The Hermès H08 collection debuted in 2021 with sporty-looking, relaxing time-and-date watches for daily wear, distinguished by the compelling cases with cushion shape, rounded edges and short lugs – and the choice of materials. The Hermès watch division refreshed the series this year with much sportier-looking models with bright colours. Also, it introduced a sporty-chic mono-pusher chronograph to the H08 collection, a very impressive timepiece we were happy to have had a chance to experience.
Before we describe the new watch, it is good to note that Hermès doesn’t adhere to conventional designs regarding watches, making its offer distinct and exciting. Hermès is also known for its attention to detail and high-quality finishing, contributing to the brand’s watches’ great feel. This fully applies to the H08 collection – and the new chronograph. “Here at Hermès, we achieve beauty through material and functionality. This is our signature,” says Philippe Delhotal, Creative Director at Hermès Horloger. Now, a chronograph seemed an obvious choice to complement the sport-and-leisure-themed H08 collection, as the function spells out sports; let us see how it came out and if it is a champion.
The new Hermès H08 Chronograph comes in the same compelling case as the rest of the collection, only larger, at 41mm x 41mm, still keeping the hard and soft lines and the beauty of squares and circles at play – very geometric, very Hermès. The cushion-shaped charcoal and black diamond coloured case is crafted from a block of carbon fibre composite coated with graphene powder, so it is resistant to wear and extremely light, thus very functional. You can see the composite layers, adding to the technical feel of this contemporary timepiece. The satin-finished titanium bezel, with a very graphic radial texture, sits atop the case, and the anti-glare sapphire crystal protects the dial. The watch is very smooth to the touch, like a beautiful object.
The perfectly circular black-gold-treated and blackened dial with white and orange (of course!) elements – such as the central seconds and counters’ hands and the thin markers on the recessed inside track – with its different textures and the rhodium-plated numerals in bespoke font, is impeccable. The chrono counters at 3 and 9 o’clock repeat the shape of the case, adding to the feeling of consistency of this watch’s design. The date aperture at 4:30 is so tiny that one couldn’t help to ask why it is there, but the little window does not spoil the balanced dial layout too much. It is fair to suggest that the new Hermès H08 Chronograph could do well without it.
The start, stop and reset chrono functions are activated via an orange-rimmed pusher, integrated into the black PVD-coated crown at 3 o’clock, making this new chronograph even more enjoyable. Philippe Delhotal, who designed the watch, explains the choice of the mono-pusher as opposed to a more conventional variant by citing two reasons. “I didn’t want the pushers to destabilize the geometry that is very dear to us aesthetically. We also wanted it for its practicality; it is convenient to have three functions with one pusher” – you can see him talk about the new Hermès watches collection in our video interview here.
The movement (with an added chronograph module) that drives this watch is a self-winding H1837, made by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, of which Hermès has been a shareholder since 2006. It is a calibre used throughout the H08 collection since its introduction. Visible through the sapphire crystal caseback, this calibre exhibits decent decoration, which does not let you forget you are looking at the Hermès product – “H” is everywhere, with the rotor engraved accordingly with Hermès Paris.
The new Hermès H08 Chronograph, when it comes to market mid-next year, will be offered with a textured orange rubber strap, closed with a folding clasp in titanium coated with satin-brushed black DLC, and it will be priced at EUR 15,000 or CHF 14,900. For more details, please visit www.hermes.com.