It’s no secret that the Apple Watch has struggled to find the sweet spot between being a techno-geek’s wet dream and a luxe wrist accessory. (Let’s be honest - did you really think that stainless steel band matched your designer bags?)
But the tech brand’s latest collaboration, announced at a product release event earlier today, looks set to be a game changer: A surprising partnership with luxury label Hermès that may just strike that balance.
While on the surface Apple’s mod minimalism seems an unlikely bedfellow for the old equestrian heritage of Hermès, both brands share similar DNA in terms of philosophy and passion.
Apple Watch Hermès 42mm case with Cuff, $2,328.
“Apple and Hermès make very different products, but they reflect the deep appreciation of quality design,” said Jonathan Ive, chief design officer of Apple.
“Both companies are motivated by a sincere pursuit of excellence and the desire to create something that is not compromised. Apple Watch Hermès is a true testament to that belief.”
This covetable piece comes in stainless steel with three leather band options that are classic Hermès designs: The Single Tour, Double Tour and Cuff. The Single Tour (from $1,688), which is similar to the straps of a horse’s girth, fits both the 38mm and 42mm cases and comes in Fauve Barenia, Noir Box and Capucine Swift.
The extra-long Double Tour band is only available for the 38mm case, while the Cuff, inspired by equestrian fixtures, is available only in Fauve Barenia leather.
Sadly, if you already own an Apple Watch and are looking for an upgrade, you’ll have to buy the whole shebang as the Hermès leather bands aren’t sold separately.
Apple Watch Hermès 38mm case with Double Tour band, $1,928.
And what about the watch face? Apart from the regular options, this version comes with three additional dial designs inspired by the Hermès watches, Clipper, Cape Cod and Espace. Though we suppose you could still have a bit of fun with the foot-tapping Mickey Mouse dial to match the beautiful leather straps.
For those who haven’t jumped onto the Apple Watch bandwagon and would prefer to start with a more modest, non-Hermès version, you now have the option of gold and rose gold aluminium Apple Watch Sport models - also announced at the product release event.
Apple has upgraded its OS to watchOS 2 too, with new customisable watch faces and third-party app complications — like viewing news headlines or upcoming flight times directly from the main watch face instead of swiping through to various apps.