When I was being measured for my Turnbull and Asser shirts, they added a couple of extra millimetres to the cuff measurement to accommodate my watch. They specifically ask you what kind of watch you wear for this purpose. That would almost be redundant in the case of Hermès’ new l’Heure Impatiente watch. As part of the Slim d’Hermès line, it’s flatter than a pancake which is all the more impressive when you consider the mechanical complications they have to squeeze into the case.
The unique – and adorably whimsical – thing about the l’Heure Impatiente is that it celebrates the hour before the appointed time. The anticipation hour, if you will. So a ‘mechanical hourglass’ allows you to count down to a particular event (think ‘hot date’ rather than ‘job interview’) with the final moment announced by a gentle two-second chime audible only to you. All this in the chicest of understated watches, with stencil-like numerals by graphic designer Philippe Apeloig.
While the Cape Cod and the Médor are well loved Hermès watches, this new direction using complications that are more poetic than functional is getting rave reviews from horology heads. The price tag is high – the l’Heure Impatiente will sell for £28,100 from this summer – but I guess that’s the price you pay for imaginative innovation. However, if you want the handsome looks without the countdown chime, there’s always the original Slim d’Hermès.
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
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