Richemont Announces Sustainable Watch Brand BAUME

Swiss watch conglomerate Richemont has reacted to the minimal watch trend with a new design considered, customisable and sustainable brand called BAUME. We are told BAUME is affiliated with the Richemont owned Baume & Mercier, building on its heritage of watchmaking expertise, quality and innovation, which it does on a more Bauhaus design focused level at a more accessible price point.

According to the press release “BAUME marks the will of Richemont to explore new ways of producing and marketing watches, with a strong concern for sustainability.” A sensible move after being under fire earlier this year for reportedly destroying €500m worth of timepieces over the past two years to avoid them entering the grey market at bargain prices.

BAUME offers pre-made Editions or Customised timepieces designed by the individual through an online configurator with over 2000 permutations (ordered combinations). Customers start with a 35mm or 41mm case or Miyota quartz movement with retrograde, small seconds and moon phase functions and then chooses components, finishes and straps to create unique designs.

Baume Watches

The Edition Series will follow the Customised line later in 2018, produced in collaboration with global partners, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to sustainability. Forthcoming partner Waste Free Oceans will transform ocean waster into material that the brand will use to create a recycled and recyclable product.

With prices starting from $560 for the Customised watches I think Richemont has used the Baume et Mercier link optimistically, given the Miyota movements are probably sourced for less than $10 a pop – this goodwill, however, is entirely in the eye of the beholder. I do enjoy the inclusion of a moon phase function, it lends nicely to the affiliated heritage of the brand and separates BAUME from the pack. I’m surprised to see sizing at 35mm and 41mm, as women are wearing larger watches and men are seeking smaller pieces in the understated watch category – I can’t help but feel 37mm and 40mm would have been a wiser choice.

Baume Iconic Watch

The Iconic Edition pictured above, takes the brand into interesting territory, introducing an automatic movement, intriguing dial and contemporary aesthetic, although ultimately price point will be the deciding factor for consumers.

Accompanied by a fresh and minimal website, the BAUME mix appears right if you can justify the link to Baume et Mercier. It’s contemporary, conscious and just individual enough to appeal to a consumer Richemont previously wasn’t talking to. Add in Free Global Shipping and you’re whipping all the millennials into a frenzy.

Head to the BAUME website to spec your own.