Hermes is practically unrivaled as an independent luxury house, and it has long been said that Patek Philippe is the Hermes of the watch world. Well now, Hermes is looking to become the Hermes of the watch world, with its first line of truly in-house mechanical calibers shown at Basel World 2012.
You see, the name Hermes has long been associated with wristwatches. Hermes has a storied history retailing some of the finest watches around, including Jaeger-LeCoultre, as well as playing an early roll in establishing Universal Geneve as a high-end manufacture in the late 30s and early 40s when it played distributor to the brand. They have always made a mean barometer, too.
But, in recent years, Hermes has taken a more fashion oriented approach to timekeeping, selling (relatively) inexpensive (though always well designed) wristwatches to, well, to put it frankly, people that wanted to own something from Hermes but weren’t prepared to spend for a purse. Though, it should be stated that since 2006 Hermes has produced some very respectable mechanical watches, and the collaboration with the incredible Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and Agenhor for the Temps Suspendu did result in a Geneva Grand Prix prize.
This year, Hermes introduces a new line of Dressage watches (first introduced in 2003) with their brand new self-winding movement, the first movement that can be really be called “in-house”. Dubbed the H1837 (H1912 in a woman’s watch), the movement provides 50 hours of power reserve thanks to twin spring barrels. it was designed with two barrels so that in the future it may power small complication. The new Dressage with H1837 is available with both a center seconds and date, or with sub-seconds at 6 o’clock. These movements were developed exclusively for Hermes by Vaucher in Fleurier, of which Hermes owns 25% – the rest of which belongs to Parmigiani.
The case of these new vintage inspired piece is 40.5 x 38.4mm and water resistant up to 50 meters. Available in standard production in stainless steel and in a limited edition of 175 pieces in Rose Gold, these new Hermes watches represent a new beginning for timekeeping within the quintessential luxury house. The new Dressage line with in-house Hermes H1837 will start at $10,600 in stainless steel on a leather strap (Hermes leather, of course) and go up to $30,000 for the limited editions in rose gold. These watches should be in stores later this year.