The Very Discreet Timepiece That Will Impress Watch Snobs

IMAGE Hermès

House Hermès knows it doesn't need to shout in order to drive (the right) people into its well-appointed shops filled with leather, silk, homeware, and accessories. Its audience is attracted to the very subtle way it translates the necessities of life into luxuries: the silk tie becomes a canvas for secret art, the ubiquitous orange scent is given a burnt dimension, the wallet is transformed into leather origami.  

In the same way it parses things with a quiet eye, so too does it create watches. It does away with the bells and whistles, the obvious flourishes of volume, or the complicated complications, and instead presents watches that hide time, prolong a moment, or speed up a boring day. The language of luxury is a given, and so Hermès focuses on something else: how you feel. 

IMAGE: Hermès

The Slim d'Hermès Titane is dedicated to this kind of luxury. Built on the theme of aesthetic purity, there are no tricks here: just a disc of very thin metal (a 39.5mm case) that sits on your wrist to tell the hours and minutes.   


The brainchild of creative director Philippe Delhotal, the Slim line was introduced in 2015 as the French house's standard bearer for discreet watches. The latest iteration updates the original concept with the use of titanium (previous models were in rose gold and steel), a light and resistant material that, together with an anthracite dial and a matte graphite leather band, conveys a feeling of casualness.

IMAGE: Hermès

It is as if this is the piece you are supposed to wear to watch your son's basketball game. Never mind the flying balls. Compared to slim watches by other venerable watch houses, most of which look like they are meant to be slipped under the cuff of a shirtsleeve, the strict and dark Titane feels like a premium watch for any and all activities.

That may be a contradiction, a luxury watch for non-events, but it is exactly how Hermès sees things: Use very special things during the smaller moments of life, not just for banner occasions. This point of view is also a boss move, in that you are (subtly) telling the world that you can afford the risk of a ball crashing into your expensive watch.

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IMAGE: Hermès

One more notable thing about the Titane is color. Amid the darkness, the unmistakable Hermès orange has been applied ever so discreetly, peeking out as thin lines on the number 12, the seconds hand, and the edges of the band and hiding completely from view on the underside of the strap. Just leave it to the French to change orange's reputation from obnoxious to fancy. 

All that translates to a handsome package, a thin, light, and, most important, quiet watch that will make you feel like you own the world. 

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Clifford Olanday
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