Watches & Wonders: Hermès Gets Sporty With The New H08 Collection
The all-new Hermès H08 marks the house’s entry into more casual, sporty timepieces.
Today, the elegant French fashion house introduces its first sporty watch, but it isn’t joining the stainless steel sports watch fray — as always, Hermès is charting its own course. The new Hermès H08 watch marks a departure for a brand known for its fanciful complications, métiers d’art, and elegant dress watches.
The H08 is an expansion of the men’s collection that Véronique Nichanian, Men’s Artistic Director at Hermès, has spent over 30 years building. Nichanian designs discreet, luxurious fashion and accessories that are impeccably tailored but never boring. Her collections feature unexpected prints and pops of bright colors — after all, Hermès is renowned for its wildly patterned, bold silk scarves. The house’s Artistic Director Pierre-Alexis Dumas and Philippe Delhotal, Artistic Director for Watches, worked with Nichanian to translate her men’s universe into a sporty, everyday timepiece.
Laurent Dordet, CEO of La Montre Hermès, tells Watchonista that while it’s a sporty watch, it’s not what the watch world would call a classic sports watch. He says it was important for Hermès to “include a sport line, not to climb Mount Everest or to dive 1,000 meters deep, rather to be the companion of your life that you would wear all day or all week long without any problem, even when you perform some sports.”
Introducing the Hermès H08
The result of this vision is a sleek new watch that looks like nothing else on the market. The H08 is a unique combination of geometric shapes, different finishes, and contrasting colors. The 39mm x 39mm cushion-shaped case is a completely new shape for Hermès, too.
There are three Hermès H08 models. The first has a graphene-filled composite case with a black gold-coated dial. The second has a matte black DLC-coated titanium case with a black nickel-coated dial, and the third has a satin-brushed titanium case with a black nickel-coated dial.
The graphene-filled composite case model, in particular, has a moody black-and-grey design, all the way down to the black-tinted sapphire glass on the open caseback. Dordet describes this model as “a symphony of greys.” The graphene composite is robust, resistant to scratches, and super-lightweight.
Each model plays with textures and finishes, as well as geometry. The cases have satin-brushed finishes that contrast with the shiny black ceramic or titanium bezels with mirror-polished chamfers. The round dials are finely grained and feature black nickel-coated or rhodium-plated applied Arabic numerals coated with Super-LumiNova around the outside of the dial.
As is typical with Hermès, the numerals use a unique typography — the house creates a new one for each timepiece. The numeral 8 is particularly striking, a blend between 0 and 8 that evokes the symbol for infinity and gives the watch its name.
The numerals encircle a satin-brushed minutes disc, inside of which there is a white or grey transferred minutes track. The hands are black nickel-coated, and each of the hands has a different color: white for hours, black for minutes, and a discreet orange arrow tops the seconds hand. Interestingly, the seconds hand is rather short because Delhotal didn’t want it to cover the unique numerals.
There are several strap options available. The graphene model comes with a black rubber strap that completes its monochrome design. The titanium DLC-coated model comes with a rubber strap in either orange or black or a webbed fabric strap with black and anthracite or blue webbing. The choice of a black or orange rubber strap is also available for the satin-brushed titanium model. But this model can also be paired with a fabric strap with either black and charcoal or blue webbing or a chic titanium bracelet.
All three models are powered by the new Manufacture Hermès H1837 movement. The mechanical self-winding movement was created in-house in Switzerland and displays hours, minutes, seconds, and a small date window at 4:30. It is water-resistant to 10 bar and is suitable for swimming, but not for diving.
Pricing & Availability
The Hermès H08 is available to purchase now at hermes.com and in all Hermès stores. The graphene model on the rubber strap is $8,900, the satin-brushed titanium model on a titanium bracelet is $6,050, the titanium with DLC coating on the rubber or webbed fabric strap is $5,700, and the satin-brushed titanium model on the rubber or webbed fabric strap is $5,500.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)