The Careful Craftsmanship of the Apple Watch Hermès

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As the brand releases a new book, entitled Designed by Apple in California, Jony Ive and Hermès' Pierre-Alexis Dumas reflect on the care and attention that makes their collaboration so timelessly appealing

TextOlivia SingerPhotographic EditorHolly HayPhotographyThu Thuy Pham

Apple Watch Hermès

38mm stainless steel case, single tour strap in bleu agate epsom leather

The intersection of fashion and technology is often plagued by slightly clunky permutations: strangely shaped handbags that will charge your mobile phone, or T-shirts that change colour in accordance with your body temperature; essentially, it can all feel a little 1995. Rarely does something arrive on the market that is as simultaneously practical, modern and elegant as the Apple Watch Hermès. With face designs and leather straps inspired by the Hermès archives alongside the technology of the Apple Watch Series 2, it is clearly the harmonious unison of two design powerhouses – and it is simply magnetic.

“I think most people would struggle to say why they like this object over that object,” explains Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, “but I think that people can sense care, in the same way that they can sense carelessness.” Such a design philosophy directly resonates with that of Hermès, who have built their brand on unparalleled craftsmanship and finesse in execution: “what gives value and presence to an object is the amount of real care that you put into that process. That is what luxury is today,” says Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès. Thus, the two men – and their respective labels – make for ideal partners. As Dumas says, “Call it neo-design, call it neo-luxury; it’s about being extremely ethical, extremely relevant and always searching for that form of harmony.”