Introducing: The Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente

The latest collaboration between La Montre Hermès and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht captures the emotion of anticipation.

By Jonathan Bues

A dial close up of the Hermès’s Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatient.
A close up of the dial on the Hermès’s Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente.

It’s a familiar ritual for many watch collectors: setting a mechanical alarm on our watch as a reminder. There are fine watches galore that are up to this task, but so far none conceived to heighten the suspense of waiting for a special moment to arrive.

La Montre Hermès has a penchant for thought-provoking horology. Its complications are the result of a philosophy that prizes originality, emotion, and poetry—rare qualities in an industry consumed with precision and measurement. So it is with the latest Slim d’Hermès watch, L’Heure Impatiente, French for the “Impatient Hour.” It is the Paris design house’s most recent complicated watch made in collaboration with independent horological mastermind Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and his workshop, Agenhor.


More than a mere mechanical alarm, L’Heure Impatiente manages to capture and celebrate anticipation—something that anyone who’s eagerly awaited an upcoming trip, a big date, or a job interview will find instantly relatable. The complication may be emotional in its appeal to watch lovers, but the precision engineering required to bring L’Heure Impatiente to life is second to none.

This is not the first time Hermès has partnered with Wiederrecht. Their first project, aptly named Le Temps Suspendu, or “Time Suspended,” allowed the wearer to stop time—at least the display of it on his watch—with the simple push of a button. The watch was created for those moments when you’d rather not know what time it is, perhaps during a flight of creativity.

A watchmaker places the gong ring atop the Hermès’s Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatient movement.
A watchmaker places the gong ring atop the Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente movement.

With L’Heure Impatiente, the wearer sets an alarm on a subdial located between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions. When the selected alarm time draws within an hour, a retrograde subdial known as the “hourglass” is charged and begins winding down from 60. The wearer watches—impatiently, one imagines—as the minutes draw down toward zero, at which point an alarm rings. The central idea of the inpatient hour is that the anticipation of a moment bears deeper resonance than the event itself. The hour leading up is tense and fraught; the moment after is calm, banal, even boring.

Wiederrecht built the module for L’Heure Impatiente to sit atop an in-house ultrathin movement from Hermès, which is produced at Vaucher, a watch manufacture in which Hermès owns a large stake. Wiederrecht’s exclusive innovation for Hermès required five years from the initial concept to its commercial deployment at Baselworld 2017.

Exploded view of the watch's movement.
An exploded view of the watch’s movement.

Wiederrecht and Agenhor fitted the module onto the case to provide a secure platform that nonetheless provided plenty of empty space. The dial likewise has no contact with the case around its entire perimeter. These elements of the watch’s construction were deliberately designed to enhance its acoustical properties while also honoring the slender profile of timepieces in the popular Slim d’Hermès range. L’Heure Impatiente module is only 2.2 mm thick.

A number of unusual components make up the module itself. First there is a shark cam that rotates exactly twice per day, its fin serving to activate the “pegasus rack” every 12 hours. There is also a helical spring that stores up the energy that is used by the striking mechanism. This specific type of spring, whose shape is unusual in watchmaking, was chosen for a more constant torque transfer than conventional watch springs. It gets its power from the aforementioned Pegasus rack, which gives the energy required to move the one-hour countdown hand and makes the mechanism chime. In keeping with the Hermès design universe, it is inspired by the winged horse of Greek mythology.

A close-up view of the Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatient's movement.
A close-up view of the Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente’s movement.

It’s an apt, if ironic, choice that might occur to the wearer as they endure their own impatient hour. If only time did fly when we’re waiting.

Also in keeping with the winning design codes of the Slim d’Hermès line, this timepiece comes with a dial featuring printed Arabic numerals designed specifically for Hermès by the award-winning French graphic designer Philippe Apeloig.

The Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente is available in 18-karat rose gold and comes on a hand stitched blue alligator strap—crafted in-house by Hermès, of course. Retail price: $39,900.

The completed Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatient.
The completed Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente on a blue alligator strap.