Having been in the watch industry for decades, refining their skills and technical achievements, Baume consolidated its position as a key player in the horology sphere by winning the Kew-Teddington timing competition in 1893. But it took another two decades before they would consolidate their position, by teaming up with jeweller Paul Mercier. They now had that crucial combination of technical superior movements and a design that gave the technical achievements resonance on the outside. Founded in 1918, Baume et Mercier’s success was assured.
After the family sold control of the company to Piaget in 1965 a potentially fruitful collaboration lay ahead. Little did the Swiss know that the Japanese quartz-based movement watches were about to be the first threat to the Swiss horological sovereignty. Taking a defensive position, Piaget started investing in the research and development of quartz; tragically, by 1983 Baume et Mercier had come to rely entirely on quartz-based movements. Having lost out on over 150 years of experience and development in the mechanical movement industry, Baume et Mercier had also lost its heart.
With the introduction of the Capeland I feel that it’s all back to where it started. The dial has a beautifully traditional composition and it’s a chronograph that should deliver a technical performance of which the dial hints. Baume et Mercier aims this to be the gift to celebrate life’s most cherished moments: weddings, anniversaries, graduations and birthdays. They state that “life is about moments”, and the Capeland can be considered a true gatekeeper of those memories.
Baume et Mercier’s work is a testament to the adage that only by keeping true to your founding standards can the real value of your brand exist. I would like the Capeland to witness my memories.
Photos © Baume et Mercier