It’s Per­sonal

PhiliPPe Del­ho­tal, artis­tic Di­rec­tor of la Mon­tre her­Mès, sheDs soMe light on what ac­tu­ally went on be­hinD this year’s Most caP­ti­vat­ing her­Mès tiMe­Pieces

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er­mès watches are not for ev­ery­one. Some peo­ple get the idea; oth­ers find them a lit­tle whim­si­cal. Take, for in­stance, the quirky Dres­sage L’Heure Masquée. Launched last year, this unique watch hides its minute hand un­less you press the pusher on top of the crown. Go a few years back, and you’ll stum­ble upon the Le Temps Sus­pendu whose hour and minute hands could, with a press of a pusher po­si­tioned at 9 o’clock, form a nar­row “V” at 12 o’clock and stay there un­til you press the pusher again.

Since 2015, La Mon­tre Her­mès has ag­gres­sively pushed a new line called Slim d’Her­mès. Th­ese watches, as the name sug­gests, fea­ture very thin cases and ap­pear pretty con­ven­tional in terms of style, al­though the nu­meral type­face is def­i­nitely one of a kind. That par­tic­u­lar font is ex­clu­sive to the house and is cre­ated by renowned French ty­pog­ra­phy artist Philippe Apeloig, a fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tor of Philippe Del­ho­tal, artis­tic di­rec­tor of La Mon­tre Her­mès.

For this year’s range of nov­el­ties, the Slim d’Her­mès is reinvented with white enam­el­ing on the dial—a lit­tle up­date that may not be too much of a sur­prise for any­one fa­mil­iar with the brand. The idea came to Del­ho­tal be­cause he “loves [enamel touches] per­son­ally.” Aside from this enam­eled piece, there are also su­perb ren­di­tions of the fa­mous tigers done by Robert Dal­let on the di­als. You might find your­self—as many peo­ple do— ask­ing who Robert Dal­let is. Put sim­ply, the late Robert Dal­let is a nat­u­ral­ist artist known for his fascination with big cats, which he dubbed “na­ture’s great­est suc­cess.” The re­sult of his ex­pres­sive tal­ent, as seen on the Arceau Ti­gre, which is pro­duced us­ing an ex­clu­sive tech­nique called émail om­brant or shaded enamel by ar­ti­san Olivier Vaucher, is sim­ply beyond words. Now you you might be ask­ing who Olivier Vaucher is. Let’s just say that he’s an artist dis­cov­ered per­son­ally by Del­ho­tal.

Of­ten­times, we fall into the age-old trap of think­ing that the essence of lux­ury comes from big names and their in­flu­ence; that the celebrity sta­tus of an artist should el­e­vate a watch beyond its mere value as an ac­ces­sory. But as Del­ho­tal points out, a great col­lab­o­ra­tion that was sparked by a chance en­counter or a sim­ple idea could re­ally build the value of lux­ury. There is an un­de­ni­able per­sonal touch to the in­ven­tion that cre­ates a spell of sur­prise and—at the same time— mys­tery. And so we are in­vited to get to know Robert Dal­let through th­ese new di­als. Chances are, you’d fall for his big cats, just as Her­mès—and par­tic­u­larly Philippe Del­ho­tal—did.

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