Apple announced at its September 9 product launch event that it is partnering with luxury goods company Hermes. The association will allow Apple to provide three new leather straps for its popular Apple Watch.
The collection, which has been called the “Apple Watch Hermes Collection,” includes a stainless steel Apple watch, available in 38 and 42-millimeter sizes, along with any of the three Hermes leather straps. The price for these straps rages from $1,100 to $1,500. According to Esquire.com, the straps are the Single Tour in 38mm and 42mm stainless steel models that will cost $1,100 and $1,150 each; the Double Tour in a 38mm stainless steel case priced at $1,250; and the 42mm stainless steel Cuff model, costing $1,500.
“Apple and Hermès make very different products, but they reflect the deep appreciation of quality design,” Apple’s chief design officer Jonathan Ive said. “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.”
Of the designs, the most popular has been the Double Tour, inspired by a model designed by Martin Margiela, who served as Hermes’ womenswear director from 1997 and 2003. It finds its name as one can wrap it around their wrist twice. Introduced in 1998, the Double Tour became a highly successful design; and is now the most popular and attractive of the three straps as part of the Apple Watch Hermes Collection.
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Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès’s executive vice president in charge of artistic direction, said, “At Hermès, we strive to provide our clients with elegant, creative and functional objects for their everyday lives. What more contemporary and relevant expression of this principle could there be than this collaboration with Apple. We are strongly united by the same deeply held ideas and principles. I see it as the establishment of an alliance in excellence; like horse and carriage, a perfect team.”
If the Apple Watch sells well enough, the straps could become a bestseller, as reported by Quartz. Its acclaim can be reflected by the popularity it has acquired in the fashion world.
Speaking at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in April 2015, Ive spoke about Apple’s endeavor to achieve quality design in its products. “At Apple we don’t look at the world through predetermined market opportunities. What we’ve done fairly consistently is try to invest tremendous care in the development of our products. It’s not so much about things being touched personally – there are many ways to craft something. It’s easy to assume that just because you make something in small volumes, not using many tools, that there is integrity and care – that is a false assumption.”
The features that will be coming to the Watch with the next version of Watch OS will be utilized by Hermes models. These include public transportation directions and new Watch Faces. Currently, more than 10,000 Watch apps are available in App Store. Developers will be able to create more apps, specifically designed to run on the watch, with Watch 2.0.
Apple Watch 2.0 will be available starting September 16.
The leather strap collection, as part of the Apple Hermes association, will be available from October 5 at select Apple retail stores, select Hermès stores, specialty stores and department stores.
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