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Baume & Mercier - Sporty, chic and classic: Baume & Mercier’s triple triumph at Watches and Wonders

Baume & Mercier Sporty, chic and classic: Baume & Mercier’s triple triumph at Watches and Wonders

The Geneva-based watchmaker is cutting to the chase. Just a handful of new models have been unveiled this year, but they all add real value to the existing collections, which have been considerably pared back in recent times. In the spotlight for 2021 is the big comeback of the Riviera collection

Riviera, riding the crest of a wave

The signs are subtle but unmistakeable. First, the return of faceted bezels: some square, some with 8, 10 or 12 sides. The standard-bearer of this trend is the Royal Oak, along with the Laureato for Girard-Perregaux and Corum’s Admiral. Then there are the visible bezel screws: witness the Royal Oak again, plus the Alpine Eagle by Chopard, and virtually everything produced by Hublot. And finally, we have the wave motif visible on the dials, seen on Ulysse Nardin Divers and the Breguet Marine timepieces.

Many of these creations were born in the 1970s, when Baume & Mercier was an unavoidable presence. The Riviera model launched in 1973 is back in centre stage, showcasing all of these features that, together, provide a textbook template of what is generally known today as the sporty-chic watch.

Sporty, chic and classic: Baume & Mercier’s triple triumph at Watches and Wonders

Riviera © Baume & Mercier

The Geneva watchmaker is throwing everything it’s got into the comeback, unveiling no fewer than three different diameters: 36 mm, 42 mm and 43 mm. We might question the need for two models separated by just one millimetre in diameter, and it’s also a shame that a sporty-chic watch born on the Côte d’Azur has a depth rating of just 50 metres, making seaside excursions a dubious proposition.

The dials nevertheless provide a range of colour options, with a choice of blue, black and silver. As so often with Baume & Mercier, the watches comes with interchangeable steel bracelets or rubber straps, confirming the Riviera’s urban/sporty identity. The 36 mm version is also welcome; making such a strong statement in a women’s watch is a bold move, successfully executed by Baume & Mercier. The quartz movement easily accommodates the watch’s restricted proportions.

One final Riviera is equipped with a Baumatic movement. This in-house calibre boasts exceptional performance for its price bracket: five days’ power reserve, a five-year service interval, anti-magnetic resistance up to 1500 Gauss and COSC-worthy precision (-4 / +6 seconds per day). It has its own unique transparent dial in blue, with an engraved wave motif, revealing the movement beneath.

Hampton, colourful and precious

Many watchmakers are making the most of their current straitened circumstances to revise their catalogues, inaugurating collections that are limited in number but more coherent and precisely targeted. Baume & Mercier is no exception. The Hampton collection is now a model of restraint, featuring just 13 references, 8 of which are for women. Four more watches will be joining them, bringing accents of colour and the luxury of gemstones.

Sporty, chic and classic: Baume & Mercier’s triple triumph at Watches and Wonders

Hampton © Baume & Mercier

The colour comes from two new references, the first with a green dial and the second with a vibrant red strap. Each of these models also features a semi-precious stone – agate – inserted into the crown: black agate for the green dialled version, and red agate to go with the red strap. This creative touch, which is reminiscent of Cartier’s signature blue cabochon, enhances the luxurious aspect of the Hampton collection. The same goes for a third model with a double-wrapped strap (set with a blue spinel), and one final version set with green chrysoprase.

These four small-format Hamptons (35 x 22 mm) are all fitted with quartz movements. They also come with interchangeable straps, a feature that Baume & Mercier has championed for almost a decade now.

Classima – a little less... classic!

The same trends of moderation, mastery and restraint are apparent in the Classima collection. This iconic Baume & Mercier range currently has 26 variants, to which three new designs have been added. Each will be doubled up (one large, one small format), adding just six references to the catalogue.

The first two pairs bring new dial colours – grey and green – expanding the scope of the existing colourways, which are limited to black, white and blue. They are built on the same model, which features a date, steel case, three rhodium-plated leaf-shaped hands and Roman numerals at the four cardinal points. The men’s versions come in 42 mm, and the ladies’ in a 31 mm case. Several elements enhance the uniqueness of some of the models: a cabochon set into the crown, quartz or automatic movement, textile or leather strap, steel bracelet, baton or stone-set markers.

Sporty, chic and classic: Baume & Mercier’s triple triumph at Watches and Wonders

Classima © Baume & Mercier

One final variation brings the long-awaited return of a full gold model (case, indices, hands and crown in yellow gold) on a black crocodile strap – an ultra-classic format that’s an essential element of the current collection. There’s also the option to replace the (interchangeable) bracelet with a different strap, providing an opportunity to give this classic and classy Classima a fun twist that everyone can appreciate.

 

Lecture 2 Comment(s)

28 November 2021
Josette Maurin
La collection est magnifique
3 November 2021
Patty Shadden
Stageringly beautiful. Almost to pretty for a time piece. I would love to HAVe one someday.

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The Baume & Mercier watchmaking Maison has always had powerful emotional and celebratory connotations, while expressing watchmaking excellence in all its creations. Since 1830, it has embodied a family history in which a passion for detail and a quest for excellence convey a firm commitment: to perpetuate its heritage while being an essential partner of memorable moments. For Baume & Mercier, time is far more than just a sequence of seconds,...

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