Brooke Shields will forever be associated with effortless American style. It all began with her infamous Calvin Klein ads in the 1980s. But like Katherine Hepburn before her, Shields has come to embody a certain kind of Yankee elegance over the years.
At the same time, there couldn’t be brand that’s more French than Hermès. And yet the company’s most iconic timepiece is the Cape Cod, which was named after the quintessentially East Coast resort destination. The mix makes sense because the timepiece is cosmopolitan and casual at the same time, as Shields proved when she wore her Cape Cod GMT model on the red carpet at a screening of The Jungle Book in New York earlier this month.
Designed in 1991 by Henri d’Origny, the styling of the Cape Cod is based on Hermès’ famous Chaîne d’Ancre bracelet. The watch was an immediate hit and the company soon began to add more sophisticated complications. The self-winding GMT, with its dual time zones and large date and day/night indicator, is an excellent example of the watchmaker’s craft.
Because Hermés produces such a wide variety of luxury goods, it’s always important to note how all of its ateliers come together to produce a piece. For example, the tonneau shape of the Cape Cod’s case inspired D’Origny (the genius behind so many of Hermès’ most famous scarf patterns) to use curved typography for the numerals. The matte Havana alligator leather strap on Shields’ watch is a nod to the company’s roots in saddlery.
As luxurious as it all sounds, the materials used to make the Cape Cod are as unfussy as its New England influences. The case is a hardwearing stainless steel (and a sensible 36.5 x 35.4mm case size). The dial is silvered with a subtle guilloche pattern and you can admire it through a glare proofed sapphire crystal.
The Cape Cod GMT is simply a handsome watch and Shields certainly wears it well.