- Baume & Mercier boasts a long history, dating back to 1830, with a focus on perfection and high-quality timepieces.
- The brand has created several iconic designs, such as the Marquise, Riviera, and Stardust.
- Baume & Mercier watches offer excellent value and are highly collectible, especially vintage models.
- Learn how to date your Baume & Mercier watch and maintain it for optimal performance.
A Storied History: The Origins of Baume & Mercier
Baume & Mercier, founded in 1830 by brothers Louis-Victor and Célestin Baume in the Swiss Jura mountains, has become one of the longest-established Swiss watchmakers. The company initially operated under the name Baume Brothers and adhered to a motto that stressed the importance of perfection and high-quality watch manufacturing. This dedication to excellence led to the formation of the modern-day Baume & Mercier when company director William Baume partnered with Paul Mercier in 1918.
The Allure of Iconic Designs
Baume & Mercier has long been known for its iconic watch designs, driven by the watchmakers’ artistic creativity. The brand has produced several noteworthy models, such as:
- The Marquise: Launched in the late 1940s, the Marquise features an elegant gold bangle style that has made it one of the most sought-after watches today.
- The Riviera: Introduced in 1973, the Riviera was one of the first steel sports watches. Its durability was famously tested by attaching it to a BMW race car’s wheel during the 24 hours of Le Mans.
- The Stardust: This model, which debuted in the same decade as the Riviera, received the prestigious Golden Rose of Baden-Baden award.
Exceptional Value and Collectibility
Despite the company’s focus on quality, Baume & Mercier offers surprisingly affordable timepieces. The My Classima collection, launched in 2016, provides timeless, elegant styles for under £1,000. Thanks to their Swiss heritage and watchmaking expertise, Baume & Mercier watches retain their value and remain highly collectible, particularly vintage models from the 1920s.
How to Date a Baume & Mercier Watch
To date your Baume & Mercier watch, look for the name and model number on the watch’s original documents. You can also find reference numbers on the back of your watch, which may consist of four or five digits and sometimes be preceded by “MVO.” With this information, you can determine your watch’s vintage and access user manuals online if necessary.
Preserving the Beauty and Performance of Your Watch
Maintaining your Baume & Mercier watch requires regular servicing and upkeep:
- Water-resistance check: If your watch is water-resistant, it should undergo a yearly water-resistance check.
- Complete service: A full service should be performed every three to five years, depending on usage.
- Battery replacement: Monitor your watch’s battery life, as leaving an exhausted battery in the watch can damage the movement.
- Manual winding: Follow the appropriate winding procedure for your watch to ensure optimal performance.
A Legacy of Watchmaking Excellence
Baume & Mercier’s success is rooted in its commitment to the principle of “établissage,” which signifies complete control over every aspect of watch creation and assembly in-house. Headquartered in Geneva and with workshops in the Swiss Jura, the company maintains centralized production in Switzerland. This dedication to traditional watchmaking methods, superior quality, and continuous innovation has allowed Baume & Mercier to attract top talent and maintain its position as an industry leader.
Since 1988, Baume & Mercier has been part of the prestigious Cie Financiere Richemont SA group, which also includes renowned brands such as Cartier and Montblanc.
Caring for Your Baume & Mercier Watch
To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your Baume & Mercier watch, follow these care guidelines:
- Gentle cleaning: If you own a water-resistant model, you can periodically clean your watch using a soft toothbrush and warm soapy water. Rinse with fresh water and dry with a soft cloth, always ensuring that the crown is tightly closed before cleaning.
- Proper storage: Store your watch in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Avoid placing it near magnetic objects, as they may interfere with the watch’s mechanism.
- Protection from damage: Be mindful of your watch when engaging in activities that may expose it to shocks, vibrations, or chemicals. Such exposure can affect the watch’s accuracy and overall performance.
Investing in a Baume & Mercier Timepiece
When considering the purchase of a Baume & Mercier watch, it’s essential to research the specific model that interests you. Familiarize yourself with its history, specifications, and current market value. Also, pay attention to the watch’s condition, particularly when purchasing a vintage model, as this can significantly impact its value and desirability.
In Conclusion: Timeless Elegance and Precision
Baume & Mercier has built its reputation on a foundation of innovation, quality, and dedication to the art of watchmaking. With its rich history, iconic designs, and commitment to excellence, Baume & Mercier watches are an investment in both style and precision. By learning how to date a Baume & Mercier watch and caring for your timepiece properly, you can ensure that your investment remains a treasured heirloom for generations to come.