Leather to highlight more than a century of watchmaking tradition
With the In The Pocket watch, Hermès is reviving a fundamental piece that was to forge its watchmaking destiny already spanning more than a century of history. A family history mingling a love of horses, exceptional leather-making expertise, as well as a perpetually effervescent inventiveness in creating beautiful objects meeting practical needs.
This article by www.luxurysocietyasia.com
It all began in 1912, when Jacqueline Hermès, still a child at the time, received a gift from her father in the shape of an ingenious “porte-oignon” or pocket-watch holder designed to be secured to the wrist. It had been designed so that the keen young horsewoman could ride without having to attach her watch to her clothing or slip it into her pocket. Testifying to the original Hermès expertise in the field of saddle- and harness-making, this leather strap was designed like those worn by stable lads, surrounding the pocket watch and adopting its shape so as to provide ideal protection.
Skills that find their way through the decades
Reinvented in 2 012 u n d e r t h e n a m e “In The Pocket”, this iconic model now returns in a unique rose gold composition clad in a H red Swift calfskin. A pocket- watch that may be transformed at will into a wristwatch, it embodies both the historical leather hand craftsmanship of Hermès and its watchmaking development to the point of becoming a full-f ledged Manufacture now in the hands of the seventh generation of the founding family.
In The Pocket watch is distinguished by its extreme sobriety. The 40 mm diameter of the delicately rounded rose gold case increases to 49 m m when worn on the wrist. Its finely grained black dial reinterpreted in an Only Watch execution avoids any superfluous ornamentation so as to provide the clearest, most self-evident expression of time. The baton-type hands sweep over pared-down numerals, while the small seconds ticks round at 3 o’clock, all driven by the Manufacture Hermès H1837 movement with a 50-hour power reserve. The colour of the chapter ring echoes the H red emblematic of the House of Hermès. Crafted in keeping with the finest horological traditions, this refined self-winding mechanism features a circular-grained and snailed mainplate, while its oscillating weight is adorned with the brand’s signature “sprinkling of Hs” motif.
Leather as a hand-sewn link between past and present
The incredibly complex strap of the “In The Pocket” model calls for lengthy and patient workmanship. Composed of two longer and shorter sections, the plain strap end and the buckle strap end (sanglon and boucleteau in French), it is hand crafted in the leather-making workshops of La Montre Hermès in Switzerland.
These two parts are composed of three layers of leather: H red calfskin; an inner cow leather reinforcement ensuring impeccable sturdiness; and a Zermatt calfskin lining. First comes the cutting process, including layer cutting; the hides are soaked and then pressed into a mould. They dry for 10 days before being cut with a pointed tool, layer- cut, sanded down and glued. Each of the parts is then partially sewn; the buckle strap end is perforated to free up the spaces that will reveal the dial and through which the plain strap end and the crown will pass.
The work continues on the table, with the buck le end and the plain strap end being fitted together, marked with a compass, indented and sewn using the saddle-stitching technique. Then comes the finishing, including hammering the stitching, marking a furrow, dyeing and polishing with beeswax. With infinite patience, one operation after another, the artisans at La Montre Hermès thus lovingly create In The Pocket, a tribute to the watchmaking roots of the Maison.