Focus on Slim d’Hermès (39,5mm)
It is so rare to bring a new, original, and current design to a classic model. But Hermès succeeded. How? Firstly, by finding great proportions for the shape of the case: the two men’s watches we examine in this report are 39.5 mm in diameter, which is the perfect classic size for most male wrists.
The case band boasts the same basic shape: like a modern classic watch but slightly inclined, and at the end it is shaped like a vase starting from the bottom and opening at the top – giving the impression of as much space as possible to the dial and the sapphire crystal.
The bezel is proportionately thin considering the size of the dial. This choice structures the look of the watch as seen from above without taking too much space from the dial. The fact that it also presents quite a strong angle amplifies the personality of the watch.
But the real touch of taste comes in the lugs. Supremely subtle, they are perfectly balanced arches that emerge from the case to end with a little spur jutting back toward the strap. This is the fundamental detail that makes the lugs of the Slim d’Hermès fantastically modern, reinforcing its thinness and underscoring the connection between the case and the leather strap made in house.
Modernly inclined aesthetes noticed these details at first glance at Baselworld 2015 when the collection was launched. And some pundits, including us, elected it as one of the most interesting and important watches of the fair. It is indeed important, as classic watches have become a priority for brands because of consumer demand for this kind of simple and pure watch.
Knowing how hard it is to be innovative and different in this field, please have a look at our reports on current classic icons to know more about it; we really take our hats off to Hermès.
The case is not the only strong visual feature of the new Slim d’Hermès. The dial is a masterpiece, too. Indeed, the approach was different as Hermès worked with French graphic designer Philippe Appeloig to create a new font. Appeloig wanted to work with fundamentals; a composer only has 7 notes to create a symphony, he says. He focused on finding balances, pure geometrical shapes, and breaking some lines to provide more space and rhythm. The result is incredibly strong and new. We think that Hermès succeeded in creating its own reference in classic watchmaking by inventing timeless codes for the new case and the dial.
The second very important feature of these two new Slim d’Hermès models for men is that they integrate a very thin mechanical movement with a height of 2.6 mm. In addition to the fact that it is manufactured in Switzerland by Vaucher, a company partially belonging to Hermès, it has a micro rotor winding system. Micro rotors are challenging to conceive and make reliable because of their kinetic properties. And they make the Slim d’Hermès even more unique as this kind of movement is relatively rare. Naturally, Hermès applied a distinctive feature to it by engraving the part of the back with its famous half H.
The third and last argument in favor of the new Slim d’Hermès is its price. The steel version retails for 6,400 Swiss francs (taxes included), while the rose gold version is 15,300. This aggressively fair pricing has one advantage that is not a detail: it makes exclusivity and good taste more accessible. And this matters, as watches are not produced only to be admired, but also to be worn.