Entirely customisable, eco-friendly, affordable, and unisex — it seems Richemont has ticked all the right boxes for millennials this year with its new label Baume. The latest in the luxury goods conglomerate’s portfolio is an entirely new watch brand, and if the name rings a bell, it’s because its mother company is Baume & Mercier.
As such, it’s reasonable to expect some of its 188-year luxury watchmaking heritage to trickle down to the new diffusion line. Even when its core ethos is 2018’s buzzword: Sustainability.
As smartphones progressively phase out timepieces for timekeeping purposes, Baume wants to make sure that its watches — even if worn as a statement of self or style — are an extension of your values. Its brand leader, Marie Chassot explained that even though the watch was designed in Geneva, production will take place in Amsterdam to lower the brand’s carbon footprint.
There will not be any animal-based products nor precious metals; instead, cork, cotton, Alcantara and recycled PET will be used to make the straps. With the brand’s “Waste Free Oceans” initiative, expect some to be crafted from recycled floating ocean plastics.
The Iconic watch — an automatic timepiece powered by Citizen-owned Miyota, with a recycled aluminium case and texturised black PET strap — best embodies this noble vision of mindful design.
As customisation remains at the new frontier of fashion today, Baume has included a Custom Timepieces Edition. An online configurator will allow users to tinker with the size, case, hands, dial, strap and even engraved details. Which means that even with the 2,160 combinations available, your odds of becoming an astronaut are higher than bumping into someone with the same watch.
Two different stainless steel case sizes (35mm and 41mm) are available in a variety of finishes, including plain, rhodium-plated, black PVD, and rose gold coloured steel. A selection of dial executions are offered, each creating a unique amalgamation of features and complications such as the moonphase and retrograde days. All watches in the Custom Timepiece Edition are powered by quartz at present, with movements either created by Ronda or Miyota.
Even though all watches will look vastly different from each other, a single design element will make them recognisably Baume. Every timepiece features a crown at 12 o’clock — a tip of the hat to traditional pocket watches of yesteryear.