Baume & Mercier
Baume & Mercier reinforces its hold on the entry-level luxury market.
WITHIN THE SPECTRUM of brands that are owned by the Richemont group, Baume & Mercier has always been on the affordable end of the scale. That remains true in 2017; the brand, following the pessimism that is prevalent in the watchmaking industry, decided to launch two new collections based specifically on affordability and a desire to attract more youthful customers.
Alexandre Peraldi, Director of Design at Baume & Mercier, confirms that price played a big role in the conception of the 2017 novelties. He mentions that the watches were designed to attract consumers looking for their first luxury timepiece and/ or a watch for a celebration. “So, with the Clifton Club and My Classima, it encourages the younger generation to celebrate as well,” he continues. “With these collections, we were working hard on the ‘less than CHF1,000’ segment and so development was done with this price in mind.” The challenge, he tells us, was to find the right solution that resulted in a single size and dial to manage production costs. “Price is a huge constraint, but it is also an opportunity. It’s a chance to change the original design, to rethink it, and to do something different,” he explains.
Another interesting development within the brand is a new Banca leather strap. You may be surprised to discover that it is derived from a type of trout found in France. The impetus for the new material stemmed from an ethical responsibility on Baume & Mercier’s part. The company had been using only alligator for the last 10 years because it was, and still is, a symbol of luxury. But when they discovered a very small farm in Banca, France that does this special kind of leather, the brand thought it a worthwhile endeavour to pursue. Up close, the Banca leather comes in a variety of colours and resembles snakeskin in passing; for now, it’s available only in the women’s collection as a long strap, but depending on its reception, who knows what will happen in the future.