Swiss watches can never be overstated in terms of elegance and luxury, or by the sheer variation in the number of watchmakers. Baume & Mercier, known to many as the fine makers of the B&M Linea for women, are one of the traditional Swiss watchmakers – surviving through the last 170 years of human history. Baume & Mercier aren’t the only Swiss watchmakers making exquisite Swiss watches in the market today, however, Baume & Mercier are one of the few companies which produces good number of watches per year, figuring more than 200,000 units annually. Baume & Mercier have also penetrated into multiple markets, currently available in more than 75 countries. Today Baume & Mercier is owned by Richemont, the third biggest retailers of luxury goods in the whole world.
Societe’ Baume Feres was founded by the Baume family way back in the 1830’s, when they were making enamel coated pocket watches. By the 1840s and onwards, Baume & Mercier watches were already finding its way through the vast markets of New Zealand and Australia – under various signatures such as Sirdar, Diviko and Waterloo. Few decades forward, when the Baumes’ were winning best timepieces of the year, raking staggeringly high points on the score sheets, William Baume would meet the talented watchmaker from Haas to form what we know as the Baume & Mercier today. The merger was officially put pen on paper during the winters of 1918, and within 3 years from date – the company won the coveted Poincon de Geneve – in recognition of making products of flawless quality and impeccable elegance. This was distinctly, one of the brightest sparks in the history of Baume & Mercier – instantly making it a household name for luxury watches. The award would also make the company stand out from the competition, attracting famous watchmakers and retailers around the world to do business with them. So when both William Baume and Paul Mercier retired in short spans, Constantin de Gorski – a famous watchmaker in the 1930’s joined the company as an ideal replacement.
Following a series of takeovers following the World Wars, Baume and Mercier would start producing conventional watches for men and sporty chronographs. By 1985, Baume & Mercier would stop producing mechanical watches, following yet another takeover by the Piaget watch family. Eventually Baume & Mercier would fall into the hands of Richemont group – and strike a permanent place into the world of luxury watches across the world and Richemont grew to be one of the biggest luxury good retailers of the 21st century.
History, no doubt is one of the biggest selling points of Swiss watches, and like fine wine, a rich history would heavily shape market demands and pricing points. Baume & Mercier today is widely renowned for their ingenuity in crafting elegant and fashionable designer watches, with many of its flagship products making a worldwide impact in the markets of luxury watches. Their recent line of products includes flagships such as the Hampton Classics – available to both men and women, with prices starting over the $1000 mark. The Hampton line of watches are said to be inspired from a watch the company created back in the 1960s – a piece which had a distinct rectangular shape. The Hampton line today is promoted as a unique blend of contemporary design and traditional Swiss watchmaking.
Baume & Mercier has been attributed as classy, elegant and affordable timepieces in the league of luxury watches, and has been widely praised as instantly recognizable as a luxury watch when worn. Although the recent partnership between the parent Richemont and fashion giant Ralph Lauren focuses on creating a new brand of luxury watch under the namesake Ralph Lauren Polo Watches – Baume & Mercier would remain to be a coveted item in the collectors of luxury watches, and from history we learn, would continue producing top quality timepieces.