This year, Swiss luxury watch brand Baume & Mercier is celebrating the 160th jubilee of its long and illustrious history in Australia (1852 – 2012). The brand celebrates this occasion by exhibiting their marvelous and luxury watches in Melbourne and Sydney. Baume & Mercier is also launching a limited edition of the flagship Classima model as a token of the esteem in which this luxury watchmaker holds this great country and as the elegant embodiment of the brand’s philosophy: “Life is about moments”.
The Maison d’Horlogerie was founded in 1830 by two pioneering brothers: Louis-Victor and Célestin Baume, in Les Bois in the heart of the Swiss Jura. The company flourished in the entrepreneurial climate fed by the expansion of the British Empire and rapidly forged a solid reputation for luxury watchmaking. The “Baume Bros” establishment was opened in 1851 in London, the capital of the Commonwealth, and went from strength to strength, buoyed up by the Victorian era of industrial expertise, technological progress and increasing prosperity. Just one year later after this subsidiary opening, Célestin Baume decided to continue the international expansion and took the family luxury watchmaking business to Australia.
Immigrants were leaving Britain by the thousands, chasing the dream of gold. This brand new country began to gain impetus and become a mature nation and trading centre. By 1880, Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, was an equal to most European cities, and held the Melbourne International Exhibition in this same year. It attracted over 1.3 million visitors from all over the world. Ever since the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London in 1851, world fairs had been seen as a modern way to showcase the latest scientific and industrial achievements.
As one of the few Swiss luxury watchmakers in Australia, Baume Brothers participated in this exhibition and held a booth situated right in the middle of the Swiss Pavilion of the Exhibition Building. That year, the company won first prize and a gold medal for its displays. By 1891, however, the gold rush in Victoria was coming to an end and times were hard. Baume & Mercier nonetheless continued to trade in Australia and to manufacture outstanding timepieces, winning awards all over the world such as the diploma for producing the greatest number of Geneva Seal movements. The roots of the marvelous international reputation of Baume & Mercier had been firmly established.
Classima 160th Anniversary Limited and Numbered Edition
The Classima Limited Edition watch celebrates the 160th anniversary of Baume & Mercier’s presence in Australia and embodies the timeless elegance and top-quality craftsmanship of the Swiss Maison. This 160-piece limited edition, offered in a customised packaging dedicated to this anniversary, features an automatic movement and open balance at 12 o’clock. The silver-colored dial animated with gilt hands is masterfully coordinated with an elegant black alligator strap and an adjustable triple-folding buckle. The sapphire crystal window on the case back reveals the oscillating weight sublimated by a guilloché decor and displays a customised engraving celebrating the very special occasion of the 160th anniversary of Baume & Mercier in Australia.
This anniversary is one of life’s moments, and this is perfectly reflected in the everlasting appeal of the Classima Collection. Exclusive edition limited to 160 pieces. Available from September 2012 in the Australia’s authorised retailers of Baume & Mercier. RRP AUD$3,600
Automatic (ETA 2824-BV)
Oscillating weight personalized with «Côtes de Genève» décor
Function: Open balance at 12 o’clock
Thickness: 9.5 mm
Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
Sapphire crystal window on the case back
Water-resistance:3 ATM (approx. 30m)
Case back decorated with several engravings: « 160thANNIVERSARY », « EXCLUSIVE EDITION », «BAUME & MERCIER AUSTRALIA», and « ONE OUT OF 160»
Opaline silver-colored with stamped guilloché decor
Roman numerals and indexes
Buckle: Adjustable triple folding buckle
Exclusive edition packaging with an outside banner featuring “Baume & Mercier 1852-2012” and an inside plate featuring “LIFE IS ABOUT MOMENTS» – BAUME & MERCIER AUSTRALIA – 160TH ANNIVERSARIY LIMITED EDITION”