The Baume et Mercier Press Conference at the SIHH 2016
The beauty of watchmaking doesn't only reside in wrapping your wrist around the latest watch or in admiring the most mind-blowing complication ever conceived, but it's something that goes well beyond those fantastic feelings. Fairs are interesting events for a very special reason; brands are able to create such a high sense of expectation before unveiling their new watches, that those short 20 minutes that precede the unveiling of their new collections are actually the most thrilling and exciting ones. Attending an official press conference is, moreover, a real privilege; it is that single moment in time when you eventually come in touch with the people that have conceived and crafted the watches that you will be testing and when you can touch with your own fingertips all the hard work that lies behind creating those beautiful timepieces.
This year, Baume et Mercier has decided to focus their attention on three specific pillars that they renamed "Moments". According to the manufacturer's new vision and concept, there are "Moments of Expertise", "Moments of Passion" and "Moments of Happiness"; three focus areas where the brand has managed to bring together three different types of enthusiasts. The first pillar, in the words of the brand's CEO Alain Zimmermann, is dedicated to the Clifton collection and to the launch of the long-awaited Chronograph Complete Calendar. If I had to rely on the huge success that a short “Pre-SIHH” post recently published on this magazine achieved, I can only say that the Chronograph Complete Calendar was an extraordinary commercial success in the virtual world even before hitting the shelves of any watch stores. It sounds and looks like a complicated Clifton, the most complicated one ever crafted since the collection was first launched and it is definitely everything that every watch-enthusiast was actually waiting for.
The second pillar is some sort of a follow-up on a gamble, an attempt that the brand made one year ago to dramatically change the look and feel of their Capeland collection in partnership with one of the icons of the overseas-made American cars; the Shelby Cobra.
On paper, this seemed like one of the most unlikely co-branding ventures ever conceived, but it actually proved everybody wrong and it ended up being such an unexpected successful achievement that Baume et Mercier decided to renew this collaborative partnership and launch a new limited edition model with two different cases and straps to celebrate the occasion.
One of the new models is made of stainless steel while the other one is made of stainless steel whose case has undergone a special “ADLC treatment”. 1963 pieces of each one of these timepieces will be produced and this specific amount has been chosen to celebrate the year when the first Carrol Shelby-made car won its first race.
Last but not least is the pillar called "Moments of happiness"; a slogan that focuses on the unveiling of the most female-oriented collection that the manufacturer has created in years. This new series is called "Petite Promesse" and it is a line-up of small rounded-case watches sporting a mother-of-pearl dial, a bezel with diamonds and a complete set of different leather or steel-on-steel straps with a fully-integrated bracelet; a very first, as far as I know, in the recent history of Baume et Mercier. This year, one of the brands that is highly-appreciated worldwide for its neat style and for the appealing price-to-quality ratio of its creations, is launching two brand new models and a whole newly-designed collection for her. On top of this, many other Baume et Mercier's current products have been fully upgraded and I am actually looking forward to featuring all these novelties on Horbiter in the next few days.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter