Apple + Hermes: Surprising?

"It looks first like a luxury watch, and second like a gadget" - Quartz

With the announcement of the new Hermes collaboration with Apple, even hours later there are scant articles about the new device from fashion, style, or luxury news outlets. In one respect, this is because tech blogs and news sites abound, so they will cover an Apple event with more gusto. Yet, given that such a rarefied maison has taken on the tech scene, one would have assumed more articles would be out there talking about it (waiting for The New York Time's Vanessa Friedman to weigh in, post-"break up" with its previous version). 

It is no surprise that Apple is interested in moving its design upscale, with the recent-ish hires of Angela Ahrendts of Burberry, Paul Deneve of YSL, and Patrick Pruniaux of Tag Heuer. These are impressive hires, brand-wise, but it's hard to say what can be more upscale in the world of accessories than Hermes - and for this, I think the saying "if you can't beat them join them" goes both ways. I am certainly not as attuned to these worlds as others, but it still seems a surprise that Hermes, or any traditional luxury house, was persuaded to partner for the techy watch. With the prices more affordable than I would have expected, it is my assumption this will help Apple sell more watches, and move past earlier knocks on the watch design. For Hermes, it could be a surprising entry item for aspirational buyers, retailing for essentially the cost of two traditional enamel bracelets, and even arriving in the signature orange Hermes box. It would have been interesting to hear the discussions surrounding that "final mile" decision.