This limited-edition series, 12 watches, is part of the Slim project by Hermès. The dial depicts the Koma Kurabe horserace organized every year at Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto, amidst the springtime cherry blossom. Each dial is made of Sèvres porcelain, hand-painted by Buzan Fukushima, a master of the Japanese Aka-e painting technique. Below, Buzan Fukushima at work, photo by Eiichi Okuyama, courtesy of Hermès.
The process of crafting the dials begins with the preparation of the porcelain base, which requires from five to seven firings. The painting is then performed by Buzan, using red and ochre pigments, completed with gold. After another three firings, the dial is ready for assembly into the watch. The whole process requires five days for a single dial. The detail is wonderful, even at such a small scale. Below, Koma Kurabe dial, photo by Eiichi Okuyama, courtesy of Hermès.
The 39.5 mm case in white gold encloses the ultra-thin H1950 movement (2.6 mm thick) by Manufacture Vaucher, an automatic calibre with a power reserve of 42 hours. The sapphire caseback reveals the lovely movement finish with the “sprinkling of Hs” motifs. The watch has a matt Havana alligator strap, with pin buckle in white gold.
Slim d’Hermès Koma Kurabe, a limited edition of 12, is priced at 60,000 Swiss francs. Below, the complete watch, photo by Claude Joray, courtesy of Hermès.