At Baselworld, Philippe Delhotal, Creative Director of La Montre Hermès, said that 2016 is all about the consolidation of the Slim collection launched commercially in 2015. The Slim d’Hermès Email grand feu is a development of the Slim d’Hermès, and it is a 100-piece limited edition designed for collectors. Its dial design has the same new typeface by Philippe Apeloig, and it looks even better on the grand feu enamel dial. This is crafted by Donzé Cadrans in Le Locle, a company purchased by Ulysse Nardin in 2011. Donzé Cadrans uses traditional processes for this piece, in which white enamel powder is kiln-fired at 830°C onto a carefully-prepared copper base. Many successive layers are added to create the final, brilliant white, glossy surface, that will retain its white colour unaltered for decades. The process is made even more complicated by the fact that the dial consists of three levels, the external ring for the hour-markers, the central part, and the small seconds subdial. They are made separately and then assembled and welded together onto a pewter base.
The watch is 39.5 mm in diameter, with a rose gold case and a matt Havana alligator strap. It is powered by the ultra-thin self-winding H1950 movement (2.6 mm thick) made by Vaucher. Its thin dimensions are in part achieved by the micro-rotor, which is incorporated into the thickness of the bridges instead of being underneath the movement. The balance runs at 3 Hertz (21,600 vph), and the watch has a power reserve of 42 hours. The sapphire caseback reveals the lovely finish with the “sprinkling of Hs” motifs instead of the usual Côtes de Genève stripes. Below, the caseback, photo by Claude Joray.
Slim d’Hermès Email grand feu costs 21,000 Swiss francs, €19,400. A truly beautiful piece by Hermès, in which the ancient craft of enamelling is combined with modern graphic design and a sumptuous mechanical movement.