Baume et Mercier
|Subsidiary of Richemont|
|William Baume & Paul Mercier (Founders)
Alain Zimmermann (CEO)
Baume & Mercier was founded as "Frères Baume" in 1830 by brothers Louis-Victor and Célestin Baume, who opened the watch dealership in Les Bois, a village in the Swiss Jura. The Swiss watch manufacturer expanded internationally by establishing a branch in London in 1921 under the name "Baume Brothers", which led to expansion throughout the British Empire. By the late 19th century, the company had an established international reputation, and its timepieces had set accuracy records and won a number of timekeeping competitions.
In 1918, company director William Baume partnered with Paul Mercier to found "Baume & Mercier" in Geneva. The firm became specialized in manufacturing wristwatches, particularly unconventional "shaped" models that did not possess the traditional round form. In 1919, Baume & Mercier was awarded the Geneva Seal, the highest international distinction of the time for watchmaking excellence.
During the Roaring Twenties, the brand embraced women's emancipation. In the 1940s, Baume & Mercier launched a number of modern watch collections, most notably the 2 Register Chronograph. Early examples of this model with the double case backs are rare and highly sought after, often fetching more than double the price of a later model.
In 1988, the Swiss watchmaker joined the Richemont group. Currently, the brand offers the Clifton, Classima and Hampton collections for both men and women, the Capeland collection for men, and the Linea and Promesse collections for women. In 2015, Baume & Mercier bolstered its sports watch offerings by entering into a partnership with the celebrated American race car maker Carroll Shelby International. The company now offers limited edition "Shelby Cobra" models, named for the classic sports car, in its Capeland and Clifton collections.
Baume & Mercier celebrity ambassadors have included Gwyneth Paltrow, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Andy García, Gary Sinise, Ashton Kutcher, David Duchovny, Teri Hatcher, Kim Basinger, Evangeline Lilly, Kiefer Sutherland and James Hunt. The "Baume & Mercier & Me" celebrity endorsement campaign has been used to raise money for charity. In December 2015, Chinese actor, singer, and fashion model Chen Kun became a Baume & Mercier celebrity ambassador, wearing a Clifton collection watch in his introductory campaign.
- Riviera: sport chronograph collection. To commemorate the perfect game he pitched on May 29, 2010, Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies purchased 60 personalized Riviera Sport 8724 Chronographs; one for each member of his team, the coaching staff, and clubhouse personnel to express his appreciation.
- Diamant: women's collection featuring a signature "diamond oval" crown
- Iléa: women's collection 30mm in diameter, featuring an off-center diamond on the crown
The current models in the Baume & Mercier collection:
- Hampton: vintage rectangular-shaped collection based on Baume & Mercier timepieces from the 1940s in the Art Deco style
- Capeland: vintage chronograph collection
- Classima: minimalist collection of classic watches
- Linea: women's collection with interchangeable straps
- Clifton: vintage collection based on Baume & Mercier timepieces from the 1950s
- Promesse: elegant women's collection inspired by its 1970s models that feature an oval bezel surrounding a round dial
In 2016, Baume & Mercier began to present more affordable offerings under US$1,000 with the launch of its "My Classima" models, a sub-collection of its Classima collection of classic dress watches.
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- "Phillies Pitcher Roy Halladay Buys 60 Baume & Mercier Watches For Teammates After Perfect Game". Hodinkee. 25 August 2010. Archived from the original on 2014-04-13.
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- "Watch Test: Baume & Mercier Capeland Chronograph". WatchTime. 13 August 2013.
- "Timeless Luxury: The Baume & Mercier Linea Interchangeable Wrap Watch". Second City Style. 26 September 2012.
- "Baume & Mercier: The Clifton Series". AskMen.
- "A Watch We Like: The Baume & Mercier Clifton". Esquire. 24 April 2013.
- "Baume & Mercier Unveils 'Promesse' Ladies Watches". Forbes. 25 June 2014.
- "Market Focus USA: No rainbows, but a glimpse of the sun". Europa Star. 12 September 2012.
- "Introducing The Baume & Mercier My Classima Collection, Starting At Just $990". Hodinkee. 20 October 2016.
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