Established back in 1837, the famous French fashion brand Hermes is mostly known for its high-quality, premium-priced leather goods. However, the French company has recently moved full speed ahead into the “real” watchmaking business. Marking its 175th anniversary, Hermes has not only redesigned its elegant Dressage family of dress watches, but also introduced what it calls its first in-house movement, which is aptly named H1837. Installed inside the new Hermes Dressage 1837 automatic wrist watch in its most basic form, the caliber is nevertheless ready to power much more complicated watches, including even those sporting so called “grand complications”: perpetual calendars and minute repeaters, just to name a few. All they need is just a few fairly simple add-on modules that would be powered by the new caliber.
According to official information, the movement was produced together with Hermes’ long standing partner Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier (the Swiss ebauche maker, for example, supplied a self-winding movement for the last year’s Hermes Heure H Tres Grand ladies watch.) Since you can’t just buy a great movement, re-decorate it and call it “in-house”, I assume that Hermes has probably acquired a healthy share of the company to technically make it a subsidiary. It was probably a good investment, too, since VMF has a really vast experience when it comes to creating complex, yet efficient movements.
Comprising 193 parts, beating at standard 28,800 vibrations per hour and built on 28 jewels, the new base movement features double-barrel design and is capable of running for a minimum of 50 hours after being fully wound and taken off the wrist.
Although the reliability of the movement is still to pass the test of time, it is a pleasure to note that the H 1837 (and the watch that it powers) has successfully passed a very strict Fleurier Quality Foundation (FQF) certification that conducts a series of life-like stress-tests making sure that the watch won’t break down from a minor hit.
As to the timekeeper itself, it looks like an evolutionary step in developing of the Dressage family of watches that were first introduced around 9 years ago.
Featuring even more elegant curves and planes that alternate brushed and polished surfaces, but sporting virtually the same dimensions, the watch has also acquired a slightly thinner bezel giving more real estate for the beautifully decorated dial.
Available both in opaline silver and black, the dial of the timepiece features the traditional stamped vertical striping in its center and is equipped with dauphine-shaped open-worked hands.
Depending on the metal of the case, the hands (as well as the eight hour markers and three raised Arabic numerals) come either rhodium-plated or in rose gold.
According to the brand’s press release, there will also be another version of the watch that comes sans the small seconds indicator, but features a simple calendar.
The watch was unveiled during the Baselworld 2012 trade fair. No info on pricing, but it is clear that the version in rose gold will be quite expensive.
See also: Hermes Arceau Temps Suspendu
Hermes Dressage 1837 Automatic watch specification
Price: $10,600 (version in stainless steel)
Movement: Automatic, Vaucher Manufacture caliber H1837, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: H-pattern on bridges, plates and oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: 50 hours
Case material: Stainless steel or 18-carat rose gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: H-shaped
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 38.40 mm x 40.50 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Opaline silver or Black
Hour markers: Applied
Hands: Open-worked, dauphine-shaped
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Matt Havana alligator strap; matt black alligator leather strap or stainless steel bracelet
Case back: Sapphire