BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
So in case you’d forgotten how Richemont has structured re-structured its companies, Baume which was once an inexpensive standalone brand that aimed at a younger and overall less-affluent market than Richemont’s other brands. They’d be making customisable watches that started at around $600 and had a hipster-ish vibe to them, and they’d be more environmentally friendly, too. Well, earlier this year, Richemont announced that the Baume brand had been so successful it was forced to integrate it into its existing Baume et Mercier brand (that was sarcasm by the way). This new Baume et Mercier Baume Ocean Limited Edition is one of the first new watches from Baume at their new home as a part of Baume et Mercier.
As you’d expect, the watch looks almost nothing like a traditional Baume et Mercier watch, but it looks a lot like the other watches that Baume has made in the past. The wire lugs, round case and crown at 12 O’clock are an exciting marriage of sleek and modern design coming together with vintage style (wire lugs are an old trend worth saving). These lugs are also articulated and can adapt to the size of your wrist for a more comfortable fit.
The dial is elegant and subdued on both models with a coloured bezel ring matching the colour of the handset, that ring to me evokes the colour-changing ambient lights that are found in nearly all of the modern cars. The majority of the case is made from recycled plastic, about 80% recycled plastic (gathered from the ocean) and 20% fibreglass, to be both strong and lightweight. The case measures in at 42mm x 10.2mm and is water-resistant to 30m.
The dial is clean and simple, but a little confusing. Around the centre pinion of the dial is a set of small hour markers, the long thin hand is the hour hand and covers the markers depending on the hour. The broader hand with a white tip is the minutes hand, and it points to the markers on the inner flange.
Inside the case and visible through the caseback is a Sellita SW-200 calibre with a 4Hz beat rate and a short power-reserve of just 38-hours.
The fabric strap is also made of recycled plastic; it’s interchangeable and comes with either blue or green over-stitching.
The price of one of these sits at CHF1,330, and Baume et Mercer will be donating 5% to the Waste Free Oceans initiative of which it is an industry partner alongside companies such as Airbus and Henkel.
Visit Baume et Mercier here.