For French high luxury goods maker Hermès, time is an object is translated by the brand into a singular timepiece. Shaped by the finest artisans, Hermès has done it once again with its latest timepiece: the Slim d’Hermès Cheval Ikat.
Sporting a 39.5mm round white or rose gold case, it is combined with either a black or Chantilly alligator strap. Thin baton-type hands sweep over the horse’s silhouette and keep the time.
Inside, an ultra-thin Manufacture Hermès H1950 movement gives life to this singular expression of time.
The watch represents the epitome of rigorous discipline and perfect balance. Created by Philippe Delhotal in 2015, the first iteration was a distillation of Hermès’ craftsmanship skills. In this instance, the Slim d’Hermès focuses its refined design on the art of Ikat weaving. The dyeing technique which is used to pattern textiles and employs resist dyeing on yarns before it is dyed and woven into a fabric.
Here it is used to create a dial woven with gold threads that reveal the graceful curves of a galloping horse that stands out from a white or blue background.
To create this raised equestrian motif, the artisans had to place multitudes of threads that are three times thinner than a hair on the dial. This is followed by determining the starting and ending point for each thread and using a laser-hollowing of the cavities to accommodate its ends which are fused by pouring 24K gold poured into each attachment point.
There is a high level of precision required here as each of the specifically shaped 1,165 threads must be arranged in a highly precise order and position so as to create the play of transparency and light in the weft. The extreme slimness of the dial (0.35mm) also represents a challenge to artisans as they complete this miniature work.
Hermès has only produced two 36-piece limited and numbered editions.