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Review: Galop d’Hermès

A man's view on the very feminine Galop d’Hermès.
by Peter Chong on September 19, 2019
Reviews
Overview
Brand

Galop d’Hermès

Complication / Type of Watch

Time only.
Rose gold case, gemset with150 diamonds (0.66 ct)

Recommended Retail Price

US$ 15,400 as reviewed
US$ 3,650 in SS case, non gemset as the least expensive of the 4 models offered

A man’s view on the very feminine Galop d’Hermès. This is NOT a technical review in the usual Deployant style, but an attempt to journey into the world of feminine watches.

The Galop d’Hermès is a design by Ini Archibong, and a result of his observations on the bits, stirrups and harness in the Conservatoire des créations Hermès. The design inspiration is from the objects in the equestrian harness collection. He grasped the design intent – the inguinity and technicality, balance and distills it into the essence which becomes the Galop. The avant-garde nature and beauty is not lost, and the result is a product of very fine elegance.

That was a distill of the PR blurb that came with the release. Done in the way, which I think Ini Archibong, a young American designer used in distilling the design of the equestrian objects into the watch.

Ini Archibong, designer. Hermès photo.

I saw the watch, and spoke to the Ini in Geneva during SIHH. My initial reactions to the Hermès collection is found here, and of course the highlight was the Hermès de la Lune which we reviewed in detail here.

Galop d’Hermès

Shown here, three of the four Galop d’Hermès models released. From LtoR: SS case non gemset, rose gold case gemset and rose gold non gemset. Not in photo: SS case gemset.

The dial design is quite interesting. The font of the numerals chosen is unique and specially designed by Ini for this piece. The specific colour and tone over the grained silver, opaline center dial is deliberate. Though the specification is silver for the dial, it appears rather eggshell, with a textured outer and matte center. The numerals are Arabic and gilt-powdered and transfer printed on the dial.

My pick for ultimate feminity is the rose gold case, gemset with 150 diamonds (≈ 0.66  ct) .

Ini told us that the numerals are intentionally designed in different sizes, decreasing as it ascends the dial. He does this to gove a sense of speed.

The curves of the case is gentle, but yet sensual, and fitting of the feminine nature in which it is intended. The shape takes inspiration from the stirrups of a horse riding kit. And the lower lugs are in the form of a loop attached by solder, while the upper appears to emanate from the top of the case.

On our Technical Editors very small wrists, it looks the part. The case measures 40.8mm x 26mm, and interestingly Hermès recommends a writst circumference of 5.3″ to 6.3″.

Very elegant, lightly caressing the wrist, and presents a beautiful face to tell the time with. Accessorized with a suitable Hermès handbag and floral skirt, it is truly at home. On the wrist of an elegant woman set about on her day, or night.

The movement is a quartz movement, and we did not get to see it, as the case back is closed and a movement sample was not available for inspection. But the quartz movement goes with the grain of this style of watch. The technicality of the movement becomes secondary, and indeed fades in submission to the elegance of the design. And the inner beauty which it basks itself in, is a celebration of its very feminine nature.

Concluding thoughts

Is it possible to appreciate such a piece from the traditional hard core horologist viewpoint? Perhaps not. And this is why we decided against our regular review template. I feel this free form prose trying to describe the feeling as I look and feel the watch, appreciate it on a beautiful lady’s wrist is more fitting to the nature of the watch.

It certainly is possible to imbibe and absorb the beauty of the lines, the smoothness of the ergonomics, the play of light as it reflects in the sensuous curves. The dial itself is rather masterful in design and exudes a gentleness and serenity. The entire ensemble is one of organic simplicity. This is not about the technical features, nor even the finishing. The Galop d’Hermès is about beauty, poetry and the essence of being a woman.

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