‘Fluidity is the way to life’: Introducing The New Hermès H08 Only Watch 2021
Editor’s note: For nearly a decade now we have curiously anticipated the Only Watch Auction. The 2021 edition doesn’t disappoint! While watches earlier this year had a green theme, this year’s Auction watches seem to have an orange theme. Following the releases from Watches & Wonders 2021, today we present the new Hermès H08 Only Watch 2021. Here’s our preview and the Gut Reaction Review (Grr…). For our standard detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
For Watches & Wonders 2021 Hermès launched the H08 collection. It has been well received and was presented in a choice of three materials — titanium, black DLC-coated titanium and graphene with ceramic — all caressing the cushion-shaped case with its rounded square silhouette profile and enclosing a dial split-into-three-dial architectural segments impressed.
Now for the Only Watch auction, the brand is releasing not one but two-piece uniques, that are orange-enthused variations of the H08 collection. Both feature titanium cases and black gold dials, but the differences arise in the straps and the subtle orange nuances in the dials.
Dimensions wise, they are both 39mmx 39mm, the exact same size as the Heuer Monaco. And to give credit where due, its distinctive cushion-shaped design manages to delineate the two to such an extent that I didn’t even realise that technically on-paper H08 and Monaco are very similar watches.
But unlike the rigid cased Monaco, the fluid case of the new Hermès H08 Only Watch 2021 is different and welcome, reminiscent of iconic Hermès silk scarves that may drape in a very similar fluid fashion.
Estimated to go between CHF 14’000 – 18’000 at the auction, both watches are presented in a single presentation box.
54 brands are participating this year for the 9th edition — the first one was in 2005 — of the biennial charity auction Only Watch, whose aim is to raise funds for research against Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The auction in collaboration with Christie’s is on 6 November 2021, at 2pm (Geneva time), at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues.
In regards to the brand, from the time almost 100 years ago in 1928 when the first Hermès watches were presented in the company store at 24, Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the brand hasn’t looked back. Hermès started off placing its signature on “timepieces” created in cooperation with the greatest names in the Swiss watch industry and in 1978 the Ateliers de La Montre Hermès in Biel, Switzerland was founded.
The new Hermès H08 Only Watch 2021 takes them to their collaborative roots, pooling together the resources of Parmigiani’s sister brand Vaucher (for movements), and case maker Joseph Erard Holding and Natéber (for dials). Since Hermès has a stake in Vaucher — it has also provided movements to Richard Mille in the past — the new Hermès H08 Collection including the Only Watch I believe features a Hermès Manufacture movement, calibre H1837 (loosely based on the ETA 2892).
The apparent — from a majority of the releases across the 54 brands — albeit unofficial orange theme is definitely present, front and centre. Its presence in the rubber straps, orange numerals, branding, other subtle dial accents, and the presentation box is certainly welcomed.
“Through its enigmatic name, the Hermès H08 watch offers a nod to graphics, mathematics and metaphysics. The original font of its numerals chimes with the object itself, featuring a 0 and an 8 recalling the shape of the case”.Press release
Both the references SP1.741b.333/1C4 (with orange rubber strap) and SP1.741c.334/2100 (full titanium incl. bracelet) feature the Hermès Manufacture H1837 movement measuring 25.60mm x 3.7mm and comprising 28 jewels, beating at the standard frequency of 4Hz, and offering a decent 50-hour power reserve.
The calibre FC-810 Manufacture used features 130 components and 19 jewels and provides an impressive 80-hour power reserve. It features decent decorations including circular satin-finishing and circular Côtes de Genève decorations.
That’s All Folks!
While both the watch variations provide the modern man with flair and attitude, if I had to pick a favourite, it would be the ref. SP1.741b.333/1C4 with the orange rubber strap. Not only does this year’s Only Watch orange coloured theme comes out loud and clear, but the use of orange in the peripheral ring, second’s hand tip and the internal ring is very eye-catching.
“Fluidity is the way to life,” said Miyamoto Musashi. The brand describes the watch design as “hovering between tension and fluidity, robustness and delicacy”.
The new Hermès H08 Only Watch 2021 as a package scores big, showcasing the majestic fluid case architecture and a moody grey-black dial that forms the backdrop for bold Arabic numerals and orange accents to reveal the mysteries of time.
To find out more about the new Hermès H08 Only Watch 2021 and other auction timepieces, please head to the ONLY WATCH 2021 collection website here. All images unless otherwise specified are © Hermès 2021. All basic information Copyright © Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies. Make sure to check out our reviews of Watches & Wonders 2021 releases here.