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History

Established in Paris in 1837, Hermès forged its reputation for excellence crafting saddles and harnesses for horses.

In the early twentieth century, it extended its leather-making expertise to accessories such as belts, jackets, bags and, from the 1920s, watch straps. Working with the leading names of the day, the company fashioned "guardians of time", objects that capture the vision of beauty of which it is justifiably proud. In 1978, La Montre Hermès SA opened production facilities in Biel, Switzerland. An entire collection of classically elegant watches followed. Since then, La Montre Hermès has continued to expand and develop its independent manufacturing resources.



Key dates

Starting point in the Hermès journey. A photo from the archives of this watchmaker shows Émile Hermès' four daughters, including Jacqueline who is wearing a pocket watch on her wrist for which her father had had a leather strap made by the company's saddlers-leather craftsmen.

The first watches bearing the Hermès signature are presented at 24, Faubourg Saint-Honoré. For over 50 years, Hermès created “guardians of time” in cooperation with the greatest names in Swiss watchmaking.

A "clasp" watch called Kelly in homage to the handbag bought by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1956.

Hermès founds La Montre Hermès S.A, a subsidiary of Hermès International. It operates a production facility in Biel, Switzerland and organises international distribution through Hermès stores and the specialised retail network.

That same year sees the launch of the Arceau model, inspired by the shape of a stirrup.

Launch of Clipper, a flagship model evoking the open seas thanks to its porthole-shaped bezel.

Launch of Cape Cod, which is equipped in 1998 with a double wrap-around strap, based on an idea by Martin Margiela, Art Director for ladies’ ready-to-wear at Hermès.

The Medor watch traces its roots back to one of the very first items manufactured by Hermès, just like harnesses: the dog collar.

Launch of the H-Hour which plays with the Hermès initial

La Montre Hermès acquires more spacious workshops, currently accommodating a staff of more than 100 people.

October 20th - Hermès International invests CHF25 million (€15.7 million) to acquire a 25% stake in Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier.

That same year, Hermès transfers its exotic leather strap-making workshops from Paris to Biel.

Launch of the Arceau Temps Suspendu watch, offering an interlude over which time has no hold.

Acquisition of Natéber SA in La Chaux-de-Fonds, a specialist in watch faces. Launch of the H1837 and H1912 movements on Dressage and Arceau Écuyère.

Introduction of the Temps Suspendu ladies' models and a Hermès Atmos pendulum of which 176 pieces were crafted by the Saint-Louis glassmaking workshops owned by the company.Continuation of a vertical approach with the acquisition of Joseph-Erard SA in Le Noirmont, a company operating in watch case production.

Launch of the Dressage L'Heure Masquée model with the hour hand hidden behind the perpetual minute hand, and which only appears if you push a button set into the crown.

Launch of the Hermès Slim, a watch that gets down to basics.

Launch of the Hermès Slim with Enamel, paying tribute to the art of Grand Feu enamelling.

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