Hermes Watches: How the Luxury Scarf Brand Made the Next Great Watch
The H08 has been a huge boon for the Hermès watch division. In the year following its release, sales increased 72%. In its most recent quarterly report, Hermès shared that watches were again the big winner, growing by 62%, making it increasingly its fastest-growing category. “Hermès Timepieces” has become the leading luxury watch brand for Mr. Naturally, it was the H08 that “became our most popular watch from the brand,” he added.
The success of the H08 is a victory for Hermès, but it also represents a subtle change in the way watch collectors are thinking about their next purchases.
The skepticism towards fashion brands that produced watches did not stop these manufacturers from trying. Over the past few years, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana have invested seriously in the J12, Tambour and Don Carlo watches respectively. This year, Gucci launch a collection of watches equipped with tourbillons and skeletal mechanical movements — both designed to flaunt the mechanical beauty of the watch. What all these watches have in common is some heavy technical bravery. These fashion brands, which used to happily install inexpensive and easy-to-handle quartz movements, are now showing off their evolution towards mechanical movements in impressive fashion.
This change to the design is the same as the one responsible for the bringing Cartier back to the forefront of the watch world in recent years. As agent Eric Ku told me last spring, “People are realizing – finally realizing – that design is just as important as complexity or other attributes that people often talk about. what they say about watches.”
The H08 isn’t the only Hermès watch on the rise, either. At this year’s Watches & Wonders, Hermès debuted the Arceau Le temps Voyageur, a watch whose features at first glance appear to be an ordinary map. Instead, the watch case features a fictional map of an imaginary Horse World — where countries with names like Dressage and perhaps ruled by a pony—Described directly from the design of a Hermès scarf. This watch, too, already has watch enthusiasts making room in their collections. Nico said: “H08 has become a gateway to the brand, because now I am seriously considering their new releases.”