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Baume And Mercier – The Brand History

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Baume & Mercier are a luxury Swiss watch making brand, with a fundamental ideology of providing authentic and accessible timepieces. The brands core identity is formed on the idea of cherishing life’s most important moments and memories. Baume & Mercier have been building their reputation for 188 years now, and have developed a fantastic range of watches. With experience and heritage, this is one of the most desirable luxury brands around.

The Baume Brothers

The story began back in 1830, with brothers, Louis-Victor and Célestin Baume. The brothers opened a comptoir horloger (watch dealership) in Les Bois, a village in the Swiss Jura. The Baume brothers’ new business experienced rapid growth, and gained a fantastic reputation too. Staying true to their motto always, “accept only perfection, only manufacture watches of the highest quality”. Following their motto, they guaranteed the creation of exceptional timepieces featuring the latest innovations.

Under the name ‘Baume Brothers’ the company went on to set up a branch in London, aware of the potential of the business. Following this, they continued to expand, and had branches throughout the British Empire. By the late 19th century, the company had already built a solid international reputation and built a foundation for becoming an inescapable watchmaking player.

At this time, Baume Brothers was best known for its chronograph pieces and grand complication models. The company even won 10 Grand Prix awards and 7 gold medals at international exhibitions across the world. Baume timepieces demonstrated an extremely rare accuracy. Then, in 1892, they were victorious in a competition held by the Kew Observatory near London. They won with a chronometer pocket-watch, equipped with a tourbillon movement, of which the precision was to remain unmatched for over ten years.

Baume and Mercier history

The Beginning of Baume & Mercier

During the early 1900s, almost 100 years on, the company director William Baume joined forces with Paul Mercier. Together, the two founded Baume & Mercier, Genève, in 1918. The firm soon became one of the most popular brands in the world of watches, by offering remarkably balanced special-shaped models. One year later, they were awarded the highest international distinction of the time. This came in the shape of the “Poinçon de Genève” quality hallmark.

Throughout the Art Deco period in the 1920’s the brand established it’s own style even further and left an indelible mark on both watch design, as well as watchmaking too. Paul Mercier had known that it would be essential for the brand to embrace change, and work with the current trends and movements.

The Independence of Women

Not only did they move with the times, and break boundaries, but they also had a firm grasp on the importance of women’s Independence too. They understood that women’s desires were an unquenchable source of inspiration.

Throughout the late 40’s, the company launched what has become one of its most successful models. The Marquise. Inspired by this creative wave, Baume & Mercier went on to create a whole range of exquisitely creative and amazingly modern ladies’ watches. By doing this, they were able to prove to the world that watches for women are not simply miniaturized and simplistic interpretations of masculine models.

Baume & Mercier did this, and showed that they were ahead of the curve, and happy to do what they thought was right! They saw a whole market, and they saw no reason as to why that market was not being targeted. Still, to this day, they continue to produce some of the finest women’s watches available, as well a fantastic collection of watches for men too!

The Development of Baume & Mercier

Baume & Mercier was growing as a brand, and gaining a better reputation with every sale! At the time they were becoming a name known among a public looking for new products. Knowing that people wanted something different, they launched their first innovatively shaped wristwatches. A collection of urban, chic watches, designed to keep up with life’s many special moments. These models embodied the art of living instilled with inimitable elegance.

Throughout the 50s and 60s, the company was constantly in pursuit of balance, which is symbolized by the Greek letter Phi. The symbol that is now the official logo for Baume & Mercier. This desire for equilibrium laid the groundwork of what is now considered the archetypal traditional round watch. So, they launched various chronograph models, that came equipped with functions such as moon phase or triple date displays. A much more similar look to the one we see from the brand today.

This did not mean that they had moved away from the innovative shaped cases however. As during the 1970’s they further showcased their creativity, unveiling innovatively shaped timepieces, such as the Galaxie and the Stardust. both of which actually won prestigious international awards like the Golden Rose of Baden-Baden. In 73′, Baume & Mercier brought out the first version of the Riviera, which was one of the world’s first steel sports watches. Then, in 1988, the firm joined the Vendôme group, now Richemont, and further bolstered its collections with a range of successful models which immediately established themselves as the brand’s flagship lines.

Baume and Mercier

Present Day

Baume & Mercier are now under the AFH Group, and continue to produce at the same high quality that they have been doing for over 180 years. When purchasing a Baume et Mercier watch, you can be guaranteed of reliability, quality and longevity. Whether it is a base model, men’s, women’s or top of the range, each watch has to meet certain specification before it can be sold.

As an authorized retailer for Baume & Mercier watches, we look to provide this same level of quality and reliability to you, and all of our customers around the world! If you do have any queries about our watches, or the brand then please do not hesitate to get in touch at info@firstclasswatches.co.uk!

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