August 18, 2010
by Ariel Adams
As a man, my favorite collection of watches from Hermes has always been the Clipper. It has evolved a bit over the years, but has always been a very tasteful sport watches from a well-regarded luxury brand. I’ve always been drawn to Clipper watches not because of the Hermes name, but because of the design. They have always reminded me of instruments on fine ships. Gee, with a name like Clipper I am sure that this is hardly an accident. Funny how you can seem to almost never go wrong giving a watch some manner of boat or marine theme.
Like Cartier, Hermes has recently been on a mission to assert itself as a serious watch maker, more than just a high-quality fashion brand. Even if they are just a high-quality fashion brand, that is fine. But there is more to the brand that just those people. The have some beautiful skeletonized watches, and other artistic creations (for example these Hermes tie pattern watches here). Also innovations and interesting things in the movement and mechanical department. But let’s get back on track with the 2010 Clipper Automatic Chronograph. Not the first watch of this ilk, it is merely updated for 2010 with some little changes. A face-lift if you want to call it that from the previous model. The dial is more masculine and aggressive, the rotating bezel is a bit more clean, and the date window has been elongated (which didn’t need to happen).
Available on a really high quality rubber strap (in orange or dark brown) or on a cool “H” link metal bracelet, the Clipper Chrono also has a few dial color choices. These include a silver tone, a slate tone, and a mocha tone. Each looks pretty good in their own right. Perhaps a bit bare, but the tight looking chapter ring with hash markers helps with a “functional” look and balances out the inner dial. The dials are now a bit three dimensional as well. The chronograph subdial sections are lowered a bit – which is a better look that the previous models I think. The application of the revolving Arabic numerals is also better. Nice bold lume covered numerals. Hands are further improved in quality. Faceted in the middle and polished, with lume in the center – and strong like swords.
The watch case is 44mm wide in titanium, and has a nice level detailing all over it. It is also water resistant to 200 meters. Check out the interesting looking crown guard, engraved “H” logo in the crown, and detail work on the bezel as well as the sides of the case. The “Hermes Paris” branding on the side of the watch will constantly be a reminder that you need more ties and scarves from the French brand. The AR coated sapphire crystal is complimented with another on the back. The watch contains a Swiss Valjoux 7750 that has been decorated a bit and uses blued steel screws. I like the use of the H pattern on the automatic rotor, but I would have liked that part to actually be engraved in the metal as opposed to being on an attached plate. For this price we should get that. Snobs will take issue with the use of the 7750 movement on a watch that retails for close to $10,000. There are far more expensive watches that use a 7750. Though it is true, that if you are looking for a watch to satisfy your horological snobbery, this isn’t the right timepiece for the occasion. Personally, I understand the hardiness and durability of the movement enough to appreciate it, and know that when you wear an Hermes Clipper watch you are doing it for style and a feeling of luxury awareness (meaning that people who aren’t in our hardcore watch lover club will be familiar with the brand).
And awareness is part of what the Clipper is all about. On most accounts it is a good looking watch. You might not be in love with it, but you could easily see yourself wearing it daily. Like Cartier, Montblanc, and other brands that dabble in watches among other things, Hermes makes perfectly good looking watches meant to evoke a “ooh.. he/she is wearing Cartier/Montblanc/Hermes/etc… For the sporty man, the Clipper Automatic Chrono is going to be the way to go when looking at the brand.
Visually speaking Hermes did a nice job. The signature Hermes orange color is present, the watch is easy to read, and very importantly, comfortable (on both straps). The rubber has a deployment clasp that you’ll recognize from other Hermes goods and watches. As a watch maker goes, the brand still has room to grown and prove themselves. The colors are all right, and I like that they matched dark dials with dark date discs, and the light dial with a light date disc. While the dial is attractive, you will find ones that are a bit better in terms of detail and quality in prices this range from brands that have been doing it a lot longer. Nevertheless, I am still attracted to the Hermes Clipper watches, and for the fashion elite out there, you should check them out. I don’t know the prices exactly, but I think the watches are between about $$7,500 – $9,500 depending on the strap/bracelet. Maybe more given that they are in titanium. Check them out soon.
See Hermes watches on eBay here.See Hermes items on Amazon here. [phpbay]hermes clipper, 6, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]