Baume & Mercier’s story started in 1830 when two brothers Louis-Victor and Célestin Baume, decided to open a watch dealership in a small village in the Swiss Jura called Le Bois.
The brothers’ business proliferated. By creating only the most exceptional timepieces using the latest innovations, they built an excellent reputation for themselves. Their motto was “Accept only perfection, only manufacture watches of the highest quality.”
They rapidly realized that there was business to be made outside Switzerland and set up “Baume Brothers” in London. They soon expanded throughout the British Empire, and by the late 19th century, had established their reputation internationally as watchmakers.
At the time, “Baume Brothers” was known for its chronographs and grand complication watches, for which they won numerous awards. Their timepieces were extremely precise, and in 1892 they won an award for a tourbillon movement whose precision remained unmatched for over ten years.
The importance of women
In 1918 William Baume entered into a partnership with Paul Mercier, founding Baume & Mercier, Gènene. By 1919 they had already been awarded the highest distinction of their times – the “Poinçon de Genève” quality mark.
Paul Mercier knew the importance of keeping up with the times and grasped the importance of women’s liberation. He created several exquisite watches specifically for women proving that a women’s watch is not just a miniature version of a man’s.
Pursuing the equilibrium
During the 1050s and 60s, Baume & Mercier continually pursued the balance symbolized by the Greek letter Phi, the current Baume & Mercier logo, laying the groundwork for what is now considered the traditional round watch. They followed with a variety of chronographs with additional functions like triple date or moon phase indications.
During the 1970s, Baume & Mercier unveiled a host of uniquely shaped watches, such as the Galaxie and the Stardust, which won the prestigious award Golden Rose of Baden-Baden. In 1973, Baume & Mercier presented the Riviera, one of the first steel sports watches in the world.
In 1988, the brand joined the Vendôme group, now Richemont, and continued to build its collections. Today Baume & Mercier is present in over 75 countries worldwide.
Who owns Baume & Mercier?
Baume & Mercier is owned by the Compagnie Financière Richemont SA who also own brands like Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Baume & Mercier produces about 200,000 watches per year. Women make up a third of Baume & Mercier buyers.