Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Something intriguing from Baume & Mercier

Okay, while my "rescue mission" Baume et Mercier Classima is in the "critical care" unit of watch repair, I thought I'd have a peek at what the new wave from Baume et Mercier has to offer.

Courtesy of Baume et Mercier
This is part of the current Capeland collection.

If you have not seen the Ken Burns documentary on Frank Lloyd Wright - I highly recommend it.  In it, Philip Johnson (of the Glass House) spoke about the beauty of the Johnson Wax building in Racine, Wisconsin.  And what I was struck by was the refusal to make something "average" just because it was an office building.  In a time where row after row of identical skyscrapers shot up like weeds, Wright went the other way.  And that same sort of refusal to abide mediocrity is what I feel when I look at this watch from Baume et Mercier.

I can imagine what a lot of marketing and sales meetings sound like in the watch industry - having sat in on numerous ones myself -

"We need a chronograph."
"We have a chronograph!"
"No, something sporty..."
"I know, we'll take model X, and give it a black dial, and a carbon fiber style strap!"
"Perfect!  How soon can it be ready?"
"No time at all, we just need to change the dials on model X!"


This is something completely different - and special.  A beautifully imagined bi-compax chronograph with a La Joux-Perret 8147-2 flyback self-winding movement.  A tachy-tele of the first order!  And in this case, although beauty is more than skin-deep, this is a watch in which the outer beauty matches the inner beauty.  Rather than just going down the line and slapping together components, this is clearly designed with the whole picture in mind.  The result is a beautifully balanced, timeless design.  This is a watch that will be handed down from generation to generation.

When I think of a watch like this, I am reminded that Baume et Mercier is not just the quiet, middle sister in a family of over-achievers (Panerai, JLC, IWC).  

Baume et Mercier has quite a bit to offer, and does so in a wonderfully refined way.

And for the details obsessed of you out there, here they are:


  • Size: 
    44 mm
  • Shape: 
  • Material: 
  • Finishes: 
  • Crystal: 
    "chevée" shaped sapphire, antiglare treatment
  • Case back: 
    sapphire crystal
  • Thickness: 
    16.5 mm


  • Movement: 
    manufacture, automatic, La Joux-Perret 8147-2
  • Functions: 
    flyback chronograph, tachymeter, telemeter, date


    • Features: 
      off-white, Arabic numerals
    • Hands: 
      blued steel


    • Material: 
    • Color: 
    • Clasp: 
       pin buckle


    • Water-resistance: 
      5ATM (approx. 50m)

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