Chain reaction: the Hermès Cape Cod links back to the future
For the past 25 years, the Hermès’ Cape Cod has coiled around the wrists of style icons, had a luxe Margiela update and now, on the occasion of its birthday, is launched in a series of new incarnations.
Created by the house’s silk expert Henri d’Origny in 1991, the case and numerals of the Cape Cod were inspired by Hermès’ classic Chaîne d’Ancre (anchor chain) pattern – from where it got its nautical name. Its graphic form was born of Origny’s retro-style idea of placing a square dial inside a rectangular steel case, while its design credentials were defined by his decision to heighten the laid-back chic factor with a ribbon-like leather strap.
In 1998, Martin Margiela made his standout contribution to watch design, gracing the Cape Cod with a chic Double Tour strap and putting the timepiece on Hermès’ Paris runway. The Cape Cod became not just a design object in its own right but an emblematic horological house motif. Last year, it became the focus of the French maison’s surprise collaboration with Apple Watch.
In celebration of its anniversary year, it appears in a new suite of guises: diamonds have been added to its rectangular outer case, the dial has been updated in mother-of-pearl, while a new men’s model features a cuff-style wristband.
One of the first design watches to launch with the option of interchangeable straps, the new spectrum, from iris to ultraviolet and Veronese green, allows for as subtle or as glamorous a take as is preferred. ‘It’s still unconventional and free from any kind of formalism, while staying true to classic style,’ reflects Philippe Delhotal, La Montre Hermès’ artistic director. We couldn’t agree more.