Richemont has recently announced the launch of Baume — a new brand that touts timepieces that are custom built, upcycled and affordable.
The new label will not be directly competing with Baume & Mercier as the watches are aimed at a younger crowd and are accessibly priced anywhere between RM2, 300 – RM5000.
Unlike many other watch brands, there’s a large focus on personalising your own timepiece. This is done through a digital configurator online, which allows you to choose from over 2,160 combinations with options on the size, case, hands, dial and strap. You can also engrave names or personal messages into the timepiece.
Baume also prioritises sustainable development with their products. They all feature an automatic movement and have a recycled aluminum case. The texturised strap on the other hand are upcycled from PET plastics – polyethylene terephthalate. The brand is committed to this innovative design techniques and will be working in collaboration with ‘Waste Free Oceans’ a company dedicated to cleaning our waters and turns all the plastics they find into raw materials.
Once you have designed the watch that suits you best, you only have to wait 2-3 weeks to receive your timepiece. Moreover, if you ever get bored of your watch then you can trade it in for incentives to buy another, a smart and practical emphasis on the power of recycling.
Baume might not be a luxury item but the brand is poised to create some significant discussions within the Richemont group. Luxury watchmakers have always been plagued with their not so charming characteristics, from questionable sourcing of precious metals and gems to animal cruelty allegations concerning alligator or ostrich skin.
Added to this, many people are now attracted to watches that reflect their identity as opposed to just what functions they perform or what brand they maybe. Companies, like Fitbit, have recognised how personalisation is integral to design in a world expectant of customised products.
Baume is an unapologetic response to these issues by offering trendy new timepieces that are sourced at the benefit of the planet and built by the customer. With half of a legendary watchmaker’s name slapped on it and at a price that won’t terrorise the purse strings, Baume is set to make waves — in both the industry and the oceans it comes from.