Apple Watch Hermès collection impresses loyal clients of both brands

Picky Nicky (quality maniac-at-large) reviews the Apple Watch Hermès collection

Apple Watch Hermès illustration
The Apple Watch Hermès runs rings round the competition, with no double trouble for Picky Nicky
(Image credit: TBC)

I admit that when I first heard about the Apple Watch Hermès collection, I was kind of torn. Impressed by the partnership of two brilliant brands, and personally attracted by the Double Tour bracelet in Fauve Barenia leather, I did think the collaboration would instantly enhance the desirability of the Apple Watch. Yet, even as a loyal client of both companies, I wondered if this project somehow belittled the Hermès watch already on my wrist.

I bought my Cape Cod Double Tour at Hermès Milan around 15 years ago and it only comes off my wrist when I work out (more on that later). The watch was created in 1991 by Henri d’Origny; in 1998, the brand’s then womenswear director, Martin Margiela, introduced the double strap, known as the Double Tour. Although I have a Fauve Barenia strap in the cupboard, the one I wear is in Étrivière raw bridle leather. So my rather selfish thought was, is the new Apple Watch Hermès too accessible, will it reduce the desirability of my watch, or make it redundant even for me? Hermès is a brand out of reach to most, yet Apple represents the very best of accessible design (relatively speaking) and the Apple Watch Hermès is priced at £1,150 for a Double Tour, albeit in a limited number of stores.

At the launch dinner for the watch on the roof of Hermès’ 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré HQ, I met the Apple team, including Sir Jonathan Ive; Kevin Lynch, vice president of technology and the software genius behind the watch; and Jay Blahnik, director of fitness and health technologies, who heads up fitness software development. And, guess what, I am hooked.

You see, I always wanted more from the Nike+ app, which I used to use to track my runs. I tried the Garmin Forerunner, a GPS running watch, but gave up on it after 11 months, as I was bored of it searching for a satellite for up to ten minutes. The Apple Watch’s Workout app uses GPS via your iPhone and can track and measure specific workouts including running, rowing and cycling, which suits me really well. But it’s the Activity app with its Move, Exercise and Stand rings that will change the way we live and work, get us up from the desk for a minute once an hour and way more.

When I learnt about the medical and health resources that Apple’s fitness team in Cupertino have to play with, I realized this is just the start. When working out, I can use the fluoroelastomer sport strap and then snap back in the leather Double Tour with a simple slide and click. Now I just have to work out a way to wear both the original Cape Cod and the Apple Watch Hermès – so look out for Picky Nicky trying to work a double Double Tour.


Apple goes swell for leather

The case: the Apple Watch Hermès’ stainless steel case is etched with the Hermès signature

The dial: the digital dial designs are inspired by Clipper, Cape Cod and Espace Hermès watches

Double Tour strap: the 38mm model with my favoured Double Tour strap offers a choice of Fauve Barenia leather and Bleu Jean, Capucine and Étain Swift leather

Single Tour strap: the 38mm with a Single Tour strap is available in Fauve Barenia leather, Noir Box leather and Capucine Swift leather

42mm case with Single Tour: this slightly wider model comes with a Single Tour strap in Fauve Barenia leather and Noir Box leather

42mm case with Cuff: the chunky Cuff strap is available in Fauve Barenia leather

As originally featured in the January 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*202)

Viva Mayr clinic in Altaussee, Austria illustration

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Illustrator: Danae Diaz

Also known as Picky Nicky, Nick Vinson has contributed to Wallpaper* Magazine for the past 21 years. He runs Vinson&Co, a London-based bureau specialising in creative direction and interiors for the luxury goods industry. As both an expert and fan of Made in Italy, he divides his time between London and Florence and has decades of experience in the industry as a critic, curator and editor.