Known as the Maison of luxury goods that “speaks with its hands”, Hermès was established in 1837 by Thierry Hermès as a purveyor of the finest quality saddles and harnesses in Paris. Now regarded as one of the finest luxury retailers, Hermès is renowned for its impeccable artisanal craftsmanship and intrepid artistic flair. Design is a mantra at Hermès, and leading designers like Henri d’Origny, who defined le gout Hermès and current creative director Philippe Delhotal, the hand behind the Slim d’Hermès line, have created a unique style often infused with playful touches and philosophical French musings on the essence of time. The latest Slim d’Hermès Pocket Masan Masan reinterprets the equestrian design of an Hermès silk scarf using the art of horsehair marquetry.
Since 1937, silk scarves have been synonymous with Hermès and, along with its iconic Birkin and Kelly handbags, are one of the brand’s best-selling products. Often produced in collaboration with leading artists, some of these scarves have become highly collectable works of art. Earlier this year, we covered the Arceau watch flaunting Ugo Bienvenu’s Wow scarf with his comic book horse-riding heroine depicted on the mother-of-pearl dial with miniature painting.
The new Slim d’Hermès Pocket Masan Masan is also inspired by an equestrian silk scarf motif created for Hermès by Thai designer Terawat Teankaprasith – one of the six winners of the Grand Prix du Carré Hermès launched in 2019. Known as the ‘Masan & Masan 90’ silk scarf, the motif depicts two ‘woven horses’ inspired by the ancestral Thai art of basket weaving using dried water hyacinths to create baskets, hats, animal-shaped toys and sandals.
Taking the brand’s love of all things equestrian to new heights, Terawat’s woven horse motif is recreated on the cover of the pocket watch employing the art of horsehair marquetry. Made exclusively by hand, horsehair marquetry is a rare art involving different shades of horsehair cut and glued strand by strand to compose the motif. Producing a raised three-dimensional surface like the woven Thai artefacts, the two horses on the dial are depicted with chestnut and golden horsehair. To exalt the profile and contours of the horses, an engraver creates reliefs and depths in gold using a burin and chisel.
Opening the white gold cover reveals the dial, which is also crafted using horsehair marquetry arranged diagonally. Philippe Delhotal’s winning design for the Slim d’Hermès was launched in 2015 and is considered a contemporary classic. Refined, balanced and sublimely chic, the Slim d’Hermès towers above mundane dress watches thanks to the unique typeface designed by famous French graphic designer Philippe Apeloig. The signature font used for the numerals is printed on the sapphire glass protecting the dial.
The sleek lines of the Slim d’Hermès are recreated in the slim 45mm white gold pocket watch case with a thickness of 11.6mm. With its crown at noon, the angular stirrup-shaped lugs on the top are used to attach the alligator cord strap. On the internal side of the hinged cover, there is an engraved silhouette of the horses.
Powering the watch is the ultra-thin automatic calibre H1950, the same as used in the wrist-worn Slim. Designed and manufactured by Vaucher, the 30mm movement has a thickness of just 2.6mm and relies on a micro-rotor. Beating at 21,600vph, the calibre delivers a 42-hour power reserve. The bridges are decorated with an Hermès ‘H’ pattern, and the movement can be viewed through the sapphire crystal caseback.
Availability & Price
The Slim d’Hermès Pocket Masan Masan is a unique piece and retails for CHF 158,000 (incl. tax). For more information, please consult hermes.com.