There are two things that you should know about Hermès : The French fashion house is the source of outstanding goods for the very, very, very rich, but, despite its status as a luxury hub, the qualities of easiness, cleverness, and even playfulness are embedded in its DNA.
You can say that, aside from an excellence in the way it makes things, there is also a great deal of attention placed on emotion.
This applies to everything Hermès creates, from a skateboard decorated with a pattern of a color-rich scarf to a necktie whose reverse holds a surprise, a fly swatter made out of leftover leather to this year's novelties or new (or updated) timepieces, which we've had the pleasure of examining up close.
Here's what we discovered:
1| The Cape Cod GM is For Women—and Men
IMAGE: Hermès The single- and double-tour GM Cape Cods are designed for women (smaller, more precious), but that's not to say that men can't wear them.
You make your own rules in Hermès. You can paint a big bird on the smooth face of your Kelly and the house won't bat an eyelash because the bag is yours. With this in mind, these Cape Cods look natural on a man's wrist in the larger size and with a bracelet of etoupe, a medium brown.
And because the band wraps twice around the wrist, the watch looks like a very cool leather bracelet. Google the photo of Ashton Kutcher wearing a double tour Cape Cod for proof.
IMAGE: Hermès One more good thing: The Cape Cod is also now available with a Milanese band (a mesh bracelet that looks like knitted metal) paired with a face in a mirror-like finish.
2| The Carre H is a Tactile Experience
IMAGE: Hermès We've detailed the Carre H previously here , so we'll touch on the things we observed from seeing (and wearing) the square watch. The tactile quality of the case and face, which is achieved through variances in colors, textures, and levels, is even more striking in person. In fact, the smallest movement of the wrist makes all these details come alive.
IMAGE: Hermès The numbers are raised, as in not flat, on the face. The holes on the band are square-shaped to achieve harmony with the case. And, at back, the circular transparent window (a call back to the circles of the face) reveals the watch's heart.
3| The Medor Rock is a Baby Jewel Box
IMAGE: Hermès The pyramid-shaped potrusions, inspired by the studs on hunting dog collars, first appeared on belts in the 1930s. We think they look like little horns and feel very rock 'n' roll, like studs on a leather jacket—but luxe. Which really is the point of the design, a rebellious spirit.
IMAGE: Hermès These new ones however lean more elegant. In a mirror polish or a lacquer finish and set with a cross (or X-shapod) design, the studs mimic the cabochon shape of jewels. On the wrist, it looks like a miniature jewel box, especially when you pop the cover open to reveal the secret time.
IMAGE: Hermès The other news is the triple-tour band. The double-tour band first appeared in 1998, when Martin Margiela was creative director, and needless to say, the style was a hit. With another loop around the wrist, another length of delicious leather, the triple looks to duplicate (or triplicate?) its success. This is a gift for your lady.
4| The Arceau Chrono Titane is a Ride
IMAGE: Hermès Can we say that this 1978 model is our favorite? Round watches are classic. This one is special because of the stirrup-shaped lug (just one at the top) and the cursive font.
The new version, with a beadblasted titanium case, adds a chronograph function, lending the whole thing a laidback feel.
IMAGE: Hermès What we also like is the is the way the numbers bend or tilt as if they are being blown by the wind. Maybe you will be riding your horse while wearing this one.