What is a fashion watch? Well it can mean a couple of things, but in this instance it means a company that mostly makes clothes or other fashion accessories, and then embarks on releasing watches. The nicer the underlying brand, the more expensive the watch. French Hermes not new to this game, but in the last 10 years or so have stepped up their watch offerings. Releasing more mechanical watches along with a more masculine line.
I have always been a fan of the Clipper line. The good-looking sports watch depicted numbers oriented toward the center of the watch, with well crafted bracelets and cases that are meant to remind you of clasps and metal patches on the company’s signature leather work. The new for 2008 Hermes Clipper H1 200m Diver has a name that makes it blend in with the other models, but is really something new and must more interesting.
The first thing you’ll notice is the new dial and big date. The “H” pattern on the dial is typical of Hermes’ use of the letter “H,” and makes for a really nice sporty effect. This is one of the most understated “big dates” that I have seen. Nicely done in the lower section of the case with a white on black coloring. Retained is the sloped chapter ring to enhance legibility, and the numbers are raised with what looks to be a welcome amount of lume.
The case and bezel have always been the star of the show to me. They are equally well done here with the many screws and “plate” effect. Relief numerals on the bezel look crisp and nice to the touch. Always riding on the tail of the Rolex Yachtmaster. I really just want to take the bezel for a “test spin.” Honestly, I don’t even really care about Hermes as a fashion maker. Granted, they aren’t exactly focused on the male market that much, with their scarves and all, but the new Clipper Diver 200m is proof that they can make a well balanced men’s watch that combines sportiness and style well.
The best part is the size. While I enjoyed previous Clipper watches, to me, they were always a bit small, petite even. With the 2008 Clipper Diver, size is up to 43.5mm. Suddenly I am more excited and take the watch all that much more seriously. Inside is a automatic Hermes Cal. H1. Hermes does not make movements, so this is probably an Hermes branded ETA 2892-2 or something similar. UPDATE: I recently learned that the H1 movement inside of this watch is the first in-house movement for Hermes. Actually that is a bit of a misnomer, because it is an in-house movement made exclusively for Hermes by Vaucher, but not by Hermes. The H1 movement is a double barreled movement with a power reserve of 50 hours, and uses ceramic ball bearings for the rotor that winds the movement. These ceramic ball bearings don’t require lubricant. The case back as a sapphire window for seeing the movement.
Hermes would be offering a stellar package if the leather strap was used the high quality Hermes leather. Not sure about this, but it is entirely possible. The strap also uses a nicely polished steel deployment rather than mere buckle. There are actually two straps (leather or alligator) offered and a steel bracelet. So here you have it, a great offering from Hermes in the form of a new diving watch. Really subtle good looks on an impressive watch fit for a fashionista, or otherwise.
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