Hermes updates its square-cased watch for 2018 with two new styles, continuing its collaboration with acclaimed designer Marc Berthier
By Russell Sheldrake
The new Hermès Carré H for 2018 is an update of the 2010 version created by French designer and architect Marc Berthier – known for his fibreglass Ozoo furniture, electronics for Tykho and the “Captain Hook” folding chair. Contrary to some reports, Berthier was very much involved in the design of these new models; they retain the recognisable silhouette of his original, with the rounded square case shape and wire lugs, but bring the watch right up to date in terms of dial design.
Possibly the most significant change, however, is that Berthier has increased the size of the watch from the rather feminine 36.5mm x 36.5mm to a more meaningful 38mm x 38mm. Despite the bigger size the watch does still sit well on the wrist by keeping that slight curvature in the case that Berthier designed into the original model – although it’s not the slimmest watch in the world.
Hermès has also decided to scrap the square dial in a square case design and placed the arabic numerals in a circle, which makes it a much easier dial to read, even if the hour and minute hands are very similar in size. The double digit applied numerals use a newly designed typeface that Hermes is only using on this watch – something we also saw on the Slim d’Hermes from 2015 – and are both rhodium-plated and filled with SuperLuminova.
The dial itself manages to create great depth with its three levels, stepping down as you get closer to the centre of the dial and pulling you into the cross-hatched guilloché centre. There are two versions of the dial: black and grey, each with a pop of colour in the form of red or yellow second hands respectively. Depending on the dial colour, the watch is available on either a brown or black Barenia leather strap.
While this is undoubtedly a story where the focus is squarely – sorry – on the front of the watch, you are still getting a good quality movement underneath. The Carré H is powered by Hermes’ automatic H1912 calibre, produced by fully-owned subsidiary Vaucher and with 50 hours of power running at 4Hz. My one slight criticism of this movement is that it does get rather lost on the back of the watch, being so small compared to the case size at a mere 23.3mm.
The Carré H by Hermes will go on sale later this year, starting from £5,625.