The Hermès H08 collection, introduced in 2021, is a contemporary and sporty line of timepieces that combines elegance, functionality, and a touch of the brand’s signature approach to design and attention to detail. This year, Hermès revealed an array of H08 watches that allow for personalisation and ensure that each wearer can find a style that suits their taste and is all about feeling good. Now that the summer is here, it is high time we do a hands-on with the new H08 series, with an added pop of colour.
At introduction two years ago, the Hermès H08 premiered three references in 39mm x 39mm interesting cushion-style, circle in the square cases – in titanium, black DLC-coated titanium and graphene with ceramic. The graphene model came with a polished black ceramic bezel, crown, black gold-coated dial, and rubber strap. The titanium model, with matte black DLC coating, featured a brushed titanium bezel and a black nickel-coated dial. The third reference had a satin-brushed titanium case, bezel, and a black nickel-coated dial.
The titanium versions had a black or orange rubber strap and a black/charcoal or blue band. If not for the tiny orange-tipped central seconds hand, straps apart, the inaugural H08 watches exhibited classic shades of black and grey, with white. From a design perspective, these watches were exceptional, with different finishes and textures creating an eye-catching contrast. Still, the new 2023 line-up in lightweight composite case paired with a grainy textured grey dial and colourful elements with matching rubber straps is much more fun.
The fun is multi-layered, and it starts with the almost square H08 39mm case crafted from a block of braided glass fibre composite coated with aluminium and slate powder. The interwoven structure distinguishes the case, it is super-lightweight, and this lightness makes for a perfect fit on the wrist, further enhanced by the curves and surface that is extremely – and I can’t believe I am saying this – sensual, pleasant to touch. The case with rounded edges is topped with a flat sunburst-brushed black ceramic bezel with mirror-polished chamfer, perhaps the only shiny element present, apart from the polished black ceramic screw-down crown, which is not large but still conveniently sized. The glare-proof sapphire crystal has a coloured seal that becomes especially evident at an angle, and this design feature brings us to the highlights of the new H08 edition, its vibrant palette.
The new H08 “Colours” edition comprises four references, with grain-textured, wet concrete grey dials, characterised by their clean and minimalist design and an unusual layout with the minute track positioned within the hour track and numerals. The three-dimensional white numerals are boldly displayed, providing excellent legibility, especially in combination with the luminescent hands. Check out the seconds hand varnished to match the orange, yellow, blue or green accents on the minute track and watch glass seal. It has a frame on the end opposite to the pointer, which repeats the shape of the case. You will find the same profiles in the highly-stylised font explicitly created for the H08, with variations in numerals’ radius and thickness. And this font is applied to the digits on the date disc visible through the aperture at 4:30.
One of the brightest and most notable features of the H08 watches is the integration of comfortable orange, yellow, blue or green rubber straps with woven patterns. The rubber straps ensure durability, making the H08 timepieces suitable for active lifestyles that fall into the luxury sports watch category but immensely differ from the mainstream offer.
The vibrant colours chosen by Hermès for the rubber straps with the matching accents on the dial create a versatile and stylish range of timepieces that ensure accurate timekeeping and a power reserve of approximately 50 hours, all thanks to the Hermès H1837 automatic movement, made by Vaucher, which Hermès partially owns since 2006. Turn the H08 over, and the movement is visible through the sapphire caseback; its central rotor and bridges are decorated with the brand’s signature infinite-H pattern, yet somehow the watch always wants to return to the wrist, where it contributes to your character, which, I hope, is contemporary and dynamic.
For more information, please visit Hermes.com
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.