Hands-On With The Hermes Dressage H1837 Automatic, Powered By Manufacture Vaucher (With Live Photos And Price)

Hermes is obviously not reputed as a watchmaker, though it has done some interesting things recently with Jean-Marc Wiederrecht of Agenhor. However, after carefully examining some of the Hermes watch collection, I conclude they are beautifully executed timepieces, as good as other traditional watch houses in the same price segment, like Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC.

Hermes Dressage with H1837 movement

My favourite is the distinctive Dressage, especially in this version with the silver dial and blued steel second hand. Just launched at Baselworld 2012, this is the redesigned Dressage with a wider bezel than before. Earlier models of the Dressage were also more expensive (they were mostly precious metal with complications), while this is priced much more accessibly. 

The 40.5 mm case is cushion shaped, but framed by striking and exceptionally elegant lugs, which are my favourite element of the case. The case is very well made with careful mirror and brushed surfaces; the edges are sharp and precise. All that gives rise to a feeling of solid quality, even though the case is not hefty. 

The dial appears to be embossed guilloche with applied baton indices. I do wish the hands were a bit more substantial (and perhaps sat closer to the dial). Overall the dial is well made, and par for the course at this price point, though not quite as fine as the case in my opinion.

It uses the H1837 calibre, made by Vaucher (in which Hermes has a 25% stake), which is better known for supplying Parmigiani and Richard Mille with movements. This is a 11 1/2 “‘ calibre that is 3.7 mm high, similar in size to the ETA 2892, which gives the watch a slim profile on the wrist.

The calibre is decorated in an industrial-haute horlogerie manner, similar to what other high-end brands in this segment do for their mass produced timepieces. The bridges are grained and decorated with a “H” motif; anglage is machined applied. It is good enough and pleasing to the eye.

This retails for approximately EUR8000, which is an eminently honest price. Given the size, date feature and design, this makes a practical and discreet everyday watch. I really like the look and feel of this watch. – SJX

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