Hermès created their first wristwatch in 1912, which was actually a pocket watch with a leather attachment. Now they have taken their watch lineup and stepped it up a notch through the acquisition of the movement maker Vaucher Manufacture Fleurierr.

In 2006, Hermès secured a 25% stake in Vaucher and since then they have worked even more closely to design movements exclusively for Hermès. Last year, Hermès released their very own caliber at Baselworld. A crowning achievement for this luxury house. It took them 5 years to develop the H1837 movement (1837 for the year Hermès was founded). It is a 26mm wide automatic movement that is 3.7mm thick. The 50 hour power reserve is achieved through a double barrel and the movement beats at 4Hz (28,800vph). Why did it take them so long to develop this? Given the emphasis on craftsmanship and quality that Hermès puts into its products, you can understand why.

Hermes-new-movement-Calibre-H1837

Liking the engraving on the rotor and mainplate

You can find the H1837 caliber in the Dressage line of watches. The current Dressage have a fantastic guilloché dial for the slightly larger case size. The caseback has a curved profile and the dauphine hands are simple and effective. Only the 9, 12 and 3 hour markers were retained. Keeping to its roots, Hermès kept the design of the where the strap meets the watch. The buckle touches upon Hermès’ equestrian heritage as it looks like the stirrups for horse riders.

Hermès-Dressage-Simple-Calendar

Dial close up

Hermes-new-movement-Calibre-H1837-back

 

Dial side of the movement

The Dressage falls into 2 categories. One with the date at the 6 hour marker, or alternatively, a sub seconds dial in the same place. Case materials vary from stainless steel to 18ct rose gold. Again there are various dial colours and strap combinations as well (leathers of course bring produced by the master leather craftsman of Hermès). The Dressage is a contemporary watch, however it still keeps it heritage that makes Hermès special.

hermes-unveils-new-movement-2012-Hermes-Dressage-watches

Some variations of the Dressage lineup

So you might say, “but Swatch still provide Hermès many of its movements”. That’s very true and Hermès has no plans to sour the relationship it currently holds with the Swatch Group. This movement and its subsequent successors is about adding value to its customers rather than being able to use other movements to increased watch production. Where to from here? well Hermès will be looking to add other complications such as a moonphase or even an annual calendar. Only time will tell. Stay tuned.

If you’re interested, pop into your nearest Hermès boutique, prices start at around the $10k mark going upwards towards $30k for the gold models.

Hermès-Dressage1

Dressage wrist shot