Hands on: Apple Watch Series 4 Hermes

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited September 2018
Apple Watch Edition may be long gone, but that doesn't mean Apple culled all premium Watch offerings from its lineup. AppleInsider goes hands on with the pricey $1300-plus Hermes Apple Watch Series 4 to see what the higher price tag gets you.





There are a number of Hermes configurations available, but we chose the Stainless Steel Case with Indigo/Craie/Orange Swift Single Tour band.

The box

The premium experience all starts with the box.

Apple Watch Series 4 Herms


A textured cardboard box is on the outside, sporting signature Hermes orange. Two boxes slide from within, one housing the watch and the components, the other the bundled band.

Every Hermes Apple Watch Series 4 comes not only with the bundled leather band, but a complimentary orange sports band as well.

Apple Watch Series 4 Herms


Also tucked in is the magnetic charging puck (stainless steel housing rather than the plastic that comes with the aluminum Apple Watch) and a 5-watt wall charger.

The band

All Hermes bands are top notch. They are made of super soft leather and are extremely comfortable. Other leather bands can take some time to wear in, but not these, regardless of which one you pick up.

Our Swift Single Tour band is a two-piece setup, with stainless steel lugs and a stainless steel buckle. The buckle is imprinted with the Hermes logo.

There are several other styles on offer, but they all have a similar high degree of quality.

Exclusive faces

Apple Watch Series 4 Herms


Along with the bands, the other aspect that sets the Hermes watch apart from regular models is the exclusive Hermes watch face.

You can change the typeface of the face, the number of digits displayed, the center complication and style/color.

As a nice touch, there are different colors and styles to match each of the different bands. We have the Indigo/Craie/Orange band and there is an Indigo/Crai (off-white) face to go with it.

Similarities

So what do you really get when picking up Apple Watch Hermes?

You get the exclusive face, leather band and sports band. Otherwise, it is the same cellular stainless steel Apple Watch Series 4 available with Apple's first-party bands and straps.

The choice is yours

Apple Watch Series 4 Herms


Apple Watch Series 4 models start reasonably at $399. The Hermes options make quite the leap, easily getting into four digits.

Those interested in a premium watch experience can purchase Apple Watch Hermes at Apple. Other Series 4 models can be found in our regularly updated Apple Watch Series 4 Price Guide.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    You’re paying just have the brand, can easily find cheap leather bands on amazon to recreate the same look. Personally whoever buys these just have a lot of money and dropping that cash just means you’re rich. :)
    netmage
  • Reply 2 of 41
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    If you can afford to spend that much on a watch band then well done! I think the black Nike sport band looks right for me.
    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 41
    AI -- I no longer see Apple's normal black or leather classic bands on their site. Can you confirm if they're gone now? Disappointed if they are, I was considering getting one for my AW4 when it gets in (have the original black leather band but its breaking down).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 41
    On the article. 
    The watch starts at 399 but stainless steel 44mm with a sport band is £749 so the Hermes edition is only 650 more - still steep for a leather band and a watch face but the difference is not that extreme than the smaller non cellular aluminium models. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 41
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,820member
    Personally I think those are the ugliest faces and bands in the entire Watch range, but it takes all sorts I guess.
    netmagedougdcornchipwilliamlondonstevenoz
  • Reply 6 of 41
    I am team #Milaneseloop
    netmagechasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 41
    My sense is that this is more marketing than anything else:

    In its original release the AW was presented as a fashion statement -- including a $10,000 gold version.   And, that may have been marketing genius to fend off the conventional brands labelling it as an ugly smart phone strapped to the wrist of geeks and jocks.

    As Apple moved on from that original thrust though, it has kept part of fashion appeal -- of which a large component is exclusivity -- as part of its appeal.   And some, just like expensive, exclusive type jewelry.

    Good job Apple!
    dewmecornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 41
    Would have been nice if the article included pics of all the faces exclusive to this watch. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 41
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,060member
    You’re paying just have the brand, can easily find cheap leather bands on amazon to recreate the same look. Personally whoever buys these just have a lot of money and dropping that cash just means you’re rich. :)
    Class envy pure and simple. There are counterfeit Gucci, counterfeit Vera Wang, counterfeit Rolex, counterfeit iPhones (Android, Samsung), etc. and middle class people buy them to feel good about themselves. You are apparently one of those types. Be happy with your fake Hermes, I guess.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 41
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    This is a natural market for Apple. People who can't afford the finer things in life have no place buying Apple products.

    In the world of fine timepieces, this is an incredible bargain. Price is never the deciding factor when one insists on owning the best. And Apple is the best.
    Japhey
  • Reply 11 of 41
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,800member
    You’re paying just have the brand, can easily find cheap leather bands on amazon to recreate the same look. Personally whoever buys these just have a lot of money and dropping that cash just means you’re rich. :)
    1) It's doubtful they'd be the same quality. It's like finding a $20 knock off handbag in Chinatown that was copied from a 4 or 5 figure original. From a distance they look the same, but up close the placement of the design on the leather, the feel of the leather, the wear and tear of the leather, the accuracy of the stitching, the quality of the metal parts, and countless other things (I'm sure) if I was in any way in handbags. If you're goal is to trick someone looking at it from a distance then it'll probably work.

    2) You're not getting the watch faces, which I'd think is also part of the appeal. Maybe someone with money just happens to like those watch faces. They may even swap it out  for a different band. Personally, I go the other way. I'm waiting for the Nike version to drop because I like those bands with the holes in them but I never use their Nike watch faces and I don't pay money to buy the Nike band nor keep the one it came with in a box.

    3) Apple used Hermès—why can't AI spell it correctly?—to help legitimatize their newfangled smartwatch vying for the same location that classic watch styles are places. In part, I'm sure it worked, but is this still something Apple is benefiting from since it's only watch faces (they have to make and get approve, or receive from Hermès and approve), and watch bands (which I assume that Hermès makes then sends to Apple, although Apple may send them the lugs and clasps in which to stitch their leather to before sending back to Apple).

    Regardless, it's probably a very low cost for Apple that even a small number of buyers at the higher prices could be high enough to outweigh Apple's costs for directly promoting Hermès, but I wonder now that Apple is the #1 watch maker in the world if their partnership is necessary (ignoring any contractual obligation that may still be in play.

    4) Noting many of the comments on tech forums, no one likes the Hermès bands. I'm certainly a not a fan, but I'm also not the target market… and neither are they. I think there's a world of potential choices out there for customers that Apple could lean into with little effort. Perhaps making the Watch box and bands separate boxes this year is a step in that direction. Instead of Apple just allowing 3rd-party bands to be sold that will fit their Watch, they directly sell from their website and get a little a money from the deal while the 3rd-party gets extra notoriety and potentially not having to make the lugs but simply buying them from Apple.

    If this is still viable and if Apple really wants to go after more of the middle and high end (I think the low-end watch is a worthless market and standalone fitness trackers will see a steady reduction until it's just those that don't have a smartphone in which to pair and setup, and find all the features of a smartwatch confusing. But could getting partnerships with other high-end metal and leather makers help to both increase sales and help make the Watch more of a fashion statement?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 41
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,460member
    How utterly unfunctional.  "Unfunctional" is now a word to describe such a silly product.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 41
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,800member
    cpsro said:
    How utterly unfunctional.  "Unfunctional" is now a word to describe such a silly product.
    Why do you feel the Apple Watch a silly product? Personally, I found it to be the most exciting new product Apple has released this year.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 41
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,460member
    Soli said:
    cpsro said:
    How utterly unfunctional.  "Unfunctional" is now a word to describe such a silly product.
    Why do you feel the Apple Watch a silly product? Personally, I found it to be the most exciting new product Apple has released this year.
    The Hermes, of course.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,800member
    cpsro said:
    Soli said:
    cpsro said:
    How utterly unfunctional.  "Unfunctional" is now a word to describe such a silly product.
    Why do you feel the Apple Watch a silly product? Personally, I found it to be the most exciting new product Apple has released this year.
    The Hermes, of course.
    How so? I personally love the fluoroelastomer* band because it's secure while being easy to put on and take off, but I don't think that the standard buckle for a watch is that much more of an issue that I'd called it "unfunctional".


    * Is Apple still using that term?
  • Reply 16 of 41
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,245member
    You’re paying just have the brand, can easily find cheap leather bands on amazon to recreate the same look. Personally whoever buys these just have a lot of money and dropping that cash just means you’re rich. :)
    Class envy, possibly. He maybe That Guy who can't appreciate quality kit, and for whom what looks similar to it is good enough. He may also what to make people think he can afford quality kit.

    I've never handled the Hermès lineup, but looking closely at hi-res pics, it's easy to see that there are no bands on Amazon that are anywhere nearly equal in quality. I bought the Classic Buckle band for my Stainless Steel watch because I really like the combination. None of the aftermarket bands I've seen match it's level of execution. There are some nice third-party leather bands for the money, but they aren't as nice as the Classic Buckle, so that's what I got.

    Anybody who buys things to impress or fool others, is a little sad, in my book. Buy or don't, whatever makes you happy.

    Obviously, Apple is marketing style and lifestyle with the Watches. It's what they do with just about every product they make. Big surprise.

    The current Hermès lineup is not for the fashion-shy. Nothing wrong with that. It looks like it will be a long time before those of us in the cheap seats see some truly nice rectangular watch faces. So if you've got the money to pay for the style you like, great. I don't understand why that's a problem for other people.


    Soli
  • Reply 17 of 41
    My mom couldn't figure out what to buy my dad for Christmas two years ago and eventually settled on an Apple Watch.  My parents are pretty well off, so she bought the Hermès model.  My dad never took to the Watch so he gave it to me.  Honestly, the Hermès watch band is nothing special at all.  It's pretty ridiculous actually.  You'd never know it's Hermès.  It's just all around very average and, in my opinion, a total rip-off.
    GeorgeBMaccornchip
  • Reply 18 of 41
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,800member
    macgui said:
    You’re paying just have the brand, can easily find cheap leather bands on amazon to recreate the same look. Personally whoever buys these just have a lot of money and dropping that cash just means you’re rich. :)
    Class envy, possibly. He maybe That Guy who can't appreciate quality kit, and for whom what looks similar to it is good enough. He may also what to make people think he can afford quality kit.

    I've never handled the Hermès lineup, but looking closely at hi-res pics, it's easy to see that there are no bands on Amazon that are anywhere nearly equal in quality. I bought the Classic Buckle band for my Stainless Steel watch because I really like the combination. None of the aftermarket bands I've seen match it's level of execution. There are some nice third-party leather bands for the money, but they aren't as nice as the Classic Buckle, so that's what I got.

    Anybody who buys things to impress or fool others, is a little sad, in my book. Buy or don't, whatever makes you happy.

    Obviously, Apple is marketing style and lifestyle with the Watches. It's what they do with just about every product they make. Big surprise.

    The current Hermès lineup is not for the fashion-shy. Nothing wrong with that. It looks like it will be a long time before those of us in the cheap seats see some truly nice rectangular watch faces. So if you've got the money to pay for the style you like, great. I don't understand why that's a problem for other people.
    I hear people say that Apple is no different from others and that you'r just paying for the brand. Like you, I've never handled anything Hermès (as far as I know), but I've handled new cheap and quality leather products, as well as see how each age; I can say without a shadow of a doubt that higher-end brands tend to use higher-end materials with higher-end constriction with a lot more attention to detail with better resistance to wear-and-tear over time.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,427member
    macgui said:
    You’re paying just have the brand, can easily find cheap leather bands on amazon to recreate the same look. Personally whoever buys these just have a lot of money and dropping that cash just means you’re rich. :)
    Class envy, possibly. He maybe That Guy who can't appreciate quality kit, and for whom what looks similar to it is good enough. He may also what to make people think he can afford quality kit.

    I've never handled the Hermès lineup, but looking closely at hi-res pics, it's easy to see that there are no bands on Amazon that are anywhere nearly equal in quality. I bought the Classic Buckle band for my Stainless Steel watch because I really like the combination. None of the aftermarket bands I've seen match it's level of execution. There are some nice third-party leather bands for the money, but they aren't as nice as the Classic Buckle, so that's what I got.

    Anybody who buys things to impress or fool others, is a little sad, in my book. Buy or don't, whatever makes you happy.

    Obviously, Apple is marketing style and lifestyle with the Watches. It's what they do with just about every product they make. Big surprise.

    The current Hermès lineup is not for the fashion-shy. Nothing wrong with that. It looks like it will be a long time before those of us in the cheap seats see some truly nice rectangular watch faces. So if you've got the money to pay for the style you like, great. I don't understand why that's a problem for other people.


    I think you nailed the problem for me. I have no interest in Hermes as a brand. But it would be nice to have access to even one rectangular watch face for what is — you know, a rectangular watch. It’s astounding to me really. And it’s not as if someone won’t buy the Hermes watch because they got a free rectangular watch face on their regular watch — the watch face is a bonus really for those who want to buy the brand for the bands. It’s kind of funny when you consider that Hermes will sell the bands separately so anyone could add them to their base model watch, but there’s no way to get a rectangular watch face, with or without Hermes stamped on it. Maybe I’ve got it wrong and people are buying the Hermes just for the face and not the high quality leather bands? Huh.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,245member
    Apart from everything else, I'm a little disappointed in the two-part packaging.

    It does save Apple time assembly time, and should they change the factory options, it's probably a little easier update the forthcoming inventory.

    But having the Watch separate from the bands strikes me as a less elegant, more DIY presentation. Sure, it's no trouble to put it together, but it dampens the experience a tad. But Apple's been steadily moving away from The Experience as evidenced by the changes in packaging with each generation of the Watch.
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