The new Hermes Cape Cod Tonneau Bleu de Malte may be a nice choice for those looking for a branded gift from the legendary French haute couture brand that started 170 years ago as a saddle-maker and gradually became one of the most respected fashion houses that currently specializes in fine (and very expensive) leather goods, perfumery and, yes, luxury watches. And it looks like they take this watchmaking business extremely seriously.
Although the French Hermes International S.A. high fashion house is mostly known for its ultra-expensive perfumery and all sorts of luxury goods like scarves, ties and leather bags, the brand also sells fine watches for both men and women.
Around 40 years ago they even established a sub-brand called La Montre Hermes, which, for a known reason, is based in Bienne, Switzerland.
Till now, the part of the business devoted to fine watches was rather obscure, but things will probably change soon since the French company has stepped up its efforts in becoming the major player in the field. At the beginning of the year, they even introduced an interesting Cape Cod Tourbillon high-end model that was powered by the brilliantly executed Calibre H 8930 VMF tourbillon movement.
Of course, even the major brands cannot make a decent living selling only Haute Horlogerie devices, and that is especially true when we are talking about watches designed for ladies.
I mean, when buying jewelry timepieces, women tend to turn more attention to their exterior (the design, quality of diamonds, comfort) rather than on the technicalities, such as the type of movement that powers the gadget.
So, it is no wonder that the French brand decided to present the Cape Cod Tonneau Bleu de Malte with an indiscernible quartz movement ticking inside its stainless steel case.
The collection comprises two versions: one in plain stainless steel in one in the same metal adorned with 52 brilliant-cut 1.80 mm diamonds with a total weight of 1.3 carats. That is 0.5 carats more than offers the Piaget Limelight City Ladies that I have reviewed yesterday.
The quality of the diamonds is rated as G and F (Rare White and Rare White +) and their clarity is rated as “Top Wesselton VVS,” which is normal for this price range.
The matte-white diamond of the Cape Cod Tonneau Bleu de Malte is decorated with stylized Arabic numerals that look like a breath of fresh air in the sea of monotonous typefaces used by the majority of watchmakers. The understated hour and minute baton hands look very, err, purebred and make this pretty much affordable timepiece looking like it cost ten times more.
Hermes Cape Cod Tonneau Bleu de Malte specification
Movement: Quartz, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes
Case: Stainless steel
Bezel: Stainless steel or Stainless steel with diamonds
Bezel shape: Tonneau
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Single or double tour Maltese Blue smooth calfskin, grey stitching, steel pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-coated
Back: Solid stainless steel