Baume & Mercier is the seventh oldest Swiss watchmaking brand in the world. The company has enjoyed international recognition since its story began in 1830 with the founding of the company by brothers, Louis-Victor and Celestin Baume. Their new company was clouted for cutting-edge innovations and exceptional models. By the 19th century, the watch brand had acquired an excellent international reputation and was becoming a noted watchmaker abroad. Baume watches demonstrated a rare degree of precision and accuracy, and they were best known for their chronographs and complication models.
At the start of the 1920s, William Baume joined forces with Paul Mercier, creating the brand’s current namesake, Baume & Mercier. After Mercier joined the brand, he wanted to make sure Baume & Mercier was embracing the change of the “roaring twenties.” He wanted to design a model that embodied the importance of women’s emancipation. This desire lead to one of Baume & Mercier’s most successful models: the Marquise. Because of the success of this ladies’ watch, Baume & Mercier launched several other creative and modern watches for women.
The Hampton collection was created during the Art Deco period, leaving an enduring mark on watch design.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the company was in pursuit of the equilibrium which is symbolized by the Greek letter, Phi, which is Baume & Mercier’s logo. Phi laid the groundwork of what is now considered the traditional round watch. Baume & Mercier began to launch various chronographs with moon phase functions or triple date displays, as well as simple round watches with pared-down dials. These watches from the 50s and 60s, inspired the current Capeland, Classima, and Clifton collections.
Baume & Mercier currently offers six collections of watches; Hampton, rectangularly shaped watches for both men and women; Capeland, for chronographs and worldtimers; Classima for those with a love for minimalist design; Linea for elegant women; Clifton for the seeker of classic yet contemporary; and finally Promesse, a descendant of a 1970s model, featuring gentle aesthetics and unconventional shapes for women.
Each collection of Baume & Mercier draws inspiration from a model of the past. It’s remarkable to look back in archives and see how a design has transformed to the needs and the desires of the time.