Hermes is the most iconic and acclaimed fashion house in the entire industry. They are a family owned company who started as saddle makers, and stand for tradition, class and distinction. They are probably one out of two fashion brands that I really respect in the watch industry, that manufacture their own watches.
At this JCK 2013, I was able to see the new collection in its entirety and it looks incredible. When I was in retail almost six years ago, I sold Hermes watches and I noticed they are a brand to look out for in the future, and after seeing what I saw this JCK 2013, my hunch was indeed correct.
The brand has progressed immensely with complications and design. I like that there are not too many models within the collection and yet there is enough variety within the core to make this a real watch brand. It also doesn’t hurt that Hermes has a 20% stake in the movement manufacturing company Vaucher. For those of you unfamiliar with Vaucher, they are a movement manufacturer owned by complicated,well finished, and technical watch brand Parmigiani. Needless to say, the quality is there in Hermes watches as the more complicated pieces use Vaucher movements.
When you take a look at the construction of the watches made by most of the fashion brands, they can look cheap and lack creativity. This is not the case with Hermes. Since Hermes is the most prestigious maison that fashion has to offer, they make sure that their watches uphold the same image and high quality standards as the rest of the products they manufacture.
My favorite watch in the Hermes collection which embodies the brands identity and yet is a serious watch, is the Arceau Chronograph Bridon in stainless steel. This watch couldn’t be cleaner for a chronograph. A lot chronograph watches are so crowded and incredibly cluttered that you can’t read the dial because it’s so distracting and confusing. The Hermes Chronograph Bridon incorporates a silvered dial, with jet black whimsically scripted Arabic Numerals around the edge of the dial, while leaving plenty of room for a three registered chronograph subdials with Hermes orange hands. This subtle nuance and pop of color makes this watch completely distinctive and iconic from the rest of the collection. Hermes truly pays homage to their roots as a saddle maker with their stirrup-shaped asymmetric lugs, their strap, inspired by riding bridles, made out of historic bridle leather is a very strong and durable material. The small leather bit known as a bradoon reinforces the strap attachment to the case with distinctive saddle stitching, which shows off Hermes expertise and attention to detail as a saddle-maker.
With a creative collection like the Hermes Arceau Chronograph Bridon, there is no doubt in my mind that Hermes is slowly making strides in becoming a serious player in the luxury watch market.
Technical Specs for the Hermes Arceau Bridon