“We had the op­por­tu­nity to work with Robert Dal­let’s draw­ings, be­cause big cats epit­o­mize the power of na­ture”

DA MAN - Caliber - - INSIDERS -

DA MAN: How does this year’s theme “Na­ture by Her­mès” ex­tend to watch­mak­ing? Philippe Del­ho­tal: The theme is cho­sen by the group’s artis­tic di­rec­tion of Her­mès. It’s sort of a red thread that should be fol­lowed by the whole com­pany to cre­ate watches, scarves, leather goods, etc. For watches, the theme is bro­ken down to de­pic­tions of an­i­mals and flow­ers, hence the Arceau Ti­gre, Slim d’Her­mès Mille Fleurs du Mex­ique and Slim d’Her­mès Pocket Pan­there. DA: It seems that a lot of the mo­tives are com­ing from the scarves. PD: We do work mainly with the Car­rés scarves. It’s a very cre­ative source for us, be­cause it’s re­lated to the house’s crafts­man­ship and is a sig­na­ture of Her­mès. DA: Robert Dal­let’s works for scarves are now reim­ple­mented on the watches. How did that idea first come up? PD: Na­ture is very rich as a theme. It’s very di­verse. Ob­vi­ously, we don’t want to place horses in all of the watches. In­stead, this year we had the op­por­tu­nity to work with Dal­let’s draw­ings, be­cause big cats epit­o­mize the power of na­ture. Dal­let him­self was a very im­por­tant de­signer for us in the 1980s. So, this year, we de­cided to pay trib­ute to him since he passed away in 2006. DA: Be­side Robert Dal­let, you also brought in Anita Porchet again and Olivier Vaucher. PD: We have worked with Anita since many years ago, and we do so when we want to achieve an ex­cel­lent level of enam­eled mas­ter­pieces. With Olivier Vaucher, it be­gan with an un­ex­pected en­counter. I met him one day and told him that I’d like to see what he was do­ing. He opened his drawer and showed me a beau­ti­ful project he was work­ing on. So, a watch cre­ation is not nec­es­sar­ily a prod­uct of com­plex ideas. In this very case, I was re­ally think­ing about the tech­ni­cal ap­proach, as Olivier was able to bring in the tech­ni­cal parts while Her­mès brought the de­sign. So, it’s a re­ally close col­lab­o­ra­tion. And it is the first time­piece Olivier has done for Her­mès, and that tech­nique is ex­clu­sive to the house as well. DA: Speak­ing of tech­nique, why did you pick white enamel for Slim d’Her­mès this year? PD: That’s my fa­vorite piece! I was look­ing for a very tra­di­tional yet at the same time very mod­ern dial in enamel. The white color ex­udes a sort of con­tem­po­rary look but also re­quires a very tra­di­tional ap­proach. That piece was es­sen­tially con­ceived for con­nois­seurs and col­lec­tors who love sim­ple and high-end time­pieces. DA: Why enam­el­ing? PD: Be­cause this is a raw ma­te­rial that I love per­son­ally. It al­lows you to cre­ate many dif­fer­ent things. It’s not a pas­sive ma­te­rial, but very much ac­tive in the sense that you can do some­thing mod­ern with it.

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