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La Montre Hermès makes way for mechanical
Point of View

La Montre Hermès makes way for mechanical

Tuesday, 23 March 2010
By Cristina d’Agostino
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Cristina d’Agostino

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3 min read

Mechanical movements are prominent in the 2010 collections from La Montre Hermès, along with a clear determination to make a name as a legitimate Fine Watch brand.

An all-new Clipper collection, an Arceau Duc Attelé pocket watch and a limited-edition Cape Code Tourbillon are the major new models which the brand presented in Basel this year. Whether mechanical or quartz, their common denominator is to emphasise craftsmanship. Still too often seen as a fashion brand for the firm’s liking, La Montre Hermès is this year intent on reversing the trend.

It's a little over a year since you took the helm of La Montre Hermès. What were the first decisions to be put into effect?

Luc Perramond: We reduced the number of references from 2,200 in 2008 to just over 500 this year, at the same time repositioning our collections in their original environment. We have continued to highlight our expertise in Fine Watchmaking and decoration. This year, for example, we are presenting a Cape Cod Tourbillon and the Arceau Pocket Duc Attelé, which has an engraved mother-of-pearl dial on petrified wood. We are also developing our range of men’s watches and mechanical movements.

Which do you expect to be your most buoyant markets and which markets have you still to develop?

Looking at Asia, the Chinese market is thriving and we are putting all our efforts into sustaining this growth. North America has huge potential for development and we will be having a number of meetings during Baselworld to increase our presence on the American market. Europe is holding up well, in particular France which is our main market. Italy, the United Kingdom and Switzerland are also centres of attention.

How do the new Clipper Chronograph and the Arceau pocket watch fit in with your strategy to develop Hermès' image?

The Clipper Chronograph 44mm has been redesigned, as has the entire Clipper range, to create an aesthetic that is more in line with what customers are now looking for. The 44mm model is equipped with a self-winding mechanical movement. Its owner will appreciate the lightness of the titanium case. The lady’s 36mm chronograph replaces the 32mm model, again for more contemporary appeal. Changes to the Clipper line reflect the objective we set ourselves, namely to drastically reduce the number of references which La Montre Hermès proposes.

The Arceau Pocket Duc Attelé is an excellent illustration of the craftsmanship that we defend, such as leatherwork with the alligator strap, engraving with the hand-carved mother-of-pearl, and watchmaking with the Vaucher movement. Our ambition in presenting this unique timepiece is to show we are a legitimate watch brand. Remember that Hermès has been making watches since 1912.

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