Lots of pocket watches this year. Perhaps Hermès know something that other people don’t about this sector of the market? Are lots of people going to be going around with fobs and chains? Are waistcoats also going to be coming back?
In actual fact theSlim d’Hermès Pocket Panthère isn’t going to change the situation all that much because it’s just one piece, expensive and very beautiful. Like the Arceau Tigre, it is a tribute to artist Robert Dallet who worked with Hermès in the 1980s and produced many beautiful paintings of big cats. The dial combines engraving and enamelling to produce a sumptuous, three-dimensionally realistic depiction. Engraving is used for the background; the panther is painted in enamel, on the deepest part of the white gold dial. Both engraver and enameller are amazing artists – just think that the enamel colour is in powder form, mixed alternately with water or oil to ensure that the tiny touches don’t mix when they are juxtaposed.
The enamel is kiln-fired at high temperature, with one firing for each colour, and as it is fired 25 times, it was a long process. 75 hours of engraving, 4 weeks enamelling. You’d think that they’d be named, or that they signed the dial, these two artist-artisans, but the watch industry is like that, the individuals retreat into the background to enable the brand name to shine resplendent. In fact one of them, it looks like a M. Porchet, has left a tiny signature amidst the grass at the left – perhaps the engraver signed it somewhere as well.
The watch is powered by the ultra-thin H1950 calibre, self-winding, 42 hours power reserve, running at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hertz). It can be seen through the sapphire caseback. Water resistance is 3 bar (30 metres). It is mounted on a cord in havana alligator, with a matching pouch.
Price of the Slim d’Hermès Pocket Panthère
The watch costs 260,000 Swiss francs, €240,000. It is a one-off piece.