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The world-class fashion brand Hermès was born in 1837 in France by a man named Thierry Hermès who supplied horse saddles to the French Emperor of the time. All the brand’s fashion’s items and accessories since then have in some way been shaped by the majestic animal and equestrian living, including its watches.

For instance, the Maison’s 1912 “porte-oignon” model was a pocket watch with a clever system that holds in place on a leather strap – worn on the wrist to avoid taking it out of the pocket while riding a horse.

A 100-year old photo of the Hermès family on holiday. These are Emile’s daughters, the fourth generation since the founding of the company by Thierry Hermès in 1837. The second in line is Jacqueline, wearing the first ever Hermès wristwatch, the “porte-oignon” – a pocket watch that can be held in its place on a leather strap.

At the very heart of the Parisian-founded Hermès is its focus on leather craftsmanship, with technical aspects dedicated to its simplicity of use. Confirming that usefulness goes hand in hand with beauty, Hermès watches have always been both smart and inventive.

Take a look ahead at some of the key historical watches of Hermès.

“Porte-oignon” strap, circa 1912

The “porte-oignon” – a pocket watch that can be held in its place on a leather strap so one could look at it while riding a horse.

Montre Ceinture, Belt watch, circa 1930

Hermè’s precious timepiece was worn on the belt so that the vibrations inherent to certain sports did not affect the mechanisms. Hermès focus on the equestrian world inherently inclined towards the world of sports and leisure.

Montre Boutonni, Buttonhole pocket watch, circa 1930

Transparent backs appeared in the 1930s, like the one on this buttonhole pocket watch which reveals its caliber, to celebrate the aesthetic appeal of the advanced-of-the-day technology within.

“Miami” wristwatch, circa 1935

Above and beyond the equestrian aesthetics, leather also played a technical role, such as protecting the bracelet of the 1935 Miami model, entirely leather-clad and perfectly adjusted.

 

For more information, visit www.hermes.com.

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