Baume & Mercier Watches – Beauty and Luxury
If you’re a fan of old-school, traditional watchmaking with elaborate mechanical complications and gold and diamonds, you’re going to love Baume & Mercier watches. Founded in 1830, the Swiss company that makes these fine timepieces continues to make high quality, hand made watches for the mid-to-high end of the luxury timepiece market.
While they do have a few models with quartz movements, most of the product line features either automatic or manually wound mechanical movements in cases made from stainless steel or gold. While the company became noteworthy for producing models with oddly-shaped cases and faces, most of their models today feature what would be best described as traditional styling. If you like quality and tradition, you’ll want to give this old school brand a close look.
Read on for the full Baume & Mercier watches review.
The build quality is superb. They use rock-hard, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect the watch face, and stainless steel, gold, or rose gold for their cases. Water resistance is good, with many models rated to at least 100 meters. With proper care, these timepieces should run well for many years, if not decades.
The movements vary by model, though the company produces models with electronic quartz, automatic mechanical and manually wound mechanical movements. All are Swiss-made, as are the watches themselves. Most of the models in the Baume & Mercier watches product line have automatic movements.
The company established their credibility in the late 19th century when they first began producing timepieces that won awards for their accuracy. They later gained recognition for their unusual models that defied the traditional “round” shape that everyone at the time expected from a wristwatch. In the early 1970s, they introduced one of the first steel sports watches. Today, they continue innovation, producing models with elaborate mechanical complications, including moon phases and a tourbillon.
While the company gained their reputation for making unusual-looking watches, their models today feature more traditional styling. All models have analog displays, but many have chronograph features and some Baume & Mercier watches have far more advanced complications. Models are available with gold or rose gold cases in addition to steel. Bands are available in steel, gold, leather and rubber, depending on the model.
Several models feature diamonds, so if you like your watches with a bit of bling, you’ll be right at home with Baume & Mercier watches. Extra features such as moon phases, date complications and other features are also available. Few models in the product line would qualify as being suitable for casual wear; most are either suited for business wear or evening wear, particularly the models with gold and diamonds.
The care and maintenance will vary by model. Those with quartz movements will need to have the battery replaced every two years or so. Baume & Mercier watches with mechanical movements will need to be inspected every three years and the company recommends that you return them to the company every five years for a full mechanical overhaul. This will involve disassembling the watch, cleaning all of the parts in the movement, replacing any worn parts, lubricating and reassembling the watch and testing it for both accuracy and water resistance. When you receive your watch again, it should be as good as new. All of their watches should be stored in a cool, dry place and kept away from strong magnetic fields and extremes of temperature as these can potentially damage the unit or affect accuracy. With proper care, you’ll find that your watches should run well for years and perhaps decades to come.
The warranty is the industry standard; the company warrants their timepieces for two years from the date of purchase against defects in materials and craftsmanship. We estimate that more than 90% of all watchmakers offer a similar warranty. These timepieces are tested thoroughly before shipping, so defects are likely quite rare.
You’ll find that prices range from moderately expensive to very expensive, with models ranging from a low of about $2000 to a high of $75,000 or so. Many models fall in the $2000-$5000 range; more expensive models tend to have a lot of diamonds or be limited edition models with extra features, such as the tourbillon. Collectors are fond of the brand, as they are of most older Swiss watches with mechanical movements, and older models from the company tend to bring high prices on the secondary market. We can’t recommend that you buy them as an investment, but it’s possible that your purchase today may appreciate in value with time.
Like many manufacturers of luxury goods, the manufacturer prefers to restrict both pricing and availability of their product in order to avoid diluting the brand or making their product appear to be common or ordinary.
Officially, you can buy the brand only through a small group of authorized retailers, which are usually high end jewelry stores located in major cities. By restricting distribution, the company is able to keep prices and demand for their products higher than if they were made available through a greater number of retailers.
Unofficially, you can find them on the Internet from a few retailers, and that may represent your best opportunity to buy at a discount. At a few online retailers, we’ve seen the brand at prices of up to 60% off of the suggested retail price, so it may well be worth your while to look at online retailers for making your purchase.
If you like luxury, build quality and lots of features, you’ll love these watches. They’re well-made, beautiful, a bit hard to find and attractive. If you’re looking for an old-school Swiss-made luxury watch, you’ll do well with Baume & Mercier watches.