Yesterday Richemont announced the creation of a new watch brand named Baume. That’s right, Baume, without ‘et Mercier’, is being lined up as the new Value Proposition from the Richemont Group. Over the past years, Baume et Mercier was positioned as the affordable luxury brand from the group, with pricing that did not always match this slogan. So it’s now up to Baume to fill the segment of €500 to €1,000 Euros, a segment that’s completely new to the Richemont Group. Baume will be offering
cheap affordable Asian movements (mainly quartz and a mechanical Miyota), lots of eco-friendly materials and an online configurator.
This sounds like a familiar recipe, one that we’ve heard before from many Kickstarter brands. Sounds… hipster?!? According to the information we got, Baume will start with two collections, the Iconic collection (with a mechanical Miyota movement) and later there will be a collection of Limited Editions. The other option, at this point, is an online configurator that allows you to create your own personalised Baume. All models from the configurator are powered by a quartz movement from the same maker (Miyota, a Citizen-owned company.) Oh, and it’s important to note that this new Baume brand does not replace Baume et Mercier (which staged a strong comeback with the new Baumatic, earlier this year).
All the models above – several random examples from the online configurator – offer some nice complications, like the small off-centre seconds with date, day and date, and day/date/moon phase as the most complicated of the options. These are all quartz-powered and are available within a €500 – €560 Euro price range. Design-wise it all looks good, with clean dials, a large dial opening, wire lugs, and the crown positioned at 12 o’clock. The straps are only made in natural and ‘upcycled’ materials, like cork, linen, cotton, and Alcantara. There’s even a strap made from recycled PET plastics!
This is the market segment, the style, the sort of offering, that we expect and have seen, from many Kickstarter brands and it’s interesting to see that the Richemont Group is going to play ball with this crowd. Not its usual ‘luxury’ arena to be honest, as this is where young and upcoming brands reside, often with a business model that is based on direct and online sales without any retailer interference.
Price-wise Baume is not the most affordable of this ‘Kickstarter’ segment, as a €500 Euro watch with an Asian quartz movement is approx. double the price of what the competition in this segment offers. Besides that, several major Swiss brands like Tissot and Oris are offering ‘Swiss Made’, with Swiss mechanical movements, in the sub-1k price segment. We’re curious to see how Baume is going to perform and how the sustainable, eco-friendly, no animal skin straps, and no mined gold or diamonds, are going to resonate with their target group. We wish Baume good luck and we’re curious to learn more about upcoming watches and the assembly process.
More info: www.baumewatches.com