2018 Revolution Round-up: Baume & MercierBy Keith W. Strandberg
Baume & Mercier had a very busy 2018, with the introduction of the revolutionary Baumatic, its continuing partnership with Indian Motorcycle and the appointment of a new CEO.
Performance and reliability aren’t the sexiest of topics, as crazy designs, sports partnerships and celebrity ambassadors tend to get all the headlines. But when Baume & Mercier introduced the new Clifton Baumatic at SIHH 2018, the entire watch industry was seriously impressed.
The most interesting part of the Baumatic story is how it came about. The Baumatic wasn’t designed to meet a recognized trend or to satisfy a need in the marketplace. On the contrary, the Baumatic was developed to address after sales issues. Although the return rate for its watches was already very low, Baume & Mercier analyzed every single watch returned, from over 100 countries, to discover what went wrong and how to guard against it happening in the future.
And the brand, along with the experts at Richemont and the Manufacture Horlogère ValFleurier, developed its first self-winding proprietary movement – the Baumatic BM12-1975A caliber.
This movement focused on improving four areas: sensitivity to magnetic fields, power reserve, accuracy and durability. The new Baumatic is resistant to at least 1500 Gauss, has a power reserve of five days, is designed to be incredibly precise (a COSC version is also available) and has a recommended service interval of five years (up from three).
The Baumatic is a handsome watch that does what it says it will do without complaint, problems or drama. And at a price that makes incredible sense.
The Clifton Baumatic is a game-changer, representing what everyone should demand in their watches.
Baume & Mercier and Indian
Indian is one of the most successful “new” motorcycle companies in history. Founded in 1901, Indian was a leader in motorcycles in the world until 1953, when the company went bankrupt and closed its doors. Recreational vehicle giant Polaris bought the brand in 2011 and reintroduced it in 2013, debuting the new Chief Classic, Chief Vintage and Chieftain, and Indian has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.
The first watch that Baume & Mercier introduced for its Indian partnership was the Clifton Club Burt Munro Tribute at the end of 2017.
Then, at SIHH 2018, Baume & Mercier unveiled two more: the Clifton Club Indian Legend Tribute Scout Edition and the Clifton Club Indian Legend Tribute Chief Edition. Like the first timepiece, they have the Indian touches throughout – i.e the immediately recognizable Indian “I” as the counterbalance on the chronograph seconds hand, the Indian Head engraving on the back and more. No one knows right away that these are Indian-inspired watches at first glance, but upon further examination, the details are revealed, which is a great way to discover them.
Baume & Mercier has really benefitted from this partnership with Indian and the development of these watches. Like its existing Shelby Cobra partnership, Baume & Mercier has certainly upped its “cool” factor, putting its lifestyle message front and center.
On June 1, 2018, Geoffroy Lefebvre took over as the CEO of Baume & Mercier, replacing Alain Zimmermann. Lefebvre was formerly with Jaeger-LeCoultre as its Deputy Chief Executive Officer, and Zimmermann has become the director of Richemont’s specialist watchmakers e-distribution strategic project.
Heading into SIHH 2019, Baume & Mercier has shaken off its staid image, using innovative products like the Baumatic and cool timepieces like those within the Clifton Club Indian collection to announce to the world that Baume & Mercier isn’t your grandfather’s watch.
Now, we here at Revolution are dying to see what’s coming next.