Keeping Pace with Cape Cod
5 years old, an age being lived to the full. Twenty-five years old, an age that embodies youth without freezing it in time and heralds what is to come, often in mischievous and playful ways. Twenty-five years old, the age of a watch that is celebrating not so much a birthday as its eternal youthfulness.
It might in fact seem somewhat daring to ask the age of an object that tells you the time, meaning which situates you in time. Yet the Cape Cod watch handles all this – its age, its youth, its elegance, its inherently whimsical nature – with magnificent ease and aplomb.
This creation was born from a wild desire and a singular vision: that of a man who invented it by designing a square inside a rectangle. Easier said than done, yet Henri d’Origny achieved it by drawing inspiration from the Cha๎ne d’ancre link. Doubtless because he is a free spirit and because the watch he imagined – despite being more used to designing Herm่s silk scarves – featured such a self-evident aesthetic that it achieved global renown.
Its success was further amplified by Martin Margiela’s novel idea for his very first Herm่s runway show in 1998: adding a double-wrap strap that would later be known simply as the “Double Tour”. Sales rocketed and the Cape Cod watch became an icon, almost a style in its own right. Everything was possible; both men and women felt an immediate sense of kinship, doubtless driven by a sense of style and liberty.
The Cape Cod watch lends itself to all manner of interpretations, notably including several new models in 2016 that are taking it further than ever before. A new gemsetting technique and a new mother-of-pearl dial. A men’s model in a cuff-style wristband. New interchangeable single and double wrap-around straps, entirely hand-crafted in vivid colours: electric blue, iris, capucine, Veronese green, ultraviolet, tomato red… A new white lacquered dial teamed with straps distinguished by contrasting burnishing: red for a white calfskin version and white for a red goatskin interpretation. And last but not least, fine stone dials: onyx, used in equal measure by the Art Deco and Bauhaus art movements; and lapis lazuli which is a perfect match for the Cape Cod, the joyful talisman that accompanies all life’s many fancies and adventures.