Baume & Mercier Intros a High-End Watch Line…
The William Baume collection is Baume & Mercier’s new and very respectable effort at offering a high-end “haute horlogerie” collection in addition to its regular entry- and mid-level luxury watches. The lineup will include limited edition models with high end functions & design such as “ultra-thin”, “retrograde seconds”, and “jumping hours”. The watch I want to show you today is the Jumping Hours.
The William Baume Jumping Hour displays minutes and seconds on the two subdials, while the “jumping hour” window is positioned at 12 o’clock (see below). Available in two color schemes (silver or black on a rose gold case), these watch dials are nicely adorned with a crossweave guilloché motif and sunburst satin-brushed finish on the subdials. Price is $19,900 per piece. Limited to 40 in each color. Available September 2010.
William Baume Jumping Hour (Ref M0A08857)
41mm red gold case (9.6mm thick), Dubois Depraz 14400 movement
The modestly-decorated automatic mechanical movement is featured through a sapphire crystal case-back:
And here’s a closer look at the black-dialed version. Note that the time is showing approximately 8:09. The way that a jumping hour watch works is that with the turning of each our, the hour numeral will jump ahead to the appropriate hour (as opposed to the gradual sweep of a hand if it were a normal watch).
Did You Know?
William Baume Collection – A tribute to 180 years of Baume & Mercier
It was in 1830 that the “Frères Baume” watch comptoir horloger (watch dealership) was founded in Les Bois, a village in the Swiss Jura region. In 1918, the firm was renamed Baume & Mercier and relocated to Geneva, under the leadership of William Baume, representing the third generation of one of the most important watchmaking Houses of the era.
Right from the time of its founding, the Baume brand distinguished itself by the excellence and innovation of its timepieces. It won six gold medals in the World Fairs of Paris, London, Philadelphia and Geneva with its complication watches – tourbillons, minute repeaters, perpetual calendars – along with a number of prizes in the timing competitions held by the Kew Teddington Observatory near London, the most renowned of the period. It was there that in 1892, a keyless chronometer with tourbillon escapement by Baume won the absolute precision record that was to remain unequaled for ten years. Such is the rich watchmaking history that the William Baume Collection now celebrates by offering a contemporary expression of the haute horlogerie models that are an integral part of the Baume & Mercier heritage.
William A. Baume (1885-1956)
William Baume shaped the modern destiny of the Baume & Mercier brand by resolutely leading the “Frères Baume” company, founded in 1830 by his grandfather Louis Victor Baume and his great-uncle Célestin Baume, into the 20th century.
An exceptionally talented watchmaker brimming with innovative ideas in the early 20th century, William Baume joined forces in 1918 with Paul Mercier to create the Baume & Mercier brand in Geneva. The new company brilliantly combined traditional and contemporary watchmaking, drawing inspiration from the latest technical and aesthetic trends that it interpreted in complete harmony with the rules of watchmaking craftsmanship.
Loyal to his forefathers’ determination to “create only watches of the highest quality”, William Baume perpetuated their expertise with passion and innovation, while giving a new dimension to their horological heritage through the contribution of Paul Mercier. The latter, a cosmopolitan aesthete and an astute businessman, admirably complemented William Baume’s watchmaking know-how. At the heart of the 1920s, a period of dramatic change characterized by major technical breakthroughs and unprecedented creative effervescence, William Baume and Paul Mercier defined a brand philosophy that is as modern as ever: mastering watchmaking and placing it the service of timeless design and elegance.