A tiny watch,with a huge personality
The watch I have worn very often for many years is 40mm in diameter. And I find it perfect, well-balanced and well-fitted on my wrist. I have also tried and worn 42mm or even 44mm models and I liked them a lot. I can honestly say that, as far as they are well designed, with a good “architecture”, they are not too big or ill-suited even on a thin wrist such as mine.
After almost 10 years of serious relationship with big watches, I have recently taken to something really small – the new Nantucket model from Hermès – Nantucket Très Petit Modèle, to be exact. Small, genuinely small, tiny even – it has a 17mm wide by 32mm long case.
The Nantucket model was born in 1991, when Henri d’Origny, who had been asked to create a square case, said: “Sure, why not?” but then came with some kind of long, narrow, arched rectangle, which voluptuously sits on the wrist and could stay there forever.
As I said, I have always preferred big watches, which you can see really, really well. With Nantucket, I initially experienced a nanosecond of pure panic, because it is so small that at first I didn’t see the dial, and then I wasn’t sure what time it was.
I also like heavy watches, which I can feel on my wrist. I like to feel their weight and presence. Which is why I would never wear a titanium watch, because, as fashionable as it may be, it is too light for me, a negligible quantity even.
And still… Still…
I fell in love with the tiny Nantucket, a watch like the ones that women used to wear between the 1920s and the 1950s – a golden era, in my opinion, in terms of elegance, femininity, good taste and originality.
It may be small, but it has a personality and knows how to insinuate itself naturally and beautifully in both the life and heart of its wearer. I chose the rose gold model, set with diamonds on the sides, with a mother-of-pearl dial and a leather strap like only Hermès knows how to make – milk chocolate brown, slightly and discreetly lacquered. The models come either with a simple strap or a double strap – both versions are elegant, but I find the simple one more beautiful.
I have long admired Hermès, whom I had the pleasure to visit at one point, because I know like no one else that true genius and true elegance reside in simplicity. That perfect simplicity, which is apparently a child’s play, but is the most difficult, almost impossible to achieve.
And Nantucket Très Petit Modèle can be a case study in terms of perfect simplicity – though it may go unnoticed at first (for a minute, maybe), it is a watch that fits perfectly, beautifully, elegantly around the wrist. It is a watch that speaks for itself – it doesn’t shout, though, because it is subtle and waiting to be discovered, when the eyes of interlocutors grow bigger (more or less visibly, it depends) and they realize what beauty you are wearing.
Simple all the way, it has a pure, luminous dial, with hour and minute hands gliding upon its surface. That is all.
Hermès has also launched the stainless steel version, much more affordable, but equally beautiful and elegant.
For me, Nantucket Très Petit Modèle was an oasis, a quiet yet daring watch (let’s not forget it was supposed to be square by birth, yet it chose differently), a watch that helped me feel like in the times when life was more peaceful and, why not, less complicated.
Brand • Hermès
Model • Nantucket Très Petit Modèle
Size • 17×32 mm
Technicalities • quartz mechanism
Functions • hours, minutes
Case • rose gold, diamonds
Price • approximately EUR 12.000
Verdict • a tiny watch with a great personality, versatile, suited to any outfit and any circumstances