In case the headline elevated your pulse, Hermes is not cutting watches from its catalog. On the contrary, the French luxury brand is expanding its watch offerings with a new line of mechanical pieces called the Cut Collection. Announced on the opening day of the Watches & Wonders show, the pieces borrow design cues from Hermes’ popular H08 lineup, including highly stylized numerals, an inner minute track, and an attention to geometry that gives the collection its name.

The Cut’s case is the most noticeable component of the new watches, particularly the unorthodox placement of the crown at 1:30. Similar to the H08, the Cut’s exact shape is hard to pin down. It’s mostly round but has a bit of square DNA, as well. It’s definitely not barrel or tonneau-shaped but neither is it a “squircle.” However, this is only evident if you’re really squinting because the other circular elements seem to trick the eye. A round bezel, round minute track, and round numeral layout all combine to give it a generally rounded look. Overall, it’s a fun design. Depending on the reference, the Cut is available in four different bezel styles: rose gold or steel, each with or without diamonds. While this is a watch ostensibly for women, the 36mm size ought to be fairly unisex. Despite coming in one size only, Hermes refers to the Cut on its website as the “large model” implying smaller sizes may be forthcoming.

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Like its H08 brethren, the Cut’s dials make use of unmistakable rounded numerals. Applied in either silver or gold, they do the heavy lifting providing visual interest to an otherwise straightforward look. Despite this, the dial options are somewhat plain — at least at launch. While Hermes has debuted the Cut in eleven different references, there’s just one dial color. The opaline silvered dial is pretty, but it may leave collectors wanting more. Even so, there are subtle differences. The all-steel models feature tiny orange hour markers on the minute track and an orange-accented “lollipop” style seconds hand. Otherwise, the Cut’s color comes entirely from the materials and strap option which, admittedly, are versatile. In addition to listing colored rubber straps online, Hermes offers integrated steel or two-tone bracelets with screwed links and butterfly clasps. Charming videos on the Hermes site demonstrate Lilliputian workers in hard hats swapping out straps in one of the most effective sales pitches for toolless strap changes we’ve ever seen.

In the Cut, Hermes has elected to use the H1912 no-date movement found in the Carre H and other pieces. Self-winding and with 50 hours of power reserve, it’s perfectly passable but it’s not the main selling point of the timepiece. An exhibition caseback attached with screws provides a view of the rotor and bridges which are well-decorated with the brand’s “H” pattern.

It’s evident that Hermes has sought to capitalize on the success of the H08 watch, shrewdly lending many of the elements that made those pieces successful to the Cut. Providing a blank canvas on which Hermes can build, the launch versions of the Cut hint at a platform that can be built out and adapted with many more colors, materials, and options in the future. Right-sized for many wrists, it’s an exciting addition to the Hermes collection.

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The Hermés The Cut collection pricing starts at $6,725 USD for the steel model on a rubber strap and tops out at $21,900 USD for the two-tone model with gems on a matching bracelet. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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