Hermès, the French luxury maison par excellence, has released its latest highly limited timepiece that celebrates the brand’s commitment to artistic crafts and Métiers d’Art. Debuting at Watches & Wonders 2021, the new Hermès Slim d’Hermès C’est la fête is a work of art that has been made possible thanks to the craftsmanship of the skilful enamellers and engravers. As the name suggests, the limited edition piece is built on the Slim d’Hermès watch that was created by Philippe Delhotal in 2015. The simplicity of the round case of the Slim d’Hermès contrasted by the intricate motif on the dial gives the timepiece a very interesting aesthetic quality.
The motif on the dial showcasing a skeleton figure in a tailcoat and top hat riding a skeleton horse is taken from the men’s silk scarf designed by Daiske Nomura in 2012. The Japanese artist and illustrator collaborated with the luxury brand to the flat illustration into three-dimensional design that looks very different from anything we have seen thus far.
According to Hermès, the C’est la fête dials are handcrafted in Switzerland and only three artisans are responsible for creating each of these masterpieces. One of the craftsman does the miniature enamel, one does the pailloné enamel, and the last one is responsible for the intricate engraving work.
The meticulous technique of paillonné enamel involves inserting gold or silver leaf paillons between the layers of enamel to create a variety of light, transparency and relief effects. On the other hand, the delicate art of miniature enameling is an equally painstaking process. The artisan applies the contours of the motif on a hand-enameled and polished white gold surface before using a very fine brush to adorn it with various colored glass powders mixed with natural oils. Several coats are applied and successively dried and fired in the kiln.
The craftsman specializing in engraving uses a chisel to bring the three-dimensional motif to life by carving out the relief and depth of these figures in gold. The colored motif seems to pop out of the dial which has a dark blue background. The whole dial takes approximately three weeks to create.
The Hermès Slim d’Hermès C’est la fête features a 39.5mm white-gold case that houses the the Manufacture Hermès H1950 self-winding movement. Completing the look is a blue alligator strap from the Hermès workshops. The watch is limited to just eight examples and is priced at $112,900.