Style / World of Watches (WOW)

When Time Flies (or Slows): Hermes Slim d’Hermes L’heure impatiente

Hermes subverts the passage of time itself with the quirky Slim d’Hermes L’heure impatiente

Aug 21, 2017 | By Staff Writer


Hermes announced at BaselWorld that it thinks of time as an object. This is indeed novel as even the scientific (and thus factual) interpretation is that space and time are a single conjoined dimension of reality. In the astrological sense that we use in our daily lives, the time as tracked on our watches represents the motion of our planet on its axis. So, in this fashion of thinking, every two cycles of the hour hand around the dial represents a full 360 degree turn of the Earth. If that sounds strange to you, it is because this is not at all how we humans experience time. At the very least, we think of the passage of time in tandem with the motion of the sun across the sky, and then the stars and the moon. Obviously, we are not intuitively Copernican in our thinking.

When Time Flies (or Slows): Hermes Slim d’Hermes L’heure impatiente

Hermes has been making it its business to playfully rubbish the objective sense of time in favour of something entirely human, and thus subjective. The manufacture is keen on reminding us that we give meaning to time. In 2017, the Slim d’Hermes L’heure impatiente advances this human sense of time by offering the wearer the ability to anticipate an event in the future – up to 12 hours in advance – and then set up a one-hour countdown to said event. Ok, so this is an elaborate alarm function, complete here with a chiming note that is reportedly drawn-out and “velvety-smooth”.

Before moving on to the module that makes all this possible, the important question here is why? Well, the idea is to build anticipation for the longed-for event. It might, for example, be the end of the work day or the arrival of loved one from an overseas trip. Hermes even says its aim was to play up the “exquisite torture” in the lead-up to that specific moment in time, making the release as indicated by that chiming note so much the sweeter. Clearly, the watchmakers were inspired by Andy Warhol’s thoughts on anticipation: The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting. Well, either that or they’ve been reading John Green’s Paper Towns…

On the subject of the calibre that makes these effervescent musings on time possible, it is the automatic manufacture Hermes H1912, with a special 2.2mm thick, 31.96mm wide module that delivers on the anticipation factor. As you may have guessed, this module is bigger than the base movement, with that being just 23.9mm. Though Hermes doesn’t say so, we surmise that this extra width must be to accommodate the hammer and gongs that deliver that promised note.

The 40.5mm watch is offered only in red gold for the moment although, at a future date it might get other editions. You only have to wait…

Hermes Slim d’Hermes L’heure impatiente Price and Specs

Movement Self-winding Hermes calibre H1912 with chiming alarm; 42-hour power reserve
Case 40.5mm in red gold; water-resistant to 30m
Strap Blue alligator leather
Price: SG$61,250

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