Hermès have reason to celebrate - in 1978 when they became serious about making watches and created a designated watchmaking division, the brand had high ambitions, this year those aspirations have been realised - they have just presented to the industry their first manufacture movements. This is not the luxury brand's only horological milestone in recent times - in 2008 they launched their first proprietary movement, the H1, developed with Fleurier-based Vaucher, a company partly owned by Hermès, and last year their Arceau Temps Suspendu was awarded the prize for Best Men's Watch at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix. No longer can the industry be sniffy about La Montre Hermès, the brand may have its roots in saddlery and scarves but this is serious stuff - Hermès are playing with the big boys.
Both calibres have been produced using the building blocks laid down by the H1. The one we will feature is the H1837, built to power the Dressage and named in honour of the year the brand was founded. This is an automatic calibre producing 50 hours of power reserve and as you can see is proudly engraved with the strong Hermès "H" branding.
In order to house the new calibre, the Dressage, first released in 2003, has been given a "nip and a tuck" - but it still retains its equestrian-ism, its combination of round and tonneau forms, its circle-enclosed numerals and its characteristic lugs.
The piece will be available in either 18K pink gold case, limited to 175 pieces or a stainless steel edition. On the dial all is classically styled and in perfect proportion with applied numerals and markers, a textured centre section and a recessed small seconds at 6 o'clock.
The Hermès Dressage for 2012 will come presented on a finest quality Havana alligator leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet.
The Hermès Arceau Temps Suspendu award-winning watch.
The Hermès Arceau Marqueterie de Paille also new for 2012.