For us, Hermès watches was one of the most impressive brands at SIHH 2019. The luxury accessories brand has managed to carve itself a reputation as a serious watch manufacturer and this position was further strengthened with the unveiling of the Arceau 78, Arceau L’heure de la lune with fantastic double moon phase and a brand new collection, Galop d’Hermès, led by American designer Ini Archibong.
What I loved so much about the unassuming Galop d’Hermès was its chic but reserved personality – oozing with confidence minus the need to be smothered in precious stones.
Channeling the brand’s founding roots, the design of the Galop d’Hermès was led by Nigerian-American designer, Ini Archibong. Being based in Switzerland, Archibong would have a basic understanding of watch aesthetics merely by spending enough time around the country’s elite. However, the designer has found a particular passion for Hermès watches historical grounding in equestrian and has integrated this passion with the art of time:
“The material I work with is light.
I create shapes to catch the light.
I have learned to design aerodynamic shapes and futuristic lines that use
surfaces in order to explore light effects.”
– Ini Archibong, designer.
Ini Archibong with Hermès design and development director, Philippe Helhotal.
The entirety of the watch’s design is based on the equestrian nature of Hermès, beginning with the horse rack-shaped case. The resulting stirrup shape and delicate barenia leather strap is distinctively feminine, despite Hermès not specifying it as a woman’s watch.
Where most watch companies keep an uncrowded face to bring attention to the whole dial, the Galop d’Hermès wants to bring attention to one single digit – 8. For what anyone would consider being a fairly simple display of number, the 8 is shaped like an arch, a stirrup, a futuristic space vessel or as Hermès puts it – ‘all three at once?’
Cases are offered in 316L steel or Rose Gold with the more opulent options bordered by 150 diamonds, not that the Galop d’Hermès requires them, thus resulting in some variations being far more feminine (and far more expensive) than others. As a non-square or non-circular watch, the width of the Galop d’Hermès is measured as 40.8mm x 26mm.
With a compelling narrative and roots in the brand’s esteemed history, the Hermès Galop d’Hermès is an elegant, eloquent experiment in watchmaking that will very likely become an iconic shape.
Local Pricing TBC (circa €3000 on steel)