13 September 2016
It is a mix of aesthetic purity, graphic art and high craftsmanship: the Slim d’Hermès Email Grand Feu is an extremely elegant ultrathin watch of great technical complexity. Designed by Philippe Delhotal, creative director of La Montre Hermès SA, and launched onto the market in 2015, this year’s version has been given a grand feu enamel dial: an ancient technique of decoration that entails covering the dial with several layers of the vitreous compound, each of which is fired at a high temperature (over 800° C) so as to obtain a particularly intense and brilliant color. Requiring a series of lengthy and delicate operations (in which the slightest error means the whole thing has to be thrown away), the process takes a skilled maître émailleur 8 hours to complete. Also worthy of note are the Arabic numerals, applied by the technique of pad printing, using a silicone stamp: their unique and unmistakable typographic style has been created exclusively for the collection by the French designer Philippe Apeloig. Other features include a rose gold case (39.5 millimeters in diameter) and a self-winding mechanical movement, made in-house: constructed in accordance with the principles of haute horlogerie, with stratagems aimed at limiting its thickness – such as the off-center micro-rotor, i.e. the winding mechanism, small in size but with a high specific weight, located to one side of the caliber – so that it measures just 2.6 millimeters.