Usually you see vintage pocket watches hanging in watch repair and antique shops. Before 1910, all watches were pocket watches: wristwatches were made popular by soldiers in the First World War. Today, many brands still have a few pocket watches in their collection, such as this piece by Hermès, Pocket Plein Cuir. It combines a watch with the brand’s leather-making skills, with a surround made in four layers of leather, carefully stitched together, with heat-finished edges.
The watch itself is 54 mm in diameter, in white gold, with a white grand feu enamel dial and black Roman numerals. Indications are just hours and minutes. Water resistance is 3 bar, 30 metres. The dial is interesting for the contrast between the pure white enamel, the Roman numerals that create a fine spidery filigree suspended between the little black blocks at the ends of the lines, and the lovely blued hands.
Hermès H1912 movement
The H1912 movement is made by Vaucher and can be considered in-house, as Hermès have a 25% stake in the company. It was first presented in 2012. It is self-winding, 50 hours power reserve, running at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz). It can be seen through the sapphire caseback, and has the H-motif decorative finish on oscillating weight and plates.
The piece is available with alligator leather surround in blue, burgundy or grey versions. A 23-cm white gold chain is attached to a leather loop at the top. Presumably the fit between the watch and the leather is so tight and perfect that the two parts are as one, with sufficient space left above the crown to extract it for time-setting.
Price of the Hermès Pocket Plein Cuir
The watch costs 37,000 Swiss francs, €34,000.