The Versatile Elegance of Hermes Cut: A Detailed Review


Introduction to the "Invisible Gorilla" of Watch Design

Internet denizens and cognitive psychologists alike are familiar with the “invisible gorilla” test. The experiment, in which subjects are asked to watch a video of people passing basketballs to one another and count the number of passes completed, is a demonstration of the brain’s ability to overlook the obvious. Focused on the teamwork activity, most viewers fail to see the person dressed in a gorilla costume casually saunter across the scene. On second viewing, it’s readily apparent. So it is with the above photo, wherein (if my straw-poll results among friends is a good indicator) a second look at the image makes notice that a somewhat feminine watch is resting on a man’s wrist. There’s no debate that the shape and sparkle of the Hermes Cut takes visual precedence, but what’s more interesting is the fact that it doesn’t look that out of place.

Versatility and Appeal: Hermes Cut at Watches & Wonders 2024

Unlike a gorilla traversing a basketball court, the diamond-set Cut seems right at home on almost every wrist, making it easily one of the most versatile watches to come out of Geneva’s Watches & Wonders 2024 event. Going hands-on with this piece in the metal proved that Hermes is on the right track in developing its watches business, focusing on broad appeal, variety, and build quality.

Geometry and Design Aesthetics

The one-word summary of this watch is “geometry.” Seeing the Cut up close, it’s clear that Hermes had a very gentle design language in mind during the conceptual stage. For a watch with such an angular title, there are very few hard corners to be found either on the Cut’s dial or throughout its case, with the boldest element being the branding at 12 o’clock.

Detailing the Design Elements

The hands, too, are almost kid-like, lending evidence that this isn’t a watch that takes itself too seriously. It’s an aesthetic that seems to resonate with people, as the Cut has been one of the more talked-about pieces online since the W&W show ended.

Exploring the Macro View

While these are elements viewable at a distance, the macro-view highlights the Cut’s textures and colors. The silvery dial (the only color available at launch) is fairly uniform with a very fine grain that gives it a flatter, non-reflective appearance.

Variety in Options

For a watch with just one dial color, what gives the Cut variety is its incorporation of diamonds and two-tone rose gold. At launch, the Cut has four main flavors: steel or two-tone, each with or without a diamond-set bezel.

Strap Options and System

The Cut’s twelve introductory references get a further dose of variety in the strap options, with a well-fitting standard steel bracelet leading the charge. The butterfly clasp makes for a clean look but inhibits fine adjustment as the style essentially obviates micro-adjustment.

Movement and Performance

Inside, Hermes’ H1912 movement brings it all together. As Hermes holds a 25% stake in movement-builder Vaucher (Parmigiani owns the other 75%), the finishing of the self-winding is above average.

The Future of Hermes Cut Collection

Generally, watch brands have played it safe with releases in 2024. Hermes is no exception, with the Cut representing a derivative of the groundbreaking H08. Regardless, the Cut is simultaneously an evolution, bringing popular features like a reduced 36mm case size, toolless strap changes, and a variety of style options to the table.

Pricing and Conclusion

The Hermes Cut Collection pricing starts at $6,725 USD for the steel model on a rubber strap and tops out at $21,900 USD for the two-tone model with diamonds on a matching bracelet. Overall, the Hermes Cut is a testament to thoughtful design, versatility, and the brand’s commitment to evolving its watchmaking prowess.