Collector’s Corner

The watchmaking sector of Hermès, the well-known Parisian fashion accessories house, marked two important anniversaries in 2003 with a limited-production line of hand-crafted, self-winding men’s watches called “Dressage.” The line debuted in the United States in September at Hermès’s New York City showroom in a special presentation by Guillaume de Seynes, managing director of La Montre Hermès. He noted that it was 75 years ago that the first watch was sold in Paris under the Hermès brand, and 25 years since the establishment of La Montre Hermès, which has its own workshops in Biel, Switzerland, the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry.

To mark these dates, said de Seynes, and “the beginning of a third generation of watchmaking,” La Montre Hermès created “Dressage” in three gold versions plus a platinum limited edition. These special anniversary editions are engraved on the back with “75e anniversaire de la montre Hermès 1928-2003.” The platinum version is limited to 75 pieces, and the gold versions to a combined total of 1,000. The price range is $13,000 to $25,400.

The watch’s name is a nod to another part of the history of Hermès, which began as a saddler. Its double-barrelled self-winding mechanical movement was produced for Hermès by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, which personalized it with the series number “P 1928” (birth year of Hermès watches). It has a power reserve of 55 hours (compared with 36 to 48 hours for most single-barrelled mechanical watches). Several components are enhanced with an Hermès pattern.

Other features include a semi-instant date display, a screw-lock crown stamped with “H,” a glare-proof and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and Arabic numerals recessed into mother-of-pearl pockets rimmed with gold. The dial—in either silvered or mother-of-pearl finish—carries the “Hermès Paris” signature. The watch is water-resistant to 50 meters and available in yellow, rose (shown here), or white 18k gold, with leather straps, as well as in platinum. It comes in a presentation box of India rosewood that also can be used as a cigar box. Hermes USA, New York; (212) 835 6477.