Hermès Horloger’s distinctive take on watchmaking has earned it a reputation that belies its short history in the industry, with timepieces such as the Arceau L’heure de la Lune offering unique interpretations of classic complications. The brand has also established a keen following with its métiers d’art watches. These often explore subjects that are whimsical and frequently bordering on (or firmly in) the realm of the absurd. The new Slim d’Hermès Minuit au Faubourg is one such timepiece. Based on a silk scarf designed by Dimitri Rybaltchenko in 2014, it presents a work of micro painting on its dial, with a surprise hiding in plain sight.
The Slim d’Hermès Minuit au Faubourg has a wide yet slim 39.5mm case. Coupled with its slim bezel and two-hand layout, the dial offers much space for the artisan. Here, the aventurine dial base is painted on to create a layered scene replete with details — if one knows where to look. Various landmarks hint at the setting, from the Eiffel Tower to the Dôme des Invalides, as well as Moulin Rouge and the obelisk on Place de la Concorde.
The foreground, however, has been reserved for 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the birthplace of Hermès Sellier in 1880. The top floor of this location is occupied by a column-lined terrace, where the caped (and masked) Super H stands ready to take flight. He has, of course, been summoned by the sigil beamed from the top of the Eiffel Tower in the background.
The scene here is reminiscent of a comic book cover, and indeed has an art style (and shading) that recalls the Golden Age of Comic Books. This is no mere page off a printing press though; the varying thickness of paints that have been applied to the aventurine dial has created a layered, subtly textured dial that’s almost three-dimensional. What’s more, the Slim d’Hermès Minuit au Faubourg actually presents a different view in the dark. As the beacon projected from the Eiffel Tower is actually painted with Super-Luminova, it glows in the absence of light to pop out from the dial as a literal beam of light casting the “H” symbol.
Two different colourways of the Slim d’Hermès Minuit au Faubourg are available. One offers a scene that’s predominantly blue, and balanced by white and yellow, while the other is largely filled with shades of red and brown, while blues provide contrast. They are delivered with matching blue and maroon alligator leather straps respectively. Given the amount of work that is needed for each dial — over 50 hours in total — just 24 pieces of each colourway will be produced.
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