Clifton Chronograph © Baume & Mercier
Following the success enjoyed by last year‘s Clifton launch, Baume & Mercier is adding to the collection this year with, among others, a chronograph and a retrograde date. Further highlights of the year are an original image campaign, scheduled for March, and a new women’s collection that will premiere in June.
At Baume & Mercier, 2013 was all about Clifton, a new Omega Replica watch that swept the board, including for sales which surpassed all expectations. “We were certainly taken by surprise, in the best possible way,” says Alexandre Peraldi, the head of the brand’s Design Studio, speaking at the 2014 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). “It’s been a rendezvous with success, and on a much broader base than we imagined. Clifton has recruited customers among men and women alike, and across all five continents.” Why quit when you’re ahead? This year the brand is celebrating the first anniversary of an already iconic Replica Watches with new additions to the range, and a message that drives home the values for which it is known.
“This timepiece captures the essence of Baume & Mercier, namely a level of quality and excellence that doesn’t price itself out of reach” notes Chief Executive Alain Zimmermann. “The word ‘price’ comes up in just about every discussion involving the brand. Our ambition is exactly that: to propose a fake Omega watches with substance at an affordable price.” Says Alexandre Peraldi: “We’re in a comfortable position although one that isn’t easy to hold on to. Baume & Mercier is generally the first luxury timepiece a person will buy, for themselves or as a gift, and as their standard of living rises, naturally they will explore other areas. But this also means they will hold a very special memory of the Baume & Mercier watch that first won their hearts.”
The star of the collection: a flying tourbillon
Accordingly, the image campaign which the brand launches in March will unfold around the idea of celebration and that all-important first Rolex Replica watch; a Baume & Mercier given for a wedding, christening or birthday, and which is for ever remembered as an initiation to Fine Watchmaking. Prior to that, the brand came to the SIHH with two 43mm versions of the Clifton and one 41mm: a chronograph (Valjoux movement), a calendar with day, retrograde date and power reserve (Soprod movement), and a self-winding model with date and small seconds (Sellita movement). They are joined by 30mm self-winding and quartz models (ETA and Ronda movements). The highlight of the 2014 new releases, however, is the Clifton 1892 Flying Tourbillon (Valfleurier movement). Produced as a limited edition of 30, it takes its cue from a Baume & Mercier pocket watch made in 1892 which, after winning the Kew Observatory prize, remained unchallenged in terms of precision for the next decade.
As Alexandre Peraldi confirms, “This isn’t necessarily the type of watch one would expect from Baume & Mercier. We developed it mainly with the Asian market in mind, and for the Watches&Wonders fair which took place in Hong Kong last autumn. We now have to think our collections in such a way we can bring new watches to Geneva but also to Asia. This flying tourbillon also enables us to demonstrate our expertise, and reposition Baume & Mercier within a historical context which these Far East markets are perhaps less familiar with. It was a wonderful challenge and one which I believe we have fulfilled with great elegance.” On the subject of challenges, the next in line will be in June when the brand launches its new women’s collection, a complement to the existing Linea range. This will be an original line, described by Alexandre Peraldi as “classical, elegant bijoux- Fake Watches in two sizes, destined for a younger clientele.” Precisely the clientele who should be putting Baume & Mercier on their aspirational radar as a brand dedicated to fulfilling their desires.