“As you might have guessed from the review, I am very excited about the design of the watch. Hermès is aiming the H08 at the modern, urban and sophisticated man of today. The watch is very suitable for everyday use. It works for a chic occasion as well as in a relaxed environment.”
A quick take for the busy enthusiast
Hermes has come up with a real bang at this year’s Watches and Wonders. The new flagship model of the Hermès watch collection, the Hermès H08. They come in the Hermès atypical modern watch cases, which is quite a far throw from the typical Hermès design. The rectangular case architecture offers a distinctly everyday suitability. And who wouldn’t want to be able to wear their Hermès watch every day?
Despite the very clean and everyday design, Hermès could of course not leave out the typical design airs and graces of the house of Hermès altogether. But then it wouldn’t be a Hermès watch, which is not what we want. Anyway, with the H08, Hermès plays very strongly with contrasts, combining circular elements with sharp angular details. And that is what makes this watch so unique. But Hermès has not only provided the unusual combinations for the dial, the case itself is also unique. Hermès plays with what I consider to be an well though out mix of materials: graphene composite, DLC-coated titanium cases and black gold-plated or black nickel-plated dials.
The Hermès H08 watches all come with a uniform case that measures 39 x 39mm in diameter. The height is 10.6mm. The watch is powered by the automatic Hermès Manufacture H1837 movement, which has a solid power reserve of 50 hours. The H08 is water resistant up to 10 bar.
Price-wise, the H08 starts at $5,500 and ends at a whopping $8,900.
When I first saw the different models of the H08, I was really impressed. Hermès has chosen 5 different variations of the watch, all based on the exact same design. The only thing that really differs from model to model is the texture of the dials, the material of the cases and the straps on which Hermès delivers the watches.
To help you get to grips with the latest release from Hermès, let’s take a quick look at each variant:
H08 in graphene composite with ceramic bezel
The first model is also the most special and exciting of the new collection. The H08 with a case made of graphene composite. Never heard of it? No problem, graphene composite is a very robust and ultra-light material. Whereby “ultra-light” is still an understatement. The unique material is based on carbon and has not been used in the watch industry for long. The first brand to use the material was Richard Mille, with their RM 50-30. The graphene composite not only offers a very robust watch case and a very comfortable feel, it also makes an excellent design. The interplay between the special case, the dial with black gold treatment, the black ceramic bezel, the black nickel-plated hands and the grey-black Arabic numerals works perfectly.
And to stay true to the “all-black” design, Hermès delivers this watch on a black rubber strap. The watch has a very simple design, which is, however, very well thought out in the usual Hermès manner. For me, an absolute top performance.
Two-Tone H08 in satin-finished titanium with a DLC coating.
The next model comes in two different versions, which only differ in the color of the bracelet. The watches themselves are 1:1 identical and come in a two-tone, DLC-coated titanium case. Both versions have black nickel-plated dials, hands and applied Arabic numerals. With this H08, Hermès conveys a sense of depth. It achieves this with contrasting elements such as a black gold-plated satin-finished minute disc, a white minute display and a brushed titanium bezel with shiny fibres.
As mentioned earlier, with this variant comes the choice of two different colored bracelets. You have the choice between the typical vibrant Hermès orange and a beautiful dark blue. I find both colors very fitting, but I would prefer the orange, because on the one hand it is THE brand feature of Hermès and on the other hand the bright orange color, complements the case made of dark grey DLC coating, perfectly.
H08 in titanium
As you might have guessed from the review, I am very excited about the design of the watch. Hermès is aiming the H08 at the modern, urban and sophisticated man of today. The watch is very suitable for everyday use. It works for a chic occasion as well as in a relaxed environment. And that is where the strength of the H08 lies. It does not limit itself to the sporty or the elegant segment, it combines both in one elegant and nicely sized package.
Now let’s briefly move on to the only criticism I have of the watch: The entry price of $5,700 is tough and doesn’t get any better as we move up from the titanium case to the graphene composite case. I have to be honest, I find the price a bit steep for the watch, which to me, is sold more as an elegant fashion accessory.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the design and think Hermès is miles ahead of other brands in the same price segment in terms of design. I’ll even go a step further and say that the design of the H08 is one of the best I’ve seen at Watches and Wonders 2021. Nevertheless, I think the price could have been lowered a bit.
But all in all, I think the new collection is very well done and a nice refreshment for the Hermès watch collection. If I could choose one of the watches, I would immediately go for the Two-Tone H08 in satin titanium with a DLC coating on the orange rubber strap. I find the combination of the dark grey DLC coating and the bright orange absolutely brilliant and eye-catching.