Hermes’ new Slim dʼHermès Koma Kurabe watch takes us deep into the Japanese tradition and enjoys more than a thousand years of festivals in the shade of cherry blossoms: Koma Kurabe, a famous horse racing event in Japan .
There are very few artisans who still practice the technique of fine painting in Japan. Takeyama Fukushima is one of them. The master drew this dream-like scene on the dial for the first time, carefully creating for Hermes watches. On weekdays, he is accustomed to performing fine paintings on larger objects such as vases or saucers.
The Slim dʼHermès Koma Kurabe watch is decorated with a ceramic dial. Through 12 unique dial patterns with different details, it recreates this annual horse racing event held in Kyoto’s Kamigamo Shrine (built in 678 AD). People from all over the country and towns flock here to pray for peace and good harvest, while watching the beautiful scenery of horses and spring days.
The red-painted fine-detailed art skillfully wields the animation pen to create a delicate layer of red and ochre, and finally ends with a fine gold coating. Like a real travel invitation, this unique watch piece is the first time in the watch industry to combine Japanese Aka-e painting art with French ceramics, and was written by the art master Buzan Fukushima .
Slim dʼHermès Koma Kurabe watch, 18K white gold case, 39 mm diameter, ceramic dial made by French Nationale de Sèvres, using Japanese traditional ‘red drawing fine drawing’ art, using micro-painting techniques to outline a variety of red, The ‘Koma Kurabe’ Japanese ancient horse racing event pattern is displayed on the dial. The time display shows the Hermès H1 950 ultra-thin self-winding movement. The matte cigar alligator strap is limited to 12 pieces.
It all started at the Sèvres workshop in the outskirts of Paris. Sèvres is Europe’s main ceramics production center with a history of more than three centuries. The craftsman pours barbotine (porcelain grout, grout, slurry, or slip) on a gypsum substrate, which absorbs water and retains only porcelain clay. The artisan placed the clay on a metal base and cut it to the required size, then air-dried for several days. The next step is the so-called ‘plain firing’ procedure, which hangs the perforated rimmed porcelain plate in a high-temperature furnace and bakes it, followed by a thorough grinding procedure to remove any particle defects on the surface. After that, the glazing process is carried out. The craftsman needs to apply four to six layers of colorless glaze. Each layer is baked and repeated four to six times. Finally, the bisque plate was cut into one dial after another.
Akabara elaborated the art in Japan in the 19th century. The hand-made ceramic dial is in the hands of the master Fukuyama Takeshima, and it becomes a superb masterpiece of art. He is one of the few artisans who still practice the technique of fine painting in Japan. The master who vigorously advocated the traditional ceramic painting art of Kutani-yaki in Ishikawa Prefecture skillfully wielded the animation pen to create a delicate layer of red and ochre, and finally received a fine gold coating. The dial needs to go through three baking processes before the pattern can be fixed to present this dreamlike Japanese classic style. The master drew this dream-like scene on the dial for the first time, carefully creating for Hermes watches. On weekdays, he is accustomed to performing fine paintings on larger objects such as vases or saucers.