23 February 2015
The idea is for it to serve as a gift on big occasions: a first job, engagement, marriage, promotion at work. But the evocative name of Baume & Mercier’s new woman’s watch, Promesse, “Promises,” does not allude solely to a personal commitment: it is also a declaration of intent. The company has set out to make an object that will retain its value in the future, that is destined to last: for its timeless aesthetics, the quality of the materials and the impeccable craftsmanship—all at a reasonable price, in line with the watchmaker’s philosophy. Conceived for women by a woman (the designer is Sara Sandmeier) and inspired by a model from the seventies, it has the preciousness of a jewel and a 24/7 vocation. The construction is remarkable: the bracelet, substantial but not heavy, very pleasant to wear and perfectly integrated with the case; the case itself, thin and round but not banal, with an alternation of convex and oblique surfaces; the bezel oval, with accentuated sides like two brackets, sloping toward the center; and the dial with its distinctive drapé guilloché decoration. The latest version has a mother-of-pearl bezel (a real technical challenge) and is adorned with diamonds, but there are 14 others: in steel or steel and red gold, 30 or 34 mm in diameter, with an automatic or quartz movement, the bezel polished, studded with jewels or coated in black or white enamel. And it lends itself to further variations of material.