Hermès : the great return of Silver watches

Hermès : the great return of Silver watches

by Olivier Müller

This is the kind of announcement that most media missed – but we didn’t. At the first glance, indeed, it does look like a simple new product announcement. But it’s not – or not only. What ? The new Cape Cod watches by Hermès !

How Hermès entered the world of fine watchmaking

Hermès is a discreet brand, with a wide range of watches, split between quartz middle-end ranges and high-end swiss mechanical timepieces. The brand finally got out of the dark with a brilliant « Temps Suspendu » watch, a piece that has won the much coveted prize of the Best Men’s Watch at the GPHG, the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève, in 2011.

Hermes Le Temps Suspendu

Hermes Le Temps Suspendu

This outstanding – and poetic – piece was signed by one of the most brilliant living watchmaker, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, who works as the CEO of Agenhor (Atelier Genevois d’Horlogerie). His company is well-known from watch enthusiasts for being the developer of amazing calibers for famous brands such as RJ-Romain Jerome, Van Cleef & Arpels (Complications Poétiques), MB&F, Chaumet or Harry Winston.

New watches, new silver alloy

Today, the work of Hermès has switch from the downside to the upside – from the caliber up to the dial and case. The new Cape Cod comes with a small revolution : a silver case. Is that a revolution ? Yes : it’s the first time that Hermès comes again with a silver case. The company had given up with silver years ago, considering it was unable to go through the years while keeping its original sparkle. Which is true : such as bronze, silver loses its brilliance and comes up with new mat tones as years go by, simply by the contact of the skin and the air.

So today, the Cape Cod line, a pillar of Hermès since 1991, reinvents itself this year in a stylish and elegant manner, while preserving its rounded curves and distinctive lugs. The entire collection now features a redesigned dial and an interchangeable strap, while the case of the Tonneau and Nantucket models is available in Silver – an unusual silver alloy based on a composition exclusive to Herme`s and which lastingly preserves the inimitable radiance of the precious metal.

The curved case shape of the Cape Cod models echoes one of the iconic Hermès jewellery creations that is also inspired by the maritime world: the Anchor Chain bracelet.

But why « Cape Cod » ? The Cape Cod peninsula dappled with sunlight is pervaded by a distinctive atmosphere, a luminosity that is at once white, dazzling and filled with warmth, like the sun shimmering on silver. Hermès is renewing its ties with this precious metal in its watch creations, turning alchemist by offering its very own silver composition. This new alloy features a larger proportion of silver than the conventional 925 alloy and was specially developed to ensure that silver maintains its characteristic glow over the years.

While playing the transformation game with a range of subtle touches, the Cape Cod models remain timeless. The Nantucket watch wraps its lines around the wrist, highlighting the reflections and radiance of the Silver alloy now replacing its initial 925 silver. Curved to ensure perfect comfort, non-set or gem-set according to the model, its case inspired by an anchor-chain link is moored to the wrist by interchangeable leather straps – a process that recalls the Linea range of Baume & Mercier.

Interpreted in small or large variations, Cape Cod Tonneau offers a rounded vision of time conveyed through the curves of its case. Following the outlines of this silver frame, the dial stamped with a geometrical motif lends a modern touch to the design.

All pieces are equipped with a quartz movement. Prices go from 2650 euros up to 12 300 euros for a gem-set model.

    Author Bio

    Articles by Olivier Müller


    Olivier Müller is a professional journalist specialising in horology. He divides his time between Geneva and Paris, covering horology-related topics for a dozen or so magazines and specialist websites in Europe. He is also a regular speaker at various events. In 2008, Olivier Müller set up Delos Communications to manage the writing side of his business, spanning five European countries. Delos Communications also provides consultancy services for horological communication, helping brands as they define and implement their strategy in terms of positioning, messages and audience. In addition to the world’s two largest watchmaking groups, Delos Communications’ clients include a broad range of emerging independent brands, as well as public-sector bodies keen to promote their local watchmaking heritage. Five people work for the agency, including a journalist, a photographer, a community manager and a translator, all with expertise in the world of watchmaking.