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Up Close: Hermès H08 Automatic

Hermes New Watches 2021 Reviews

Up Close: Hermès H08 Automatic

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Source Credit:  Content and images from SJX Watches by JX Su (SJX).  Read the original article - https://watchesbysjx.com/2021/07/hermes-h08-review.html

Unveiled at Watches & Wonders 2021, the H08 is an all-new men’s watch from Hermès. At the launch, it was described by Hermès as an relatively affordable, everyday watch with a simple, high-quality execution – which is pretty accurate.

Featuring a cushion-shaped case and a Vaucher movement, the H08 is typical of Hermes in its thoughtful styling. The typography on the dial, for instance, was expressly designed for the watch.

Initial thoughts

The H08 is surprisingly appealing in the metal. It’s slim and lightweight, with a design that is interesting despite being simple. And the fact that the movement inside is a Vaucher means its technical credentials are solid, albeit not fancy.

The H1837

Although the H08 does evoke other watch designs, it still manages to look original and something that would come from Hermes.

Characterised by geometric shapes, the styling is modern with accents that illustrate Hermes’ traditional attention to detail. The font used for the hour numerals, for instance, was designed specifically for the H08 and echoes the cushion shape of the case.

The H08 with a graphene composite case

On the surface, the most interesting version of the H08 is the graphene composite. It’s palpably lightweight thanks to the novel case material. But it costs a quarter more than the titanium version, which is actually more appealing in the metal, especially on the bracelet.

From left: Titanium on bracelet, graphene composite, and DLC-coated titanium

Thin enough that it isn’t too weighty, the bracelet feels good and wears well. It is also well priced at only US$600 over the base model on a strap, while the graphene-composite version is an US$2,900 extra.

Rounded square

There are hints of the Cartier Santos and Bell & Ross BR 05 in the design, but the H08 avoids looking derivative.

The H08 feels like a compact watch, although it’s still 39 mm by 39 mm, which is hardly small. At a little under 11 mm high, it is notably slim, which gives the case an elegant profile despite the sporty-ish design.

One of its best qualities is the case finish, which enhances the design. The bezel is done particularly well. It is radially brushed, which accentuates the numerals around the dial, but the innermost edge of the bezel is mirror polished, giving it a bit of refinement.

Materials

The priciest version of the H08 is has a graphene composite case matched with a bezel coated in diamond-like carbon (DLC). An allotrope of carbon, graphene is made up of layers of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb. In practical terms, that means graphene is light and strong.

Here it’s mixed with a polymer to create a composite, which is essentially a high-tech plastic, and not unlike the material found in ultra high-end sports watches from the likes of Richard Mille.

The H08 in graphene composite is way more affordable than a Richard Mille, but still costs a lot more than its counterparts in titanium.

The H08 in titanium could arguably be a value proposition given the movement and build quality, but it’s hard to justify the price of the graphene-composite model. While the lightness and all-black look have strong appeal, especially for a sports watch, it feels more expensive than it should be.

Comparably in appearance to the graphene composite model is the version in two-tone titanium. This has a titanium case coated in DLC matched with a brushed titanium bezel in its natural colour. Like its composite sibling, this version is available only on a strap, which makes it similarly light.

But best value amongst the H08 models is the version on a bracelet. Modelled on the case shape, the bracelet links also form an “H” unsurprisingly. The bracelet is a good fit for the case, both in terms of design and size.

In terms of finishing, the bracelet is resembles the case, with a mix of polished and brushed surfaces. Again, it works well with the design, though I would have done away with the polished centre links in favour of a more restrained, all-brushed finish.

The only bit that feels out of place is the clasp, which is quite wide, because the bracelet doesn’t taper.

Fonts

The cushion-shaped case sets the tone for the rest of the design; the same form can be found on the numerals and hands – even the counterweight of the seconds hand is shaped like the case.

Geometric in form with a hint of Bauhaus, the font works for the modern, sporty design. It is also large enough that legibility is good.

One of the elements that attests to the careful design is the date, a typically neglected detail in most watches. The date is in same font as the hour numerals so it looks at home on the dial.

That said, the style of the date might sometimes make it difficult to distinguish between certain numerals. Six and eight, for instance, might be mistaken for one another at a glance.

Still, the visual appeal of the typography of the date outweighs the possible impact on legibility.

Vaucher powered

Inside the H08 is the H1837, an automatic movement widely used by Hermes in its men’s watches. Like many of Hermes’ mechanical calibres, it is made by Vaucher, the movement maker that’s a sister company of Parmigiani.

Specifically, the H1837 is the VMF 3000, a smallish and thin movement that’s just 3.7 mm high. It has a good-enough 50-hour power reserve. Like all Vaucher movements in watches at this price point, the VMF 3000 has a refined construction and workmanlike finishing.

The Hermes version of the calibre is decorated with a neatly-stamped “H” motif. The repeating “H” is decidedly non-traditional, but it suits the watch and manages to be different without taking anything away from the clean finish of the movement.

Concluding thoughts

The H08 demonstrates why Hermes is well, Hermes. It possesses the brand’s house style of restraint mixed with distinctive details.

At the same time, all of its elements, from the dial to case, are good quality, particularly for the price.


Key facts and price

Hermes H08
Ref. W049427WW00 (titanium on bracelet)
Ref. W049433WW00 (graphene composite)
Ref. W049428WW00 (titanium with DLC coating)

Diameter: 39 mm by 39 mm
Height: 10.96 mm
Material: Titanium or graphene composite
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: H1837
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Rubber or fabric webbing; brushed titanium version also available with matching bracelet

Availability: At Hermes boutiques
Price:
Titanium on strap – US$6,000; or 7,900 Singapore dollars
DLC titanium on strap – US$6,200; or 8,300 Singapore dollars
Titanium with bracelet – US$6,600; or 8,800 Singapore dollars
Graphene composite – US$8,900; or 13,000 Singapore dollars

For more, visit Hermes.com.


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Source Credit:  Content and images from SJX Watches by JX Su (SJX).  Read the original article - https://watchesbysjx.com/2021/07/hermes-h08-review.html

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