of a square inside a rectangle shaping the stainless steel case, attached with a leather single tour strap. The watch caught further world attention in 1998 when it sported a “Double Tour” strap that wrapped twice around the wrist during a Hermès fashion show in Paris. Enthusiastic press members wanted to buy one on the spot! In 2016, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Cape Cod watch, Hermès presented a diamond-set version, new dials of mother-of-pearl, white lacquer and five stone dials including onyx and lapis lazuli, and a colourful explosion of new interchangeable single and double tour straps in alligator, calfskin, or goatskin to complement the original fauve Barénia leather straps. A men’s model with a black Barénia calfskin leather cuff-style wristband was also introduced.

The stainless steel case sizes available today measure 23mm x 23mm, a tonneau-shaped 26.8mm x 24 mm, 29mm x 29mm and a men’s model: the 33mm x 33mm TGM (Très Grand Modèle) with coloured dials and bicoloured straps. The collection is equipped with quartz movements, with the exception of the Cape Cod TGM Manufacture Automatic and the Cape Cod GMT.

Celebrating the Equestrian Spirit with the Hermès Arceau.

Hermès Arceau watches are identifiable by their round case with asymmetrical stirrup-shaped attachments, striking in design as well as practical to accommodate Manufacture Hermès interchangeable straps. Equally recognizable are the angled Arabic numerals on the dial that are uniquely Hermès. Designed for men and ladies, Hermès Arceau watches range in size from 28mm, 32mm, and 36mm up to the “GM 38mm”, all equipped with quartz movements. You can buy the Grand Modèle 38mm quartz model with a steel case for $3,050. Larger men’s watches are equipped with Manufacture movements, such as the Arceau TGM 41mm in pink gold with gem-set case and dial. The Arceau Le Temps Suspendu TGM 43mm in stainless steel with opaline silvered dial, powered by a self-winding movement with suspended time module, is one of the watches from the “Hermès – Le temps de l’imaginaire” collection of complications that playfully suspend, hide, or anticipate time with the push of a button.

Celebrating Grace Kelly with the… Hermès Kelly watch.

In the beginning, there was the timeless beauty of Grace Kelly, whose bag from Hermès came to fame as the “Kelly bag”. In 1975, the detachable padlock clasp that secured the Kelly bag became a Hermès watch for ladies, to be worn attached to a Hermès leather strap or anything else. Measuring 20mm x 20mm, the Hermès Kelly watch is proposed today in different models with a yellow gold-plated or stainless steel case, matte white or opaline silvered dial, and single tour leather straps or double tour straps in gold, orange, black or natural Barénia calfskin leather. Each is equipped with a quartz movement. You can buy the steel model starting from $2,575.

The Hermès Arceau, Cape Cod and Kelly watches are fine examples of the brand’s parallel development where classic Hermès watches with Swiss quartz and Manufacture movements live happily alongside ultimate fashion icons.