Regarded as one of the most refined luxury retailers, Hermès is renowned for its exquisite artisanal craftsmanship and intrepid artistic flair. The Maison’s unique style, safeguarded by current creative director Philippe Delhotal, is often transversal, taking design cues from one product line and incorporating them into another. Recently, Hermès watchmaking sector has turned to the brand’s famous line of silk scarves as inspiration for its dials. The latest quartet of Slim d’Hermès models revisits a series of silk scarves designed by artist Pierre Marie, brought to life with a variety of métiers d’art.
Pierre Marie has been a creative partner of Hermès since 2009. His quartet of scarf designs – Le Sacre des saisons – personifies each season with a fantastical animal executing a dance step. Inspired by the Baroque costumes designed by Henri de Gissey for the ballet “Les Fêtes de Bacchus” in the 17th century and the exotic, colourful costumes created by Leon Bakst for the Ballets Russes in the early 1920s, Pierre Marie’s imaginary animals are richly attired.
The stage chosen for the performance is the elegant 39.5mm Slim d’Hermès dress watch designed by Philippe Delhotal in 2015. Defined by its pure lines and slim profile, the watch is fitted with the ultra-slim 2.6mm Vaucher manufacture calibre H1950 with a micro-rotor.
Deploying the brand’s extensive artisanal skills, each dial is decorated using a different technique. The Winter model comes in a white gold case set with 52 baguette-cut diamonds and depicts a wolf. Using miniature enamel painting, the ice wolf is caught leaping through a wintry scene as he offers a golden fruit in his left hand. The beautiful combination of blues used to depict the enamel scenery is complemented by a series of golden details in relief that are the result of the delicate art of paillonné enamel. Paillonné involves inserting wafer-thin gold foil to highlight a particular area, which is then coated with translucent enamel. You can appreciate the intricate work on the ice wolf’s cape, the details of his costume and the fruit.
A horse represents spring with a beautiful flower-strewn mantle framed by a rose gold case with 66 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel. The apple-green chrysoprase dial is the background for the impressive miniature painting to depict the horse. Instead of being a flat representation, the artist has applied layer after layer of paint to create relief, bringing the flowers and horse to life.
As the seasons advance, the colour palette gets bolder, and Summer explodes with a vibrant display of bright yellows, greens, oranges and pinks. Summer is represented by a lion with beams of light emanating from his mane and a collar of sunbeams. More contemporary in attitude, the lion makes the peace sign with his left hand and holds two cherries in his right. Housed in a white gold case with 66 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel, the lion is engraved in sapphire crystal and painted from the back of the dial, exalting the bright lemon chrysoprase and the radiant colours of the scenery.
Finalising the seasons is the dial dedicated to the rich colours and textures of Autumn, framed by a white gold case. The animal representing autumn is a majestic eagle carved by hand in gold using traditional burins and chisels. The micro-relief engraving is highlighted with a vivid colour palette of rose, russet, pink, orange and gold, also meticulously applied by hand. Caught in mid-dance, his wings and cuffs are depicted by a flurry of autumn leaves, while his arms are festooned with swirling gold ribbons.
The four Le Sacre des Saisons Slim d’Hermès models are limited editions of 12 pieces and are accompanied by Hermès alligator straps. The price is upon request. For more information, please visit Hermes.com.