Slim d’Hermès Titane (or “Hermès Slim Titanium, for us English speakers) is a new-for-2019 version of the acclaimed Hermès Slim watch (full aBlogtoWatch review here) in titanium. We covered the Hermès Slim Titanium after its initial release a few months back when Hermès asked aBlogtoWatch to debut the product. Much of the background and technical details of this Slim Titane can be found there and, for the purposes of this watch review article, I’m going to spend a bit more time talking about the Hermès Slim Titanium in real life.
Where the Slim d’Hermès Titane design fits in with other watches
What we love about the Hermès Slim collection, overall, is its ability to move between the worlds of dress watches and casual-wear watches rather elegantly. It also mixes contemporary and traditional design elements skillfully, in a way that allows the design to feel timeless, albeit of our era. I think there is a certain confidence that comes from wearing a contemporary-styled watch. It is easy for us, as human beings, to articulate what the “1940s” (for example) were like because we have the benefit of hindsight in which to pick and choose the best things from the era. We can, as historians, forget the worst parts of an era and focus only on what designs and themes endure past the era of focus.
When it comes to contemporary designs, those who wear them brazenly are taking a risk. The risk is in not having the benefit of hindsight to determine whether the design you are wearing will work as well tomorrow as it does today. Consumers who purchase fast fashion are more comfortable with wearing “temporary fashion” whose desirability comes and goes because of the lower cost of goods. When it comes to luxury watches, consumers are asked to spend a lot more money and thus need more confidence when deciding to purchase an object with a modern, less-tested design. What has all that got to do with the Hermès Slim? Hermès has a very nice contemporary dress watch that is still new-enough looking for people not to know how well it will age. Knowing good design well enough, I can say it will age well, but then again, most people haven’t looked at 10,000+ watches critically, as I have.
Benefits of a grade 2 titanium slim-profile case
The Slim d’Hermès Titane is a design experiment to see how well Hermès can render the more distinctive look of finished titanium with the core dress-watch theme that is the Slim. Hermès very specifically wanted the Slim Titane to be noticed as a titanium watch, as opposed to leaving the question as to what material it is. Grade 2 titanium was chosen over grade 5 titanium. I believe this decision was made in order to maximize the distinctive gray color of titanium, as well as the slightly rougher finishing you get with grade 2 versus grade 5 titanium. Especially when working with such as slim case profile, this design strategy makes sense.
The Slim case is 39.5mm-wide and just about 6mm-thick. Note that titanium case construction allows the Hermès Slim to wear even lighter, given the low overall weight of the watch. The case width is decidedly medium and, because of its flatness, the Slim wears very discreetly. It is very much a “long-sleeve-shirt watch.” The bezel is done in brushed titanium, while the rest of the case and lugs are done in a sandblasted finish, which is rather rare to find on formal timepieces of this style. Over the dial is an AR-coated sapphire crystal, and the case is water-resistant to 30 meters. Some of the detailing, such as the precision engineering of the Slim’s crown, is impressive. Overall case construction and finishing quality are predictably high.
Attached to the case via the Slim’s distinctive lugs is a beautiful Hermès alligator strap. Here we see Hermès being a bit playful but hiding the brand’s signature orange color on the inside as the lining, of the outwardly gray-colored alligator strap. Attached to the strap is a Hermès-style buckle in matching titanium.
Slim Sandwich-style dial design
What makes the Hermès Slim an iconic watch design? In my opinion, is it the stencil-style font design which requires a two-layer dial construction. This design strategy is really about helping to emphasize the stencil part of the stencil-style font. More Hermès orange can be found on the dial as accent, including for the 12 o’clock hour marker, the 6 o’clock hour marker, and the subsidiary seconds dial hand. The dial of the watch is otherwise very clean, offering minor design elements but focusing on proper proportions in order to ensure high legibility.
What I keep going back and forth on, personally is the color of the subsidiary seconds dial. Hermès is clearly going for a bit more of a sporty feel for the Slim Titane, so I understand wanting to have a high-contrast subdial. That said, I feel as though the subdial color is actually too light and would have personally wanted to see what it looked like in a slightly darker color, even if it were lighter than the anthracite gray of the rest of the dial.
What Hermès continues to do very well on Slim d’Hermès watches are the hands. Needle-style by design, Hermès overcomes potentially poor legibility by contrast-polishing the hands. For both the hour and minute hand, one side of the hand is polished and the other side is satin-finished. The result is both an attractive design and excellent legibility, even in poor lighting situations.
Hermes decorated micro-rotor automatic movement
To make the Slim Titanium a watch-lover’s watch, Hermès continues to use its very capable Swiss-made H1950 automatic movement produced in collaboration with Vaucher. The micro-rotor-based automatic movement is particularly thin at just 2.6mm. It operates at 3Hz (21,600 bph) with 42 hours of power reserve. Offered with some nice decorative touches, the most conspicuous aspect of the movement as seen through the sapphire crystal caseback window is the repeating “H” (for Hermès) motif that covers most of the movement bridge surfaces. Hermes calls this a “sprinkling” of Hs…
While the Slim d’Hermès Titane is not the Slim watch for everyone, I think Hermès did an excellent job offering something contemporary and fashionable for timepiece and Hermes-brand lovers. The product isn’t perfect, and not everyone will understand why you need to produce an already lightweight watch in a lighter-weight material. Nor will this particular dial design for all formal purposes. That said, the Hermès Slim Titanium is a lot more fashionably versatile than one might think based upon seeing pictures of it. I will however say that given the modest size of the case, this watch is best-suited to days when the wearer is donning long sleeves.
Personally, I’m not a long-sleeve guy and found the 39.5mm-wide size a bit sparse on my wrists. When wearing sleeves, however, this case size looks great (and, of course, the slimness means that sleeves are never going to be bothered by it on your wrist). If you have a smaller frame than the 39.5mm-wide case size, it might look just right on you with or without sleeves. Overall, this is another quiet, quality release from our Parisian friends over at Hermès. Price for the Slim d’Hermès Titane watch is $8,050 USD. Learn more at the Hermes website here.
>Model: Slim d’Hermes Titane (Slim Titanium)
>Price: $8,050 USD
>Size: 39.5mm-wide, approx. 6mm-thick.
>When reviewer would personally wear it: As a fashionable casual watch to wear with sleeves when the occasion isn’t overly serious or somber.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Hermès fan or dress watch-lover seeking something a bit more casual in theme for mostly long-sleeve-shirt-wearing occasions.
>Best characteristic of watch: Excellent fit and finishing and attractive movement display. Watch wears light and comfortably on the watch. Doesn’t feel pretentious in style, even though it is clearly a luxury watch from a luxury brand.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Watch has a sporty look to it (with requisite materials) but not a sporty size — this can leave some consumers confused as how to wear it. Subsidiary dial is too light in color for my taste, given the overall composition of the watch face.