So in case you’d forgotten how Richemont has structured re-structured its companies, Baume which was once an inexpensive standalone brand that aimed at a younger and overall less-affluent market than Richemont’s other brands. They’d be making customisable watches that started at around $600 and had a hipster-ish vibe to them, and they’d be more environmentally friendly, too. Well, earlier this year, Richemont announced that the Baume brand had been so successful it was forced to integrate it into its existing Baume et Mercier brand (that was sarcasm by the way). This new Baume et Mercier Baume Ocean Limited Edition is one of the first new watches from Baume at their new home as a part of Baume et Mercier.
As you’d expect, the watch looks almost nothing like a traditional Baume et Mercier watch, but it looks a lot like the other watches that Baume has made in the past. The wire lugs, round case and crown at 12 O’clock are an exciting marriage of sleek and modern design coming together with vintage style (wire lugs are an old trend worth saving). These lugs are also articulated and can adapt to the size of your wrist for a more comfortable fit.
The dial is elegant and subdued on both models with a coloured bezel ring matching the colour of the handset, that ring to me evokes the colour-changing ambient lights that are found in nearly all of the modern cars. The majority of the case is made from recycled plastic, about 80% recycled plastic (gathered from the ocean) and 20% fibreglass, to be both strong and lightweight. The case measures in at 42mm x 10.2mm and is water-resistant to 30m.
The dial is clean and simple, but a little confusing. Around the centre pinion of the dial is a set of small hour markers, the long thin hand is the hour hand and covers the markers depending on the hour. The broader hand with a white tip is the minutes hand, and it points to the markers on the inner flange.
Inside the case and visible through the caseback is a Sellita SW-200 calibre with a 4Hz beat rate and a short power-reserve of just 38-hours.
The fabric strap is also made of recycled plastic; it’s interchangeable and comes with either blue or green over-stitching.
The price of one of these sits at CHF1,330, and Baume et Mercer will be donating 5% to the Waste Free Oceans initiative of which it is an industry partner alongside companies such as Airbus and Henkel.
On October 20th of last year, Baume et Mercier announced that the Baume collection was being integrated as its own collection into the brand’s family of luxury watches. The first of these releases was the Baume et Mercier Baume Ocean, a duo of limited editions designed in collaboration with Waste Free Oceans (WFO) and SEAQUAL INITIATIVE and intended as a commitment to the planet with a case, movement and strap engineered from recycled materials.
The integration of the Baume collection into the Baume et Mercier family marks a huge step for the brand’s development. Previously, their luxury watch designs have been somewhat classic and sophisticated while the Baume line brings a new sense of contemporary minimalism to the portfolio much more suited to youthful wrists. Their collaboration with Waste Free Oceans (WFO) and SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is also very future-thinking with the two partners focusing on the needs of upcoming generations by collecting plastic debris from the seas and transforming it into innovative products like the Baume Ocean watch. The limited edition also symbolises the Swiss watch manufacturer’s own mission to establish its own ecological ethic. With this in mind, Baume et Mercier will be donating 5% of its sales of the Baume Ocean Limited Edition watch to the NGOs Waste Free Oceans and SEAQUAL INITIATIVE.
“The BAUME OCEAN Limited Edition from the BAUME collection is much more than a product. It symbolizes our determination to support our partners – WFO and SEAQUAL INITATIVE – in their daily combat against marine pollution, and to participate in a global consideration of the Brand’s role in today’s society,” explains David Chaumet, CEO of Baume & Mercier.
Starting off the conservation-inspired aesthetic of the Baume et Mercier Baume Ocean Limited Edition watch is its 42 millimetre case. The case is crafted using a recycled plastic cap produced by the NGO WFO made up of 80% recycled plastic and reinforced with 20% glass fibres for increased resistance. According to the Swiss watch brand, Baume et Mercier worked with WFO to select the exact plastic debris that would be used in the making of the watch to make sure it offered the highest levels of performance, durability and quality. The case of the Baume Ocean Limited Edition is then dressed in a choice of blue or green aluminium. The blue model under reference M0A10587 utilises blue on the top ring and as a border around the sapphire crystal case back while the green design under reference M0A10590 attires the whole case is green.
We are delighted to pursue the partnership with Baume & Mercier, which began in 2018 with the BAUME project. Throughout this latest partnership period, we worked in close collaboration for the debris-gathering operations, particularly in the Azores, focusing on the development of high-quality products using recycled materials. The BAUME OCEAN Limited Edition watch is the result of this great collaboration, and it heralds other joint projects based on recycling and the circular economy!” explains Bernard Merkx, founder of Waste Free Oceans.
Like the original Baume watches before it, the new Baume Ocean Limited Edition is equipped with a statement crown at 12 o’clock, wire lugs and an elegantly subdued dial distinctive for its streamlined finish and deep grey colour. The backdrop features a mise en abyme effect across the surface created by various layers such as the recessed hour track at the centre, the sunken date window at 6 o’clock and the textured ring just in from the minutes track around the outer edge. The central hands and date are adorned in a choice of oceanic blue or forest green, depending on which model you choose and powered by the tried-and-tested SW-200 automatic movement. The Swiss made calibre also promises a power reserve of 38 hours, 26 rubies and a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
To complete the Baume et Mercier Baume Ocean Limited Edition watch, an interchangeable strap is added engineered from a material called SEAQUAL YARN. The material is crafted from upcycled marine plastic and delivers a comfortable grey textile-like appearance with blue or green overstitching and black trimming along the edge. For extra comfort, the strap is lined with a layer of natural cork and paired with a polished aluminium pin buckle. Like it’s predecessors, the Baume Ocean Limited Edition will also be presented in a hexagonal package made of recyclable cardboard and lined with recycled polyester.
“We are very proud to have BAUME & MERCIER in our community to fight marine litter. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is a unique collaborative community of individuals, organizations and companies working together to help clean our oceans, raise awareness of the issue of marine litter and highlight those helping to fight it” explains a representative of the SEAQUAL INITIATIVE.