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By Peter Vossner

Designed by Henri d’Origny and launched in 1991, the Cape Cod timepiece from Hermès was originally intended to be a square watch, however the designer wield his creative freedom to unveil what would be a square in a rectangle, giving rise to the now iconic watch from the French maison.

Its original case is composed of two anchor chain half links, a motif created by Robert Dumas in 1938, who was inspired by a boat chain.

This year, the Cape Cod is once again transformed: shimmering with diamonds and carved in obsidian stone – a grey vitreous volcanic rock – or sandblasted, gilded and lacquered, its distinctive graphic shape plays with materials and textures.

Hovering between contrast and harmony, a first Cape Cod Chaîne d’ancre features a precious rose gold case set with 52 diamonds, framing an obsidian dial stands out, illuminated by interlaced links set with 181 diamonds.

A second, smaller model matches the tone of its gemset steel case with the anthracite shades of the volcanic dial and gemset anchor chains.

Finally, a third similarly small-sized rose gold version set with 46 diamonds is distinguished by its sand-blasted gold dial adorned with gemset anchor chains.

Paired with a single- or double-tour strap in Chantilly-coloured or pearl grey alligator, crafted in the Hermès Horloger workshops, these new Cape Cod Chaîne d’ancre models display hours and minutes, swept over by slender gold or rhodium-plated hands.

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