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Baume et Mercier
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Baume et Mercier is a Swiss watchmaking company founded in 1830. It is owned by Richemont, and with Cartier and Piaget they make up the core of the group. This enterprise is represented in 75 countries and produces around 200,000 watches a year. The most important markets are in Europe, especially Italy, Spain and France. Baume et Mercier is distributed by 220 exclusive retailers worldwide and has established itself as a manufacturer of sporty chronographs.

Baume et Mercier is pronounced bau'm and mers-yay

In 1834, members of the Baume family founded the Societe Baume Feres in Le Bois. The Baumes had already been active in watchmaking for many years. At first, the priority went to enameled pocket watches. In 1844 Joseph Celestin Baume went to England to set up business relations there. Watches signed "Waterloo", "Diviko" and "Sirdar" opened distant markets in Australia and New Zealand. The family company gave convincing proof of its dedication to mechanical elegance and precision when one of its timepieces won the 1893 timing competitions at the Kew-Teddington Observatory with a score of 91.9 out of a possible 100. In 1912, William Baume met the watchmaker and jeweler, Paul Mercier, at the Geneva watch and jewelery shop in Haas. The meeting resulted in the signing of an agreement on the 26th of November, 1918, for the establishment of Baume and Mercier in Geneva. This proved to be a very successful enterprise, and in 1921 they were awarded the coveted Poincon de Geneve, official recognition of flawless quality products. Watches dating from this period are now rare collectors pieces, worth thousands of dollars. In 1937 William Baume withdrew from active business. He was followed into retirement by Paul Mercier, and the jeweler Constantin de Gorski joined the company.

Post World War II
After World War II Baume and Mercier concentrated on conventional men's watches, sports chronographs and ladies' jewelery watches. In 1965 the Piaget family outbid international competition for control over Baume and Mercier. One of the world's thinnest calendar watches with a mini rotor was produced under Piaget's aegis. In the same year the new owners switched to electronic tuning fork movements, and from 1970 increased investments in quartz movements. At the end of the 1983, Baume and Mercier temperarily ceased production of mechanical watches. In 1988, Christian and Yves Piaget sold 60% of their stake to Piaget holding S.A, also selling Baume and Mercier S.A TO Cartier Monde S.A in Paris. In 1993 the Cartier group became sole owners of both Piaget and Baume and Mercier.

Recent Times
In September 2004 Baume and Mercier opened a new production building in Les Brenets, Switzerland. For the past few years Baume and Mercier has made a name for itself as a trendsetter, and by no means was this done solely on the strength of charasteristically fashionable watches. Models such as the "Riviera" and the "Hampton," named after the stylish resorts and high-society meeting places of the U.S East Coast, defined a new watch style in the 1980's and 1990's, for both genders..

Old Models
Riviera Baumematik
Avant Garde

One of the company's most successful watches was the Riviera, launched in 1980. This was a sports watch with distinctive gold and steel features and an unusual 12 sided bezel. To test its durability and precision, this watch was mounted on the wheel of a BMW M1 before the start of the Le Mans 24-hours race. It withstood high speeds as well as the pressure of fast acceleration. It was not affected by the centrifugal force of spinning wheels, nor by heavy rainfall or intense heat from the overworked disk brakes. At the end of the race the watch ran with as much precision as it had at the beginning.

New Models
Hampton Classic
Hampton Classic
Hampton Classic Diamond
Hampton Milleis Chronograph
Hampton Milleis Gold
Hampton Milleis
Hampton City Chronograph
Hampton City
Hampton Spirit
Capeland S Chronograph
Capeland S Ladies
Capeland S Ladies Diamond
Classima Executives XL Dual Time
Classima Executives XL Small Seconds
Classima Executives White Dial
Classima Executives Black Dial
Classima Subsidiary Seconds
Classima Sweep Seconds
Vice Versa
Haute Joaillerie collection