In 2021, French Hermes debuted a new watch collection known as the Hermes H08 watch for men . The H08 was conceived by Hermes’ creative director Philippe Delhotal and featured a sporty look, an interesting cushion-style case, and a comfortable everyday wearing style. For 2023, Hermes revisits the still-fresh Hermes H08 watch for men with a series of new models that feature new materials and a tweaked look. In this article, I will focus on the Hermes H08 “Colors,” which include four new models accented in either blue, green, orange, or yellow.
The new models keep the 39mm x 39mm case size proportions but are lighter in weight and also sportier thanks to the use of a glass fiber composite case material, as well as a polished black ceramic bezel material. The composite case material was mostly chosen for its aesthetic given its interesting surface texture. Hermes explains that the glass fiber material is also coated with aluminum and slate powder. This likely enhanced the coloring of the grooves in the material, creating a more dramatic sense of color and an eye-pleasing organic texture. While composite materials are now commonly used in luxury watches, the formulation and style of these materials can vary greatly. Here, Hermes has adopted not only an attractive type of composite material but, for now, one that is also unique to its products.
The watch case itself is water resistant to 100 meters and has a flat AR-coated sapphire crystal over the dial. The crown is produced in matching black ceramic to complement the bezel material. Hermes maintains a playful but highly legible dial that uses the “revolving” style of hour markers similar to other Hermes models of the past. Special emphasis is placed on making the dial look instrumental, including the legible inner track for the hour markers and the idea proportions for the hands. Note how the date indicator is elegantly positioned so as not to break up the flow and symmetry of the hour markers. This is Hermes showing off that it can make not just a good-looking luxury watch, but a good-looking luxury tool watch. For me, a natural competitor would be something like the Patek Philippe Aquanaut — only the Hermes (while certainly not cheap) is worlds more affordable.
Color accents find their way on the Hermes H08 watch for men dials, as well as for a ring around the periphery of the face. Most of the color is found on the included 21mm-wide textured rubber strap, which is very comfortable and has a titanium folding clasp. On the rear of the watch is a smoked sapphire crystal that allows for a view of the automatic movement inside the watch. The movement is Hermes’ “in-house” caliber H1837 which is produced in Switzerland by Vaucher. The movement is rather thin at 3.7mm-thick, and operates at 4Hz with about 50 hours of power reserve. As you can see, the aBlogtoWatch team enjoyed wearing these fun watches when we met with Hermes at Watches & Wonders 2023 where the new H08 watches were being debuted. Hermes produces less expensive versions of the H08, but the H08 “Colors” are the entry-level models that debuted this year. Other new H08 pieces include the H08 Chronograph, as well as a version of the H08 that matches the style of these new Colors models but with an 18k rose gold (versus glass fiber composite-cased) and a black ceramic bezel. aBlogtoWatch will cover these new pieces in separate articles.
Just a few years ago, it was a challenge to get traditional watch enthusiasts excited about otherwise fantastic watches produced by luxury fashion houses such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, etc. I never felt that these timepieces deserved any less fanfare than those from “watch houses,” but there was a strange prejudice from the often conservative collector community because these “fashion maison” companies seemed to primarily market their women’s goods. I am proud to say that the perception has finally changed. Gone are the days when such statements as “That’s not a real watch brand” are common, and more often than not, watch collectors are just as enthused about these watches as they are from traditional watchmakers. That’s a good thing because companies like Hermes not only use the same manufacturing and movements as those from “traditional watchmakers” but also often boast far more beautiful and contemporary designs. The Hermes H08 watch for men pieces aren’t for everyone, but these are excellent and comfortable watches that mix traditional utility with a beautiful design and focus on trendy materials and style.