“Her­mès is a mai­son of knowhow; it’s a fam­ily pas­sion­ate about know-how”

DA MAN - Caliber - - INSIDERS -

So in 1978, [late artis­tic di­rec­tor] Jean-Louis Du­mas de­cided to do what they did with silk, which was to ven­ture into the watch­mak­ing busi­ness by es­tab­lish­ing a man­u­fac­ture where the know-how is, Switzer­land. And the am­bi­tion was very clear from the be­gin­ning: We would do sim­ple watches first, mean­ing quartz move­ments and stain­less steel cases, but of the high­est qual­ity. We want the best sap­phire crys­tals, stain­less steel and fin­ish­ing, and we work with the best sup­plier.

Then again, the main ob­jec­tive is to bring some­thing new, dif­fer­ent from what is there in the in­dus­try. So, we brought in a style that’s not typ­i­cal of a watch­maker’s style, but of Her­mès’ style. In­stead of work­ing to­gether with watch de­sign­ers, we de­cided to work with Her­mès’ own de­sign­ers. We came up with very clas­sic but at the same time rev­o­lu­tion­ary de­signs, such as the Arceau, Cape Cod and H Hour. The suc­cess was great.

What makes us also dif­fer­ent is the phi­los­o­phy of time. For this mai­son, time has never been a con­straint, not some­thing you want to con­trol in a se­ri­ous man­ner. Time has, in­stead, al­ways been our first in­gre­di­ent to man­u­fac­ture ob­jects, what­ever the ob­ject is. Time is a friendly no­tion for us, and we al­ways like to play with it. In the cre­ation process, if we don’t play, if we’re not hav­ing fun with our ob­jects, we wouldn’t be proud to show­case the prod­ucts to the cus­tomers. We of­ten like to say: We do things se­ri­ously in terms of know-how, but cer­tainly we don’t take our­selves too se­ri­ously.

Now, ten years ago, the com­pany de­cided to take a step ahead with our know-how by in­te­grat­ing the Vaucher move­ment man­u­fac­turer. The ques­tion was then: What com­pli­ca­tions are we go­ing to de­velop? Again, we’re here to twist it up, to of­fer Her­mès’ own com­pli­ca­tions, such as Le Temps Sus­pendu (in the Arceau), L’Heure Masquée (in Dres­sage) and now L’Heure Im­pa­tiente (in Slim d’Her­mès). Even through we’re very sure in achiev­ing the know-how in this busi­ness, we have the am­bi­tion to of­fer fan­tasy and play­ful­ness in our watches. DA: Does Her­mès ap­ply for or have patents for those “po­etic move­ments”? LD: If some­body wants to copy them, let them be. The same story told by an­other brand means noth­ing. DA: What about the fo­cus on sports watches? The Clip­per col­lec­tion? LD: Ah, that’s the dis­cus­sion that we have in­ter­nally. Yes, we prob­a­bly need a sports watch. Keep an eye out on this. DA: So, the fo­cus for men’s watches in the com­ing years is still on the Slim d’Her­mes? LD: Our ma­jor lines for men would be the Slim d’Her­mès and the Arceau. We are ac­tu­ally think­ing of a new line…

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