Hermès New Enamel Models At Baselworld 2016
Enamel is a key word this year for Hermès as the brand used this noble material to create traditional white dials as well as crafted ones. The Slim line launched last year and that got a lot of attention because of its modern classicism comes this year in a limited edition of 100 pieces with a dial made out of white enamel. This dial is produced according to the traditional technique of grand feu enamel. The process lasts longer than for modern dials and asks more operations but the result is a warm looking surface that can last for ever as enamel is basically silicate dust that is heated at more than 800C° to become glass.
The ornamental and richly unique watches from Hermès this year pay also tribute to the enamel techniques. It starts with a new one adapted to watchmaking by the specialist Olivier Vaucher and called shaded enamel. Inspired by the process of the litophania used with ceramic in order to create motives using light going throughout the material, the shaded enamel also plays with a system of reflection. But here the light goes throughout a layer of grey enamel that is added above the engraved motive. The variations of tons come from the thickness of the enamel between the surface and the engraving below. That is why the engraving must be conceived in a total different way than usual. For Philippe Delhotal, Artistic director of la Montre Hermès, it is the first time this technique is adapted for watches.
The “Ballad of Plato” designates a trio of Slim pocket watches decorated using three different combinations of techniques. The motives are all inspired from drawings done by Annie Faivre for Hermès. The first was made using the grand feu enamel technique, the second is a three-dimensional microsculpture on a enamel back and the third was engraved. With this amazing variation of unique creations, Hermès proves again its attachment to crafts, and its will to innovate and explore new possibilities with them.