A Sweet Deal

Bespoke - - EMPEROR 1688 -

Baume & Mercier’s Promesse col­lec­tion was in­tro­duced in 2014 but a new model was added to the range this year. Named the Pe­tite Promesse, it mar­ries a much smaller and al­most vin­tage-like case with some con­tem­po­rary straps. “Para­dox­i­cally, by re­duc­ing the for­mat of the Promesse we haven’t sac­ri­ficed any­thing, we’ve ac­tu­ally strength­ened its iden­tity,” says Alexan­dre Peraldi, the brand’s head of de­sign. “The hall­mark of the Promesse is its oval bezel. In a 22mm for­mat, it jumps out at you, as­sert­ing its pres­ence over and above the case that con­tains it.” There are three ver­sions avail­able, with the ma­jor dif­fer­ence be­ing their straps. Two of them, the 2,300 USD blue calf­skin and the 2,600 USD steel one have been paired with cases set with 22 bril­liant-cut di­a­monds par­tially sur­round­ing mother-of­pearl di­als. The third, our favourite, costs 3,000 USD, has a coral calf­skin strap and a fully en­crusted bezel with 44 bril­liant-cut di­a­monds. All three ver­sions’ straps are dou­ble-wrapped (which is par­tic­u­larly un­usual in the case of the steel ver­sion) but come with an ex­tra sin­gle-wrap black op­tion for added ver­sa­til­ity. Baume & Mercier say that they con­sid­ered giv­ing the watch a me­chan­i­cal move­ment but found the diminu­tive size re­stricted its power ca­pac­ity too much so their so­lu­tion was to go with quartz and this had the added ben­e­fit of al­low­ing them to re­move the crown and in­stead place an ad­jus­tor on the case­back. It’s a lovely touch that helps en­hance the pu­rity of the el­lip­ti­cal case shape. The Promesse is sim­ple, sweet and el­e­gant.

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