Hermès sure knows how to surprise us. We knew the brand was launching four new colorful versions of the H08 at Watches and Wonders. But when we arrived at the Hermès booth, there was actually another new H08 waiting to be discovered. It was this new chronograph version packed inside a 41mm multi-layered composite case. It’s a monopusher chronograph, so you operate it with a single button on the crown. And of course, the strap and the details on the dial all come in bright Hermès orange. Let’s take a look at the new Hermès H08 Chronograph.

Just a few weeks ago, I called those colorful new H08s the sportiest versions yet. Well, I think we have a new #1 now. After all, what’s more sporty than a chronograph, right? Anyway, I really admire the way that the designers at Hermès can play with the designs of their watches. We’ve already seen various versions of the Arceau, like the “Le Temps Voyageur” and the “L’Heure de la Lune“. Both use more or less the same case, but because of distinct modules for the movement, the dials are completely different. And now Hermès has applied that same trick to the H08. Let’s dive right in.

Hermès H08 Chronograph

A monopusher chronograph

In the first two years of the H08’s existence, Hermès has already introduced quite a few versions of the watch. However, until now, the only differences between them were the choice of material and the size. The versions to this point were 39mm and 42mm time-only watches. In comes the H08 Chronograph that was presented to us at Watches and Wonders a few weeks ago. It features a 41mm case, which is made out of carbon fiber and graphene powder. Both of these are very light and durable materials. On top of the lugs and the side of the case, you can see the material’s rougher structure. This provides a nice contrast to the perfectly sunburst-brushed titanium bezel with a clean mirror-polished chamfer. But there’s more.

Hermès H08 Chronograph

Because now we get to the PVD-coated crown with that bright orange rim peeking through. And no, that’s not just there as a nice little decorative detail. It’s actually there to indicate that the crown is also a pusher. This pusher allows you to start, stop, and reset the chronograph. As you can probably tell from the pictures, the range of motion for that pusher is not very big. Despite that, the click you feel when pressing it down fully is incredibly satisfying.

Hermès H08 Chronograph

A chronograph module from Dubois Dépraz

That same click engages a chronograph module placed on top of the H1837 automatic movement. That’s the same movement that Hermès uses in the time-only Arceau and H08 models. It’s paired with a monopusher chronograph module from Dubois Dépraz. Fun fact: the H08 is actually the first watch to make use of that module. I like how time and time again Hermès is able to completely change — or rather enhance — the function of a watch. They did that with the Arceau moonphase and world timer, and now the brand has done so for the H08. I love this way of modular thinking, and I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves.

I don’t think the chronograph module is wider than the base movement. That’s why I suspect that the designers made the H08’s case a bit wider simply to compensate for the increase in thickness. That way, everything is still in proportion. To be honest, the 41mm case wears quite large on my 17cm (6.7″) wrist. Its somewhat rectangular shape even makes it wear a little bit bigger than a round 41mm case would. But on its own, the watch looks like it’s well proportioned. That’s also thanks to how the designers have integrated the chronograph complication into the dial.

Just as if the H08 has always been a chronograph

The H08’s dial with the proprietary Arabic numerals is something we’ve become very accustomed to by now. And I’m glad to say that its great character has been preserved in this chronograph version. To make room for the two sub-dials, the designers got rid of two of those funky numerals. But there are still enough of them left to enjoy, that’s for sure. Both the sub-seconds and the chronograph’s minute counter have a grainy texture that matches the inner chapter ring on the dial. The rest of the dial has more of a matte but smooth finish.

The dial itself is a bit bigger than those of the 39mm models. However, I don’t think the designers increased the size of the numerals. There is simply a little more room at the outside of the dial, and right there is where Hermès printed the white seconds/minutes track. On the time-only models, it’s actually printed on the inside of the inner chapter ring. It’s a nice solution because it means that the proportions on the dial didn’t have to be changed. And of course, this track is a must-have on a chronograph. So is a long, precise chronograph seconds hand, and this bright orange one reaches to the edge of the dial so you can see exactly where it stops. I’m also happy that the fun little detail on the counterweight is still there.

Hermès H08 Chronograph

Final words

As I said earlier, the H08’s 41mm case is a bit much for my wrist. But that’s certainly not due to its weight because the carbon fiber and graphene case is indeed very light. The bright orange rubber strap has a textile-like texture and wears very well. Plus, with the case’s 100m water resistance rating, you can even take the H08 Chronograph swimming. But I have to agree with what Lex said in his review of the blue H08: I’d much prefer a basic pin buckle instead of the overly complex butterfly clasp it comes with. But that’s a minor detail and something you won’t actually notice when the watch is on your wrist.

I think it’s admirable how the designers were able to seamlessly integrate the chronograph function into the H08’s design. I’m really curious to know what other complications they’d still like to put into the H08 in their ingenious ways.

The Hermès H08 Chronograph will be available as of mid-2024 (yes, that’s next year), and the price will be €15.000.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of this new addition to the Hermès H08 collection.

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