The new Hermes Cape Cod Grandes Heures (refs. 036599WW00 & 036600WW00) offers a Swiss-made automatic movement with a nice complication module that regularly proves that tempus does indeed fugit.
Presented in a unisex 316L stainless steel case 36.50 mm x 35.40 mm in height and width respectively, the Cape Cod Grandes Heures looks classy and refined, just like the rest of the series.
Inside the compact body is hidden an unspecified Swiss-made automatic movement with a special module (as far as I understand, it’s a relatively simple system of a series of gear wheels of oval shape) that, at given intervals, increases the angular velocity of both the hour and minute hands. Frankly, the complication looks a bit strange, since, even when moving at double speed, the minute hand still doesn’t move fast enough for the changes in speed to become entertaining to look at.
Perhaps, an irregular central seconds hand indicator would work better, but, as a nice contrast, the seconds hand keeps running around its axis at a usual speed of 6° per second.
Also, as far as I understand, the movement also features a dead beat seconds hand module that makes the central seconds hand jump one time per second: just like the same indicator on a normal quartz watch does. Although some brands invest a great deal of effort in making the movement of the pointer as fluid as technically possible, the dead beat complication is gradually coming back: just check out the beautiful Gronefeld One Hertz Platinum and a more classic-looking Arnold & Son True Beat 88!
The Hermes Cape Cod Grandes Heures comes in two versions of its striped dial: one silvered and one in anthracite, and with a choice of three “hours” display variations with the stylized Arabic numerals grouped in a different fashion like 8-10-12, 10-12-2 (pictured,) and 1-3-5.
As usual, the timekeeper is supplied with the best leather straps that (reasonable) money can buy. This particular model may be ordered either with a matt Havana brown or graphite alligator leather strap.
Pricing is not yet specified, but it will possibly be somewhere in the €5000 and €10,000 range*.
See also: Hermes Cape Cod Tonneau Bleu de Malte
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The French fashion house decided to offer the collection with a minimum recommended street price of €7100. While not especially affordable for an average Joe (or even an average Jane since the Cape Cod Grandes Heures looks like it could be worn as a unisex model), it is still not that expensive for the brand’s normal clientele given how exclusive the brand is when it comes to all things related to conspicuous consumption.
Hermes Cape Cod Grandes Heures specification
Price: €7100 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic caliber with Grandes Heures complication module, 133 parts, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours and minutes with variable speed, seconds
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 36.50 mm x 35.40 mm
Dial: Silvered (ref. 036599WW00) or Anthracite (ref. 036600WW00)
Hour markers: Black or White
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Matt Havana brown or graphite alligator leather strap with steel deployment clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective