In 1912 Jaqueline Hermès wears the first wristwatch ever created by Hermès. 100 years later Hermès presents a pocket-watch that turns into a wristwatch. See the making of, a very first video and let the CEO tell the story of the watch…
“Nestled inside its leather jacket, it reinvents time and highlights the fine leather-working skills of the Maison. Paying vibrant tribute to the original model given to Jacqueline Hermès by her father 100 years ago, In The Pocket weaves delicate ties between past and present, hand-sewn by the Hermès artisans and exalted by a living leather strap that will acquire a unique patina with age” told me Luc Perramond, the CEO of La Montre Hermès, when I visited the workshops last Tuesday.
The project is fascinating even though is is not another homological highlight in the classical sense. But for lovers of Hermès and for lovers of real leather-craftsmanship “In The Pocket” the new timepiece is almost a must.
Jacqueline Hermès as a child could not wear a watch attached to her clothing or slipped into her pocket. Especially for her, her father devised an ingenious “porte-oignon” or pocket-watch holder designed to fasten it onto the wrist. Drawing upon the original harness and saddle-making know-how of the House, he created a leather strap similar to those worn by the Lads. It encased the pocket-watch, adopting its shape and its curve so as to ensure optimal protection. This object embodies Hermès’ full wealth of inventiveness, which has been expressed ever since through its timepiece collections offering a blend of creativity and functionality.
Jacqueline Hermès (she is the second young lady from the left) and her watch in 1912:
This wonderful leather housing will then carry a pocket watch crafted in palladium, a rare and precious metal. The watch features a delicately curved 40 mm diameter, which extends to 49 mm when it is worn on the wrist. Its grained silver-toned dial is free of any embellishments in order to provide the clearest and most obvious expression of time. The pure numerals are swept over by baton-type hands, while the small seconds appear at 3 o’clock. Backstage of these displays ticks mechanical self-winding Calibre H1837, that is made by Vaucher Manufacture. Hermès has bought several years ago 25 % of Vaucher Manufachture belonging to the Parmigiani-group. This proprietary Hermès movement has a 50-hour power reserve, a mainplate circular-grained and snailed in harmony with the finest watchmaking traditions, and an oscillating weight adorned with “sprinkling of H symbols”, an inimitable House signature.
The incredible technical making of this leather wristwatch calls for length and patient craftsmanship. Who else then the Luc Perramond, the CEO of La Montre Hermès, could tell us more about the watch and it´s making?
Also for the first time ever I was able to film the finished watch with it´s wonderful box. Have a look how you can use the watch, how it will be delivered and how beautiful it looks…
Movement: Mechanical self-winding movement, H1837, made in Switzerland
26 mm in diameter (11 1⁄2‘’’), 3.7 mm thick, 28’800 vibrations per hour (4Hz), 50 hours power reserve, main plate circular-grained and snailed, bridges and oscillating weight satin-brushed and adorned with a “sprinkling of H symbols”
Case: Round, 40 mm in diameter (49 mm with the leather strap) 950 palladium (47.7 g) Water-resistant to 3 atm
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o’clock
Dial: Grained silver-toned
Glass: Anti-glare sapphire crystal
Straps: Interchangeable ebony Barenia leather Ebony Barenia leather cord-strap
Buckle: 17 mm buckle in 950 palladium (3.75 g)
Edition: Limited to 24 pieces
Price: 27.000 Euro
These photographs I have taken show details of the making of the leather strap including the housing of the pocket watch. Just consider them as a little film …
I think there is no need to comment each photo since they are more or less self describing. It´s all about the the leather workers pre-cutting, forming, gluing, marking a line with a compass, indicating where the stitching will be, making a crease in the leather to indicate the position of each stitch and the distance between them, linen yarn, saddle stitch, edge-softening (to soften the border or the edge of the leather), sandpaper, smoothing, polishing, dying and marking a furrow between the sewing line and the edge of the leather …
Today the leather housing of “In The Pocket” is made out of three layers of leather that compose the longer and shorter parts of the strap: Barenia leather, an unfinished full-grain leather that is both natural and alive; an inner cow skin reinforcement chosen for its sturdiness; and a Zermatt calfskin lining. First comes the cutting process: cut and then split into two, the hides are soaked and then moulded in a die. They dry in this way for 10 days before being cut with a pointed tool, split again, sanded and glued. Each of the parts is then partially stitched. The longer part is perforated to free the space through which the dial will be visible as well as the slit through which the shorter part will be inserted and the hole through which the crown will emerge. Then comes the “table” phase in which the shorter and longer parts are put together and then marked with a compass, hallmarked and sewn according to the saddle-stitch technique. And at last it’s time for finishing, which involves hammering the stitching, marking a furrow between the sewing line, dyeing and polishing with bees’ wax. Slowly and patiently, one operation after another, the artisans at La Montre Hermès have developed “In The Pocket”, a tribute to the Maison’s early involvement in the field of watchmaking.
To enlarge the pictures please click on them…
And finally some photographs of the workshops of La Montre Hermès in Brügg near Biel in Switzerland:
Thank you Luc & your entire team at La Montre Hermès for this insight!
See you all at the Baselworld 2013 …