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A Square Within a Rectangle Makes an Iconic Watch 25 Years Later

The iconic style now comes in four new variations for men.

Twenty-five years later, we look back at the possible beginning of the Hermès Cape Cod timepiece: a square drawn on a piece of paper.

It was 1991 and veteran designer Henri d’Origny’s next assignment for the French maison was to design a square watch. Easy, you might think. But the design conceived from that square has withstood the test of time and thrive within a dynamic industry. Admittedly, its successful reception had to do with d’Origny’s artistic call to defy the instructions given to him, and from there, he created something entirely unexpected. A quarter of a century later, the Cape Cod still retains its status as an icon.

The Cape Cod Factor

The Cape Cod is recognizable from a mile away. A square within a rectangle, some call it. Technically, the square is fastened onto the rectangle with a chained’ancre-inspired body. As distinct as a human face, numbers in a funky sans serif, slightly curved at the ends and complemented by hands with round tips serve as its marking features. This makes the Cape Cod a refreshing break from the deluge of round watches. Its design is continuously updated with new variants every so often but it keeps true to the few distinguishing details that give it its style. 

Continuing the Cape Cod Legacy

Just before Baselworld 2017, Hermès announced some new additions to the growing Cape Cod family. The collection, meant for men, features a darker palette of black, browns, and the deep Hermès red, and four different styles.


The TGM Cadran Laque is distinguished by its dark lacquered dial and interchangeable straps in calfskin leather.

The Bicolore TGM is a youthful reincarnation of the Cape Cod, a duo-tone leather strap, as the name suggests. The number three is replaced by the display date, and both leather strap styles feature Malta blue with either an Hermès red or taupe

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The Cape Cod TGM manufacture comes in a bold design with numerals coated in rhodium. The center dial is enclosed in a stamped dotted décor that makes it unique. The leather straps are of alligator or calf leather, with textures and colors depending on the dial of your choice.

Lastly, the TGM Bracelet de force has a two-piece bracelet strap in Veronese green alligator leather, black alligator leather, natural and black Barenia calfskin leather, making it the widest and bulkiest of the group.


h/t Luxuo

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Hannah Lazatin
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