In 1991, the Cape Cod watch was born beneath the bold pencil strokes of Henri d’Origny. With its «square in a rectangle” case formed by two «anchor chain» half-links, Cape Cod now welcomes a dial with a singular aesthetic uniting and revealing two ordinarily distinct worlds, with rectangular steel case (29 mm x 29 mm), water resistant to 3 bar, blue-tinted monocrystalline silicon dial with photolithographic transfer, gold coating depicting the “crepuscule” motif and navy blue calfskin strap.
In 2018, Hermès initiated a meeting with the Neuchâtel-based Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) as part of its search for a technological innovation that would be dedicated to creativity. This gave rise to a project for a dial made from a silicon wafer, which was to feature the intimate and refined «Crépuscule» (dusk) motif by designer-graphic artist Thanh-Phong Lê.
Used in microelectronics for its semiconductor properties, the silicon wafer was chosen here for its purely aesthetic qualities, representing a first. Depending on the amount of material deposited during production, its colour varies across an infinite palette of subtle and unique shades. This highly technological process is carried out by specialised engineers in the CSEM labs.
The dials of the Cape Cod crépuscule are created from a single 0.5 mm thick plate, which is coated in an extremely precise manner with a tiny (72-nanometre) film of silicon nitride to obtain the desired intense blue colour.
Then comes the photolithography stage, during which the wafer is exposed to a blue light so as to print the pattern. The process involves several successive baths, before the gold-coating stage, followed by other baths to remove any superfluous material. Finally, the plate is precisely cut to the shape of the Cape Cod case.
The dial with its slender gilded hands reveals the bluish shades sprinkled with yellow gold achieved by this unique method combining creativity and nanotechnology. A navy blue calfskin single or double tour strap crafted in the Hermès Horloger workshops sets the final touch to the Cape Cod crépuscule watch.
Price: EUR 4,000 (~USD 4,400)