One of the most fabulous watchmakers in the world is Baume and Mercier, read on to learn about this truly wonderful brand
Imagine infinite precision, the accuracy that spins the moon around the earth, the earth around the sun, and all of it across the galaxy. Now realize that even in the vastness of the universe, small things make a difference, and it is this difference that separates the unique from the ordinary.
"Accept only perfection. Only manufacture watches of the highest quality.” - Joseph-Célestin Baume
From the humble beginnings of a small French Village called Les Bois, William Baume and Paul Mercier would combine their watch making talents to produce watches of such precision, artistry and style that the years would not dim their value, only increase their legend.
The Baume and Mercier Historical Timeline:
- 1834 - The name Baumes stretches back centuries as the creator of fine watches winning award worldwide for their accuracy, style and quality.
- 1912 - A chance encounter at a Geneva watchmaking shop would bring Will Baume and Paul Mercier (a jeweler) together to eventually redefine elegance in watchmaking.
- 1918 - The two friends join and found the company Baume and Mercier in Geneva.
The two men shared a passion for life its elegance, precision and grandeur; it was this passion when applied to watch making, which would lead them to Geneva to accept the "Poincon de Geneve" award in 1921, an official recognition for flawless quality. There are many who rest on past awards and accomplishments, others such as Baume who use these pivotal moments to propel them to even greater achievements. Baume and Mercier poured their energies into the development of the "planetary rotor", the foundation behind the "auto winding watch" and the production of the world's thinnest watch.
Baume and Mercier Historical Notes:
William Baume actually partnered with a gentleman named Tchereditchenko. It was only later that Mr. Tchereditchenko would adopt his mother's family name Mercier. As the World Wars came and went, the world of course changed, women became emancipated (and began wearing jewelry watches), and men world-wide embraced the wrist-watch (made popular during the wars). The world was changing and so too, the world of watchmaking. And while Baume and Mercier were vastly different in their personalities, Mr. Baume being technically minded while Mr. Mercier had a flair for business, together they would bring their movements (watches) to the world.
Baume and Mercier 1935-1970
1935 - 1937 - William Baume (for health reasons) and Paul Mercier make the decision to leave the business world with Paul Mercier selling his shares to the Ponti family, known for their elegant jewelry and goldsmithing abilities.
As time marches forward and one generation hand the reins to another, companies (and people) must adapt or be left only as a passage in the history books. Baume & Mercier adapted becoming the watch of choice during the 1940s and after WWII, producing the legendry model, "The Marquise".
Innovation and a steady hand at the helm saw the company flourish, buying the C.H. Meylay factory in Le Brassus, immediately giving them the ability to be more competitive in the world market.
It was in 1964 the company (as did the world) looked for a new identity, choosing the Greek symbol "PHI" (which represents perfect proportions) as the logo for all its watches and (perhaps) because of this became known as the "affordable luxury brand" which remains their status today.
1968 - Baume and Mercier produce one of the slimmest calendar watches.
1970 - The company allots all its resources on the quartz watch.
What makes a Baume and Mercier watch tick? Is it the craftsmanship, attention to detail and affordable price? Or the innovations that has garnered awards and accolades worldwide? It is all of that and more, it is the spirit of a company that names its roots in the small villages of Switzerland, but sets its sights on the stars.
A career in time?
If all this talk of luxury watches is giving you a nervous tic for time, and if you're looking for a career in an industry that not-withstanding the massive changes affecting industries, has remained unchanged - save for advances in the accuracy of time measurement - for hundreds of years, then consider attending one of the WOSTEP certified courses organized by the Institute of Swiss Watchmaking. IOSW has schools in the USA, Hong Kong and China, so wherever you are in the world, you are nearer to a career in time than you might have thought.