Hands on with the black Hermes Apple Watch Series 5

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited September 23
Hands on with the new space black Hermes Apple Watch Series 5 -- a new premium option with a dark appearance, and a higher price tag too.

Apple Watch Hermes
Apple Watch Hermes


Apple has a seemingly renewed focus on the premium Apple Watch models this year with the Series 5. The "Edition" line has returned, bringing with it a brand new titanium case material, as well as bringing back the much-loved but previously-discontinued ceramic version.

The longstanding Hermes line continues, too, with Apple offering more options this year. For the first time, the Hermes Apple Watch is offered in a dark appearance, along with matching straps.

As before, you can buy the Hermes Apple Watch with a regular stainless steel case, but now you can also have it in Space Black. If you buy the larger 44mm size Watch then the Hermes strap you get will be what's called a single-tour one, meaning it's a similar length and fastening to most straps.

However, if you go for the 40mm size, you also have the option of a double-tour strap.




What's included

Whichever size or type of strap you buy, you'll find the same standard Apple Watch essentials in the gorgeous new black box. There's a charging puck, a wall charger, getting started material, and of course the bundled band.

Hermes Apple Watch Components
Hermes Apple Watch Components


There are small tweaks to many of these components that are unique to the Hermes edition, however.

For example, this Apple Watch comes with an additional black Sports Band. It feels and mostly looks like the same regular Sports Band, but it's unique to Hermes. It comes with a stainless steel pin and has the words "Hermes Apple Watch" etched underneath.

The charging puck has a stainless steel covering rather than the plastic coating the aluminium models come with. If you pick up a standard stainless steel Apple Watch, you too will get the steel charger.

The bands

The black Hermes Apple Watch comes with either a single- or double-tour black leather band. this band feels exceptionally soft and pliable and is very comfortable when worn.

Hermes Apple Watch Single Tour band
Hermes Apple Watch Single Tour band


The name "Hermes" is etched into the end of the clasp, though it is very subtle. Brown leather encompasses the wrist-worn side of the bands.

Hermes Apple Watch Single Tour band
Hermes Apple Watch Single Tour band


If you've liked Hermes bands before, you'll like these new black offerings just as much.

Custom watch faces

As before, these special versions of the Apple Watch come with slight but significant software differences. So rounding out the custom Hermes Apple Watch is a series of exclusive watch faces.

Noir Hermes Apple Watch
Noir Hermes Apple Watch


There are technically two to choose from -- Hermes and Noir Hermes. The latter is a minimalist face with very limited option to customize with complications.

However, you still get last year's exclusive Hermes face and that one brings many options for complications as well as typography, the dial, and the color.

A premium experience

It's a more expensive Apple Watch with all of the interior hardware identical to every other Series 5. However, Apple Watch Hermes is all about the experience.

It arrives in a dark, black box that is far nicer than what lesser Apple Watches arrive in.

The bands are wrapped in a microfiber pouch that protects them during travel, and a bonus Sports Band is included so users never have to wear the leather to the gym.

Altogether, the single-tour model we tested retails for $1,300, and that's a $550 premium over the standard stainless steel model.

This isn't a case where you can compare specifications or somehow evaluate real-world usage in order to determine whether the cost is worth while. Only you can make that decision, but fortunately you probably already knew from the first glance whether you are in the market for one of these Hermes Apple Watches.

Where to buy

The Apple Watch Series 5 Hermes collection can be found at Apple and Hermes. For discounts on other Apple Watch 5 styles, be sure to check out the AppleInsider Apple Watch Series 5 Price Guide.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Wait, that last photo: the Watch 5 has a Notch?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,004administrator
    slothj said:
    Wait, that last photo: the Watch 5 has a Notch?
    Nope - just a graphical element in the watch face.
    caladanian
  • Reply 3 of 17
    More specifically, that is a page indicator when in customization mode showing where you are in the possible customization pages when editing a watch face. 
  • Reply 4 of 17
    FolioFolio Posts: 652member
    Now that the display face is continually visible gotta expect more high-end buyers. Is $1300 that much? What's the most fully tricked version cost?
  • Reply 5 of 17
    FolioFolio Posts: 652member
    I'm curious if you can spend more for a watch yet than a phone.
  • Reply 6 of 17
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,947member
    slothj said:
    Wait, that last photo: the Watch 5 has a Notch?
    Nope - just a graphical element in the watch face.
    Actually, that's what happens to every face when you push and hold down on the face and then select customize.
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 7 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,004administrator
    mike1 said:
    slothj said:
    Wait, that last photo: the Watch 5 has a Notch?
    Nope - just a graphical element in the watch face.
    Actually, that's what happens to every face when you push and hold down on the face and then select customize.
    Specifically, that's what happens to every face, correct. The question was if it was a notch, and the answer was no.
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 8 of 17

    Hermès Single Tour 44 mm Deployment Buckle


    Unfortunately the most useful strap is not available for the black watch, it only comes with a stainless buckle and attachments.
    https://www.hermes.com/uk/en/product/bracelet-apple-watch-hermes-single-tour-44mm-deployment-buckle-H074198CJ46/


    williamlondonAppleExposed
  • Reply 9 of 17
    The two Hermes faces are very stylish and make all the standard Apple-designed faces look the opposite.
    lkrupp
  • Reply 10 of 17
    kimberly said:
    The two Hermes faces are very stylish and make all the standard Apple-designed faces look the opposite.
    I have the Series 5 Edition in the regular Titanium case. I have an older, discontinued Apple black leather buckle band that I use when trying to be stylish. The watch face is the new California face with “pills” and in the exclusive Edition face color. It looks quite nice with only a date complication. 
  • Reply 11 of 17
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member
    An example of why Apple doesn't provide a mechanism for 3rd party faces.
    macgui
  • Reply 12 of 17
    are the hermes watch faces what makes this apple watch version more expensive?
  • Reply 13 of 17
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,688unconfirmed, member
    litoloop said:
    are the hermes watch faces what makes this apple watch version more expensive?

    No, the Hermes straps.

    Folio said:
    I'm curious if you can spend more for a watch yet than a phone.

    Glad "Edition" is back but really wish the $10,000+ version was available. I'm guessing Apple removed the 18k gold version for environmental reasons.

    When people wonder why I liked 18k gold Edition I tell them rich people don't care what you think. It's extra money for Apple and these same rich folks will skip a $1,000 Apple Watch for a $20,000 Rolex instead, a wearable that only tells time.

    Just because I can't afford a Ferrari doesn't mean I'll protest against their sale. Rich people don't care what you think. Let them spend their money how they want.

    And those who make excuses like "But it will be obsolete in a year lol!"
    NOT TRUE. Apple will continue to support it for years and it won't suddenly explode if it can't run the latest WatchOS.

    Also Ferrari users aren't required to buy the latest model every year either.

    Considering the price of gold, the original Apple Watch is still worth close to what people paid. Now consider it rare and the first Apple Watch. It's now worth more than gold.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 17
    Andrew - I'm curious if you see the gradient Noir face in the Hermes section of Watch app on the phone? I see others, but I don't that one, nor do I even see it listed as an installed face when re-ordering faces in the Watch app. If you inadvertently delete it, how would you get it back?
  • Reply 15 of 17
    litoloop said:
    are the hermes watch faces what makes this apple watch version more expensive?
    It's the Hermes leather band that makes it expensive.

    In case you are not familiar with Hermes: https://www.hermes.com/au/en/

    It's a brand that can't afford to be cheap, and 99% of people are not even in their target market. Just a small fact: their bag strap (not the bag, just the strap) alone costs $2,590.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 16 of 17
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,519member
    kimberly said:
    The two Hermes faces are very stylish and make all the standard Apple-designed faces look the opposite.
    True, but without a direct comparison or decent memory of those watch faces, the rectangular Apple watch faces are a good improvement over most of their round watch faces.


    cpsro said:
    An example of why Apple doesn't provide a mechanism for 3rd party faces.
    Yes, very much this ^. I don't know if it's Apple doing this in house, or if Hermès has someone submitting drawing to Apple, but Apple's watch faces and particularly those for Hermès are much better than anything I saw for the Pebble.

    Apple, being beleaguered and doomed as they are, could make some extra cash by selling additional Apple-designed watch faces, but that would possibly affect upgrading to new wOSs and Watches to run them.


    litoloop said:
    are the hermes watch faces what makes this apple watch version more expensive?
    Yes. Or no– that 'what' is part of what makes the version more expensive. If Apple is designing them and Hermès is approving them, the cost is no more than Apple watch faces, except that there is time required for the unique watch faces, and possibly time to get them approved. If Hermès is designing the faces and submitting them to Apple, there could be some licensing fees involved there. Certainly they won't be allowed to be used on a non-Hermès Watch.

    Adding to the cost of the line is the name - Hermès. There are associations made with good brands, and the biggest is assuming higher quality. The actual Watch is very likely the same as any Apple Watch of the same gen. 

    Then there are the leather bands. These are very well made, exquisite in fact, handmade with a precision that even Chinese machines can't match in cheap knock-offs. They aren't for everybody. The people who buy a knock-off Cartiér or Rolex won't care about precision. They belong to the 'If it looks ok to me and fools most people like me, I'm good' club.

    Other people are either buying a high-end quality product because they appreciate those qualities, or they're buying it to impress others. To me the latter is a complete waste of money. I don't care what others think. They shouldn't care what I think. If somebody is happy with an inexpensive band from Amazon, fine by me as long as they don't attempt to insult my intelligence with 'It's just as good as the Apple version' because it almost never is.

    I won't be buying an Hermès or Ceramic as they're just more money than I want to spend on a smartwatch. That kind of ching puts me in mech territory, which I like a lot. The Ti line is a consideration though. I'll have to see them in person to see if they grab me. 


  • Reply 17 of 17

    This isn't a case where you can compare specifications or somehow evaluate real-world usage in order to determine whether the cost is worth while. Only you can make that decision, but fortunately you probably already knew from the first glance whether you are in the market for one of these Hermes Apple Watches.
    Maybe not, but you can compare the value add between the basic stainless and the Hermès. If you buy the basic model and a single tour Hermès band ($339), suddenly that $550 premium becomes $211 ($550-$339). So now you are essentially paying a $211 premium for a couple different watch faces and a different color box. I thought I was in the market for one until I broke it down this way. Maybe if they are able to engineer a thinner case someday I will take the plunge, but for this year I think I’m going with the titanium. 
    Good review as always. 
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