Falling snow makes incredible imagery, especially when the cold white powder falls from the sky to blanket the ground. And though this white shroud completely covers our environment, it still allows us to recognize structures via their silhouette. The Hermès Sertie Neige watch, which roughly translates into “snow setting” watch, is very reminiscent of the scene described. The Hermès Cape Cod style case was chosen, and it appears dipped in a sticky bath of precious diamonds, with stones covering the entire case and dial of the watch in a seemingly organic fashion—as though snow had fallen and covered one of the brand’s most recognizable timepieces.
The non-symmetrical approach to the diamond decoration is where the “snow setting” name is derived from. The aesthetic is meant to look more natural as opposed to engineered—though the construction is anything but. The cohesion between the design elements of the watch is almost ironic: natural stones are plucked from the earth, meticulously selected, cut, shaped, and polished. Then they are set by hand to look as though they were meant to fit together like a puzzle. In reality, the ecosystem of jewels on this watch is highly curated, ensuring a look and tactile feel rarely found in the world of jewelry watches.
Hermès watchmakers dutifully selected over 1,100 diamonds for the Sertie Neige watch. Such a task is often more time consuming than the manufacturing of such a complex timepiece. Stones must be selected in a manner such that they fit in concert with each other—meaning that adjacent stones must be of a similar height, color, compatible shape, and luster. Then they must be handset in the 18k gold case so as to ensure quality and a seamless look for the Sertie Neige watch.
Hermès wanted the Sertie Neige to have a “carpet” like feel, so running your finger over the diamonds on the case would reveal a smooth, welcoming touch. Like the case, the entire dial is covered in diamonds. It is encased in a sapphire crystal and the hands are baton style. The Hermès branding plaque on the dial is an important visual feature in the otherwise stark (if you discount the diamonds) design.
The iconic Hermès Cape Cod case style has been adopted for this luxurious timepiece. Built for ladies, the tonneau shaped watch is 30mm wide by 33mm tall. With diamonds all over the case, the re-imagined Cape Cod style takes on new life, coated in supreme luxury and boasting a black alligator strap. A mere round or rectangular case would not have had the same effect for Hermès, as Cape Cod cases are easily recognized by their curved lugs integrating into the sides of the case, and the middle protrusions out of the top and bottom of the case. Inside this watch is a Swiss quartz movement, but a mechanical tourbillon version with an Hermès Caliber H 8930 movement is also available. If you would like one of these outstanding watches, and are in the U.S., visit the Hermès boutique in New York City. Production is highly limited and based upon the number of orders. Price is roughly $148,000.
- 33mm wide gold cases covered in a snowy carpet of diamonds
- Black alligator strap
- Case and dial hand-set with over 1,100 individually picked diamonds
- Watch uses the women’s Hermès Cape Cod style case design
Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.