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Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Hermès Slim d’Hermès line is an impressive effort by the French luxury house in creating a timepiece that succeeds what they would otherwise be able to create were it not for a few advantages. The fact that Hermès has partial ownership of Vaucher for their movements and acquired their own dial and case manufacturing facility allows this Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar to be an undoubtedly alluring piece that exceeds expectations in some regards. But, it comes with a price tag that is sure to make even the most fawning admirers recoil.

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A well-known luxury house, Hermès is now aiming to increase its presence in the world of haute horologerie. Despite being a non-traditional watch brand, it is uniquely positioned and equipped for this task. Between acquiring its own case and dial manufactures and having a partial ownership stake in Vaucher, the renowned movement manufacture, Hermès was able to put together a watch with the unusual design elements and features of the Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar. From the super-slim movement with the signature ‘H’ decoration to the sub-dial spacing/tiers and lug shapes, this watch would have been prohibitively expensive, if not impossible, to put together using suppliers and outsourced assembly.

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

For those who may not be familiar with perpetual calendars, it is a complication in which the watch accounts for all the eccentricities of the Gregorian calendar such as leap years and months with differing numbers of days. Theoretically, if you keep the watch wound (and don’t fly across the world), you wouldn’t need to change the date until the year 2100. In addition to time and perpetual calendar functions, the watch also has a moonphase indicator and second time zone with day/night indication.

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

All this is made possible by a module designed Jean-Marc Wiederrecht of Agenhor. It shares the same base movement, the caliber H1950, with signature Hermès ‘H’ finishing as the other models in the line. Wiederrecht is an accomplished movement developer, most recently famous for his Agengraphe chronograph movement and has managed to stay true to the slim philosophy with the Slim d’Hermès QP with the movement+module coming in at just 4mm in thickness. The 39.5mm case and angular lugs help lend this slim watch some visual weight and interest, making it an attractive daily wear dress watch.

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Visually, I am a fan of the whimsical but elegant design, especially the font and the slim baton-like, rhodium-plated and polished hands, but I find the day/night indication, the small white dot to the bottom right of the cannon pinion, to be a bit of an eyesore on the carefully proportioned and spaced dial. The moonphase, an aventurine sky with mother of pearl inlay for the moon, is another sign of the thought put into this watch and the level of refinement you can expect.

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

When talking about Hermès’ integrated manufacture-like structure, I mentioned costs, and despite the advantages of not having to work with suppliers extensively, this watch is not affordable by any stretch. At a retail price of $39,900, this is in the same ballpark as other precious metal perpetual calendar offerings from more traditional watch manufactures, such as the JLC Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar. That is stiff competition for a fashion brand like Hermès to go up against. Bear in mind also, that for a more meager sum of $8,000 or so, one can have the same design elements in the stainless steel time only Slim d’Hermès offerings.

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The debate about the legitimacy of fashion brands as watchmakers is not a new one, though it has received more attention recently. While there are plenty of examples where fashion houses get it wrong, it would be improper to disregard a watch like the Hermès Slim d’Hermès QP simply based on any prejudice of this sort.

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hermès Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar Watch Hands-On Hands-On

While the watch is no doubt expensive, it is also clear that Hermès has made a serious attempt at haute horologerie here and the watch is capable of standing on its own merits, even against more traditional offerings. Again, for those who are taken by this watch but not by the near-$40k price tag, there is a time only model available for $7,650 that offers much of the charm and elegance for a pared down design and price. The Hermès Slim d’Hermès Quantième Perpetual is a watch for the technical purist looking for a watch with an interesting and unique design. It is available at retailers and online with a blue alligator strap for $39,900. hermes.com

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  • Word Merchant

    I generally like this watch very much but I struggle with some aesthetic choices made:

    1. The choice of font – I can’t quite make it work in my head. I also can’t quite decide whether it’s right that the numerals are all vertical on one of the sub dials, but nowhere else.
    2. The lugs. At first glance it looks like the strap doesn’t fit properly. At second glance, I get it.
    3. The overuse of the Hermes ‘H’ on the movement bridges. Just too much.

    I’m seeing more and more movements with micro-rotors; I’d never really cared before, but I’m really starting to like the look. Finally, what does the push button at 4 o’clock do? If it advances the calendar, then I’d be concerned at me or someone else pushing it, and you generally can’t set a perpetual calendar backwards.

    • Chaz

      Gonna guess the pusher changes the time on the second time zone subdial.

      • Word Merchant

        Ah – good point. In that case it receives the Word Merchant seal of approval. Hermes will be pleased…

  • Chaz

    “Fashion watch” be damned. I want one! This is one handsome looking watch with a combination of functions that are truly useful.

    My only gripe would be the movement decoration.

    • ???

      I agree. I like all offerings in Slim d’Hermes series, except their movements(including H1950 and H1912).

  • Saul Sloota

    Nice moonphase.

  • Jesus Christ

    Looks really slim for a perpetual.

  • Rob D

    I really like this (ok maybe not the price) it has a nice mixture of almost Bauhaus simplicity meets French design flair.
    I don’t care for the day/night indicator but other than that I really think it looks good, certainly a much more interesting and considered design than many others are producing.

  • ??????

    ?’mon guys! You can get 2 (TWO) Hublot Berluti Leather dial watches for 1 of these! I’m not talking that you can get 3 Hodinkee hourglasses

  • Raymond Wilkie

    The font is awful.

  • Yan Fin

    “there is a time only model available for $7,650″…. And for $6.970 you can have a limited edition with day of month calendar only model.

  • Bill Davidson

    I’ve never been able to get plastered enough to need a watch to remind me which month I’m in.

  • SuperStrapper

    I’m enjoying Most of what I see here. The red accent hand is mistake, and there’s just something a bit… hokey about that movement finishing. But all around I could see myself finding a nice spot in the rotation for such a thing. The adventurine accent is a lovely touch.

  • BNABOD

    Pretty watch in the front thought it would be bigger than 39.5 because it looks larger but a good size.
    The movement side is a complete let down for me. The H galore and really unattractive finishes kills it for me (ok the price does too) the movement side could have been a lot better but it seems this is where they saved some
    money.

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    Lovely dial, lovely colour.
    But that font, its almost right, but it isn’t so I don’t care for it. And again, as Word’ says, they’ve gone out on a limb with the lugs. I’m just not sure they’ve succeeded.
    Its a beautiful watch with some peculiar design choices. But I suppose that’s about trying to create brand identity.

  • DanW94

    The handset looks totally anemic, like it was an afterthought. Otherwise an attractive looking watch.

  • I like it. And I like the type font. But I do think they have run the month lettering dangerously close to the edge of the wheel. Kind’a looks like a mistake.

  • Marius

    Although I find the case and dial quite attractive (especially the moonphase), I have a few problems with this watch.

    1. I would never pay $40,000 on a Hermes watch. Sure, I would pay $1,000 – $3,000 for a Hermes if I really liked the design, but $40,000, never. Nowadays, there are so many great & interesting watches available at this price point — from independents as well as prestgious brands — that if I had this budget I wouldn’t even think about this Hermes.

    2. The movement not only has an unnapealing and blocky architecture, but is also ugly to look at. What`s more, the finishing of this caliber is not exactly impressive either. Apart from the lackluster, machine-applied “anglage” I can’t really see much finish & decoration. I’m sorry, but if I’m spending $40,000 on a watch, I would like to get a highly-finished caliber that is a pleasure to behold, not this ugly movement that I wouldn’t find acceptable even in a $4,000 watch.

    3. What’s the difference between this $40,000 Hermes and the under $20,000 Montblanc/Frederique Constant perpetuals? For me, these watches are very similar. From a branding & prestige perspective, you can’t really say that Hermes watches are much more prestigious — in fact, the Montblanc watch division has released some impressive timepieces over the last few years. From a technical perspective, it’s true that the Vaucher caliber used by Hermes is more interesting and exclusive than the movements used by Montblanc/FC, but, at the end of the day it’s not exactly a Lange or Patek either. Overall, I really don’t understand why the Hermes is more than twice as expensive as the Montblanc/FC.

    • Gokart Mozart

      I am surprised you did not mention that the movement decoration makes it look like an upmarket Hamilton.

      Price wise it is really expensive but not bad value compared to their more normal products. A silk tie for £140, but it has been hand folded. I dont know if that means when they put it in the bag, or when they make it.

      This quite stylish calf leather belt is £750.

      http://media.hermes.com/media/catalog/product/import/U/U11/U007/item/default/047019CK89.jpg

  • Larry Holmack

    It’s okay looking….I mean…I like the dial color…but as stated in another comments…the font is hideous….and the price…no thank you!! I’d rather have the Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph Annual Calendar 1532-150-3-43, on sale at JS for a cool $20 grand less!!!

  • shanekleinpeter

    I struggle with a printed dial at this price point. I would expect to see applied markers for 40 large.

  • Pete L

    A lot of money in a competitive sector that takes it up against the true giants of the game so a risky proposition. Personally i love it though, really beautiful case and dial.

  • otaking241

    Love the original Slim d’Hermes and especially it’s lovely font. However I think this annual calendar and its chaotic arrangement of dials-within-dials completely does away with the elegance of the original. I think a watch with complications in this line is doable but will need to be more carefully thought out than in this implementation–you can’t just slap a 4-subdial design onto the Slim canvas and expect it to work. The original clearly had a lot of time and effort put into making its minimalist style work and I wish they had done that here.

    Incidentally, anybody else get a weird Ressence vibe from the inset subdials?

  • Cuppa Joe

    I love almost everything about this watch! I’m a HUGE fan of the font, the size is perfect, it’s slim (!!!), the color is a great shade of blue, and the proportions are spot on. It’s one of the best styled perpetual calendars on the market today, period.

    I’d like more anglage, but the modern H design is fashionable and sexy, and I bet it’ll catch the light in intriguing ways. I think it’s gorgeous! And the movement size allows the sundials to be placed properly… NOT squished at the center.

    And yes, for $40k you can buy a watch from a more established manufacturer, but I have no doubt these will sell well. This isn’t the watch you buy if you can only afford ONE $40k purchase. This is the one you buy when you have a bunch already. It’s a winner.

  • Mark1884

    Nice looking, but a lot of money.
    I went and looked at the blue three hander. I actually like that one more.

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Nice watch. I like the machine work on the back of the dial.

    Herpes? – NO, Hermes.
    Hairpiece? – NO. Hermes.
    Paris? – NO, Pittsburgh.

  • PR

    I like that Hermes keeps trying but I somehow feel they will never get taken seriously for their watches and might as well stick to their fashion watch line. It seems like wasted effort to me. Do the thing with the oddly shaped case and colorful straps with massive margins. That said the same watch with JLC on it would have the entire floor salivating, cruel is the luxury watch world