Hermes’ Centennial Bell Expressions – Beginning To Make Fine Watchmaking

In 1978, Jean-Louis Dumas, the fifth generation leader of Hermès, was in charge of Hermès. Hermès decided to enter the watchmaking neighborhood. For the past 50 years, Hermès has been selling products for high-end watch brands, or looking for The watch factory processed the watches for it. Until this year, the brand really entered the watch manufacturing industry. This was a risky move, because the crisis at that time was far from resolved, and the Swiss watch industry itself had fallen into a difficult situation. Of course, the benefits are also obvious. The downturn in the industry can allow Hermes to quickly enter this industry that is no longer unfamiliar to it. As a result, La Montre Hermès, headquartered in Biel, Switzerland, was born. This company’s main business is watch manufacturing, but in fact it has many registered trademarks. Dumas strengthened the company’s cooperation with suppliers, and its business scope has spread to scarves, In handbags, jewelry, silverware, crystals, etc., watches are just one of them. In 1999, the company moved to a larger and more spacious modern building not far from the original site, which could accommodate more employees.

Hermès La Montre Hermès

   La Montre Hermès is responsible for the production of watches and related components. In the same year, the Arceau series with horse stables as the design source was launched. In the 1990s, the shape of Arceau watches changed, and the ring at 6 o’clock was cancelled, forming today The look of an Arceau watch. In 1981, Hermès’s flagship series Clipper came out. Its iconic element was a porthole-style bezel. This was Hermès’ first sports-style watch series, which included functional watches such as big three hands, chronograph, GMT and It continues to this day. In 1991, another famous Hermès collection, Cape Cod, was launched for the first time (previously there are models, it is estimated that this year has been integrated into a series). Its design inspiration was from the hand of the artistic director of the ready to wear clothing series. In addition to this series of watches In addition to the distinctive design on the watch earrings, the double-circle strap has become the biggest highlight, which flaunts the watch’s strong fashion decoration effect. In 1997, the H-Hour series started with Hermès as its starting point. The H-label is very common in Hermès products, but this is the first time it appears in a watch shape. At the same time, it is bound to appear as a brand icon.

The most important watch series introduced from 1978 to 2003

   The establishment of La Montre Hermès company promoted Hermes’ watchmaking business. At the time Hermes still did not have enough technical support to fully produce its own watches, so it mainly adopted the Swiss movement manufacturers, watch cases, dials Waiting for the cooperation of watch component suppliers to launch their own watches. The brand combines design elements with distinctive DNA characteristics to combine with the traditional Swiss watchmaking industry, which is indeed a good direction for establishing the status of Hermes watch manufacturer in the early stage. At the same time, Hermès has not given up its original watch retail business, and still represents many high-end watch brands, such as Piaget.

Piaget 1990s with Hermes stamp

Open the chapter of fine watchmaking
   Compared with the old Swiss high-end watchmaking brands, Hermès’s watchmaking path from 1978 to 2003 is like a little fuss. In addition to design, Hermès completely lacks the most core technology of watchmaking. Guillaume de Seynes (Executive Vice President of Hermès Group, general manager of La Montre Hermès during 1999-2004) once said in an interview with the media that Hermès may be the industry leader in leather goods, and also has a clear position in the area of ​​scarves. One of the company’s goals is for Hermès watchmaking to occupy a place with quality and a fusion of creativity and style.

Mr. Guillaume de Seynes

   In 2001, after the vicissitude of the watchmaking company Vaucher, under the vertical integration of the Santos Family Foundation, it strengthened its core movement production capacity, and was reborn in 2003, becoming a Parmigiani machine. Core supplier. In the same year, Hermès also watched and started cooperation with this newly established movement factory with strong watchmaking capabilities. The birth of Hermes’ signature cushion watch series Dressage, and the use of high-quality Vaucher automatic movements, became the first step for Hermes to start the fine watchmaking business.

Vaucher movement factory

   In 2006, Hermès invested 25 million Swiss francs to buy 25% of the Vaucher movement factory, becoming an important shareholder of the movement factory. At the same time, Hermes relocated Brugg, a leather manufacturing workshop in Paris, to Bill to manufacture straps for Hermes watches and also provide high-quality straps for Parmigiani. As a result, Hermès has a stable and reliable quality movement manufacturer, and has become a watch manufacturing brand with homemade straps. Because Hermes’ leather goods are world-renowned, this has become a highlight of Hermes watches in the field of fine watchmaking.

Joseph Erard SA case manufacturer

   Since then, Hermès has continuously introduced cherished watch dials, advanced complex watches and uniquely designed watches that combine the excellence of its own workshops. In 2009, Philippe Delhotal, a member of Patek Philippe’s creative design team, went to Hermès as the creative director, further drawing closer. The distance between Hermès and fine watchmaking. Not only that, in 2012, Hermès acquired Natéber Dial Manufacturing Co., Ltd., a dial supplier based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, which was born in 1972. At the end of 2013, it acquired the case manufacturing in Le Noirmont, Switzerland, which had begun to produce cases in 1880. Dealer Joseph Erard SA. The two companies have provided Hermes with cases and dials for 30 years. Guillaume de Seynes said that obtaining parts from third-party suppliers often slows down the completion time because they are still serving other customers. It is unbearable, but to maintain a good relationship with them in order to stabilize the supply, the best way is to buy directly.

Arceau Le Temps suspendu and Arceau Lift tourbillon watches

   In addition, Vaucher is indeed very powerful and advantageous in many aspects, but Hermes urgently needs some outstanding works to enhance its brand image and attract watch lovers to join. Therefore, Hermès chose to cooperate with independent watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, one of the designers of the OPUS series of Harry Winston, to launch the Arceau Le Temps suspendu watch, which has won the GPHG award, and then cooperated with the Swiss Centre for Advanced Movement Research. La Joux-Perret (advantage is flying tourbillon technology) launched the complex function Arceau Lift tourbillon tourbillon watch.


   In the history of Hermès watch development, there is a partner closely related to it, that is, today’s watch giant Jaeger-LeCoultre, has in-depth contact with Hermès since the beginning of the last century, Hermès for its retail products, Jaeger-LeCoultre provides movements for Hermès and cooperates in production Watches continued until La Montre Hermès was founded in 1978, and Hermès began to produce its own watches. Today, Jaeger-LeCoultre still has a close relationship with Hermès. In 2013, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Hermes launched a limited edition of 176 Hermes air clocks. This is the iconic precision watch type of Jaeger-LeCoultre. It has never previously cooperated with other brands to manufacture air clocks.

   Hermes is currently one of the very few brands in many luxury goods groups that is still growing steadily. According to the 2014 financial report, all major business categories of Hermès have shown negative growth only in the watch sector, which has received industry influence. All other categories have achieved growth to varying degrees. . The low proportion of watches in Hermès’ business has not allowed Hermès to abandon this sustainable development industry, but is constantly seeking breakthroughs. In the impression of consumers, luxury watches and clocks pay attention to the “roots and roots of Miao Hong”. They must have historical heritage and characteristic attributes. Hermès clocks obviously have such a basic background, and its high-end watches have not developed for more than 10 years. Suddenly began to emerge. Of course, Hermès still has a long way to go to become the core brand of Haute Horlogerie, but we might as well slowly appreciate her unique and rare watches, and feel the exotic atmosphere rare in the traditional watchmaking industry, and then Watching her grow up gradually, she needs time, we are more patience, and may usher in a new landscape.