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Truth in Advertising

by ADAM HARRIS

I just came back from a trip to Switzerland, the undisputed heart of watch design and making. It amazes me that companies with the standing of Hermes believe they must distort the truth of horology.

 

While looking through a magazine in the airport lounge, I saw a lovely timepiece. Immediately, I was impressed and delighted to see modern designs using the beautiful designs of the past—especially as nice as this one—because the beginning of the wristwatch is an area of great interest and passion to me.

 

As I read more closely, it said, “On this photo dating from 1912, Jacqueline Hermes wears the ingenious leather strap encasing a pocket watch ‘designed by her father.’ A century later, Hermes draws upon its historical expertise in re-issuing an exclusive limited series called In The Pocket.”

 

“Designed by her Father—in 1912.” Really? I think not.

 

We know these leather conversion straps—known as wristlets—were worn by officers in the Boer War some 12 years prior to 1912!

 

I have copies of advertisements from 1901 designed by a London company! Indeed, we have mention of these wristlets as far back as 1887. So how does Hermes justify designing (inventing) these in 1912? It is not true.

 

With that said, I love the concept and design, and I am glad that Hermes has relaunched such a fantastic concept. I just wish it would stick to the facts. The wristlet was designed in 1890 by a London company and came to fame by officers who wore them in the Boer War (1899-1902).

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