special envoy to Yakushima (Japan)

If love lasts three years in the novels, it is not always the same in life. Nor necessarily in the one of the titans of the luxury industry and contemporary. When, in 2015, the brand with the orange box and the apple the most famous in the world had said “yes” to reveal the Apple Watch (Hermes, their first creation, co-signed, this was not a trifle, but the beginning of a love story . A term that interested, Pierre-Alexis Dumas, executive vice-president, in charge of the artistic direction of sellier French, and Jony Ive, chief design officer of Apple, assume without ambiguity.

AppleWatch Hermes Series 4. Hermes

“We all know that Hermes doesn’t need Apple and that Apple has no need Hermes” , explains the representative of the family business, recalling that these two companies were, until then, never associated with anyone. “We have to know, ten years ago, through our mutual friend, Marc Newson, who told me : “You are my two favorite brands in the world, you should know…”” “From the first contact, it became obvious that working together would be natural and logical, inevitable almost, remembers, for its part, the British.

“Making the ordinary extraordinary”

the Fourth and Dumas, in reality, it is also the clash of two worlds as a genuine encounter. Two sensitivities creative non-standard that any objection a priori, even in the physical appearances and dress codes. “We all belong to the two to a tribe, a tribe of excellence” they stress. “We follow in our follies respective with the same obsessions: place the imagination and the fantasy at the heart of all creation”, analysis Pierre-Alexis Dumas. Worn by the tastes and passions are shared, to the Bauhaus in particular and the sketch, “the same values that bring us together, he says, the extreme concern of the detail and care in all things, the sincere search of excellence, without compromise… And our purpose: to be useful, in beauty.” And the French to clarify: “An object was humble and common is not intended to be necessarily trivial. My job, at Hermes, consists precisely in making the ordinary extraordinary. In this, I have been fascinated to see how, thanks to the involvement of Jony, Apple has managed to play an important role in the improvement of our daily lives.”

musical Experiences on the island of Yakushima. Carol Sachs/Hermes

In fact, it is well to him that we owe the genius of the ergonomics, the aesthetic concept, and therefore of the desirability of immediate Apple products. A member of the board of the firm queen of Cupertino (California), the eminent designer has been knighted by the british Crown, and repeatedly rewarded by international awards, the most prestigious. Taiseux and little inclined to confidences to the press, the English, hired in 1992 by Steve Jobs, has not recourse to circumlocutions to greet the new performance common: “This watch is just one of the objects of the most singular and the most advanced Apple has ever designed! he says. On the form, it is a representation of a very elegant time passing by digital means. On the bottom, an incentive to commit to a healthier lifestyle, active and balanced. It is the guardian smart health for everyone.”

We find the two men for a full-scale test on the subtropical island of Yakushima – first japanese site registered in the Unesco world heritage site since 1993. A destination for the less unusual and whimsical, “midway between California and Paris” , we are told… Populated by a fauna sovereign – deer and monkeys in the first head -covered in lush forests, to the cedars legendary several times millennia, the island green landscapes has inspired the sets of the animated film Princess Mononoke . Maze plants without end, it is also, for the visitor, a place where time stretches out and loses all material dimension…

“At the crossroads” musical Experiences and the contemplative
on the island of Yakushima. Carol Sachs/Hermes

To excite Pierre-Alexis Dumas, a lover of the inspiring experiences and poetry – as in her time her father, Jean-Louis. And sensitive to this environment, “where the direct connection with nature inspires the awakening of our own senses, which we must preserve with all our forces”. “in Japan, it is also a place symbolically perfect and unique, at the crossroads between tradition and future, craftsmanship and technology, the material and the spiritual, explains Wilfried Guerrand, director general of digital projects for Hermès – which opened last may, its first store in Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Apple has allowed us to bring our imagination, our fantasy,” , he continues, when Pierre-Alexis Dumas is pleased to “in this unprecedented opportunity, for the family brand, to challenge its own culture and step out of his comfort zone, venturing…”. “We can say that this trip was a bold idea and ambitious, but frankly it seemed to be especially completely far-fetched”, commented from his side, Jonathan Ive with a sense of humor. Judge for yourself.

In small groups, equipped for adventure, the discovery in situ of the new features of the watch took successively the form of the meditation sessions, between the rivers of pure water and shore desert ; a walk in the mountains with perception of the particular vibration of the trees, gnarled gravity-defying, and age ; regulation of the heart beat in altitude, listening to a clavichord of the Fourteenth century, echoing to the sounds of Yakushima swept away by the wind… Or a practical application “Activity”, “heart Rhythm”, “Exercise” or “Breathe”. “as Much capacity facilitating the access to training the mind, to consciousness attentive or inviting them to slow down and deepen the breath… entrance door to the anchor and the awareness of the need to listen to your body” , according to the neuroscientist of the expedition, Antoine Lutz, director of research at the Inserm in Lyon and is a specialist in meditation and therapeutic since twenty years.

lives are the key to The island of Yakushima. Carol Sachs/Hermes

redesigned to use radically turned towards activity and health, the fourth generation of the Apple Watch presents advantages real who wants to hang his coach digital on the wrist and be guided… The aesthetics of the object, scratched Hermes, finishes to convince the design teams is being surpassed to produce a new generation of dials and bracelets, color block co-ordinated and resourceful – even in the finishes of the dual tower that the artisans of the saddle have been able to optimize yet. The case, more sensual, and perfectly waterproof, is more refined. On the screen (always offered in two sizes, the area of readability has gained 30 %. And if the new features, related to the communication (walkie-talkie), to the well-being and fitness extend (marathon, swimming, yoga, hiking…), it is in the field of medicine that the object marks the kick. The automatic detection of falls, associated with an alert, or even an ecg or continuous monitoring of glucose levels, for example (with follow-up of developments in day-to-day on these points) say to the representative of Apple, provided significant evidence in this sense, that lives are the key. “The question for me is not knowing when to wear this watch but when to take the risk to remove it…” advance Ive, with sincerity.

If its success is proven – sales of the Apple Watch (ultradominante on the market) turn around 20 million units in 2017 -this collaboration with Hermes, is not reported. We know, however, that the bracelets made by artisans of the Faubourg, which are regularly renewed under the artistic direction of Pierre Hardy, are out of stock. And the desire for new adventures common perceptible. “The best way to measure the vitality of our collaboration is to compare it to the personal relationship that binds us now, Pierre-Alexis and me, indicates Jony : know that beyond the estimates, we have become very close friends…”

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