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Watches & Jewellery

On Our Watchlist: Hermes Cape Cod Chaine D'ancre Timepiece

The Margiela-designed strap undergoes a chain reaction.

You can’t run away from the fashion cachet of the Cape Cod timepiece with the double tour by Hermes. The fashion marquee debuted the twice looping leather strap in 1998 during the Martin Margiela years. It was during this period when the Belgian designer was its creative director that Hermes moved away from its flashy prints for a more understated and timeless turn. It championed what would now be seen as slow fashion – by gradually evolving the wardrobe.

The twice looping strap that Margiela created for the Cape Cod – designed earlier in 1991 by Hermes legendary artistic director Henri d’Origny and based on the house Chaine d’ancre bracelet – also subtly shows the man’s radical design streak. Here is a watch with an unusually shaped square case that looks like it was formed by melding two half links forming. The addition of the double tour watch turns it into casual accessory territory, blurring the line between horology and jewellery.

The second loop of the Cape Cod Chaine d’ancre features chain motifs cut into the calfskin.

The folks at Hermes are now refining the idea of the chain motif for the quartz-powered Cape CodChaine d’ancre model which is scheduled to drop in stores in January. The steel watch still possesses Margiela’s iconic double looping calfskin bracelet but this time the second loop is shaped to reveal cutouts in the form of the anchor chain link pattern.

To create this effect, the artisans combined four different layers of leather which are then cut and stitched with a special tool that has been adjusted to follow the curves of the bracelet. Available in a large 29mm-wide case and a small 23mm-wide case, the straps come in a choice of four intense Franz Kafka-like colours: black, deep blue, amber and pink. The subtle decorative detail and sophisticated colour palette of this timepiece make the Cape CodChaine d’ancre a natural entry on our list of must-have watches for 2020.

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Large Cape Cod Chaine d'ancre steel watch on calfskin strap, $4,800, Hermes
Large Cape Cod Chaine d'ancre steel watch on calfskin strap, $4,800, Hermes
Large Cape Cod Chaine d'ancre steel watch on calfskin strap, $4,800, Hermes
Large Cape Cod Chaine d'ancre steel watch on calfskin strap, $4,800, Hermes
Small Cape Cod Chaine d'ancre steel watch on calfskin strap, $4,640, Hermes
Small Cape Cod Chaine d'ancre steel watch on calfskin strap, $4,640, Hermes
Small Cape Cod Chaine d'ancre steel watch on calfskin strap, $4,640, Hermes
Small Cape Cod Chaine d'ancre steel watch on calfskin strap, $4,640, Hermes