Luxury brand Baume & Mercier recently launched their newest line, the Hampton collection. The line is inspired by the 1920s and the Art Deco style which emerged during the era. For both its feminine and masculine models, the Baume & Mercier Hampton collection evokes a sense of vintage grace and opulence while still maintaining a modern appeal, which at its core is what the Art Deco movement was about.
Art Deco and Heritage
Art Deco as a design and architectural style began in France before WWI. Inspired by bold geometric shapes and emerging trends of the time. As an aesthetic, Art Deco is not a singular style but more a collection of different sometimes contradictory styles, borrowing influences from Russian Constructivism, Italian Futurism and more. This in particular is what gives it its eclectic appeal. Fine craftsmanship and high-quality materials were of paramount importance to the style. Art Deco symbolised luxury, glamour and held in itself a sense of hope for the future, a faith in modern, at the time, technologies. The Art Deco which is more recognizable to us now developed in the 1930s. With the introduction of new materials post WWI such as plastics and chrome emerged the Streamline Moderne style which favoured curving forms and smooth polished surfaces.
Baume & Mercier became the wristwatch design pioneer it is now in 1918 when Baume Brother’s company director William Baume partnered with Paul Mercier to create the brand we know and love today. The 20s were an era of innovation and experimentation for the brand. It was a time it established its influence and style. With the brand’s dedication to perfection and producing fine quality products, it’s only natural for one of its newest collections to be inspired by the Roaring Twenties, a time so vital to the brand.
The Hampton collection combines the fine quality materials and exceptional craftsmanship of the early Art Deco period and the clean lines and delicate curves and polish of the Streamline Moderne.
The men’s Hampton Rectangle model is an attractive combination of vintage and modern. An undeniably fashionable model, the black alligator leather strap gives the design an added luxurious tone. The polished steel dial measures 11.1 mm in thickness and features an exhibition case back to showcase the automatic movement. The opaline and grained silver-coloured dial is geometrically sectioned to give it a more Art Deco look. The style is accented by sword-shaped hands and riveted indices. Features on the model include a small-seconds subdial and date aperture as well as a day-night indicator in the subdial. The watch has a 42-hour power reserve.
The women’s Hampton model exudes class and sophistication. The model features a polished stainless steel case and a liquorice leather strap for a refined look. The dial is delicate and less complicated than the male model however still features the geometric shapes characteristic of the Art Deco period through the minutes scale. A truly timeless model, the understated silver-coloured dial is complemented by rhodium-plated sword-shaped hands and indices and applied Arabic-numeral hour markers. The model features a Swiss quartz movement.
For those after a timepiece with a more ageless appeal, this Hampton model with stainless steel bracelet has a classic silhouette while maintaining the angular vintage Deco aesthetic. The case and bracelet are made from stainless steel. What makes this watch stand out is the sunray satin-finish muted blue dial. Contrasting the dial are polished indices with Arabic-numerals for 12 and 6 o’clock and rhodium-plated hands. Protecting the dial is a sapphire crystal.
What do you think of the Baume & Mercier Hampton collection? Let us know in the comments below.