Baume & Mercier

Baume & Mercier re­in­forces its hold on the en­try-level lux­ury mar­ket.

Esquire Malaysia Watch Guide - - Contents - Words by Daniel Goh

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.

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