One of the most high-profile luxury maisons to join the SIHH for the first time in 2018, Hermès chose to highlight not an unexpected complication, like 2015’s Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar, but a revamped version of a modernist design-oriented piece first unveiled in 2010, the square-cased Hermès Carré H.
Designed by French architect and industrial designer Marc Berthier, the Carré H (carré is French for “square;” three guesses what the “H” stands for) was nicknamed “the architect’s watch” for its right angles and geometrical shapes. For the new model, Hermès enlarged the case by a few millimeters, bringing it from 36.5 mm x 36.5 mm to 38 mm x 38 mm. The edges of the case, made of polished and micro-bead-blasted 316L stainless steel (as opposed to the original’s titanium), have been softened, with a curved profile and a cylindrical anti-glare-treated sapphire crystal over the dial.
The dial — in dark gray or black — offers even more aesthetic complexity than that on the 2010 version, with an opaline center enhanced with right-angled guilloché, a finely grained chapter ring, and an outer rim with either an opaline or sunburst finish. The distinctive, faceted, double-digit Arabic numerals are in an exclusive font and coated with Super-LumiNova, as are the rhodium-plated hour and minute hands. The central seconds hand, with its curved, sweeping counterweight, is either yellow (on the gray-dialed model) or red (on the black-dialed watch).
Inside the case, and visible behind a sapphire pane in the back, beats a proprietary movement, Hermès’s self-winding Caliber H1912, replacing the outsourced Girard-Perregaux GP3200 used in the 2010 model. This Swiss-made caliber, oscillating at 28,800 vph, is made up of 193 components, including 28 jewels, and holds a 50-hour power reserve. Haute horlogerie decorations abound, including circular graining and snailing on the mainplate and a satin-brushed rotor with a signature Hermès “H” motif. As one would expect from one of the world’s most revered purveyors of fine leathers, the straps are in natural or black Barenia calfksin, and fasten to the wrist with a pin buckle made of the same micro-bead-blasted steel as the case. The new Hermes Carré H will be priced at $7,725. Below, check out a wrist shot of the black-dialed Carré H from SIHH 2018.