The dial of the limited-edtion Hermès Arceau Cavales Marqueterie de Cuir, left, is an abstract interpretation of the Hermès Cavales horse head motif. It is created in two of the house’s classic colours, ‘Hermès Red’ and ‘Indigo Blue’, seen here. It is decorated with carefully selected pieces of full-grain calfskin in subtly varied tones.These have been split to a thickness of around 0.5mm and then cut into the appropriate sizes and shapes before being painstakingly juxtaposed on the dial to create the design. The Slim d’Hermès Les Zèbres de Tanzanie, right, combines leather marquetry and champlevé enameling. Photography: Gilles Pernet
Collectors’ corner: Hermès leather-dial watches
Hermès’ long heritage of exceptional materials, craftsmanship and creativity has weaved a seam through its watchmaking division since it was created just 40 years ago. Alongside its now-classic watch designs, such as the Cape Cod, the French maison also issues a handful of limited edition timepieces each year. In the Hermès tradition, these are not so much watches as objets d’art. Placing its leather-working crafts firmly in the spotlight, the Hermès 2018 editions are created using leather marquetry and traditional enamelling techniques. We take a closer look:
The Slim d’Hermès Les Zèbres de Tanzanie is crafted using a technique where enamel is poured into hollows in a metal surface. It is filled with several layers of white enamel and fired, dried and hand-polished several times. The animal’s op-art-like stripes are created using coloured leather inlays to create a contrasting matt and gloss surface. The watch is powered by Hermès own H1950 ultra-thin movement. Photography: David Marchon
Exotic animals have always been a favourite inspiration at Hermès and here, the zebra design is the 2010 creation of the animal artist Yves-Marie de Malleray. This special Slim d’ Hermès timepiece, created in a limited-edition of 12, combines leather marquetry and exceptional champlevé enameling (a technique where enamel is poured into hollows in a metal surface).
Photography: David Marchon