Baume-Mercier William Baume Mechanical Swiss Luxury Watches Review
William Baume collection harbors today's Baume&Mercier high-end horology ambitions: it contains strictly mechanical manual or self winding movements, and features complications not even such luxury Swiss brands as Omega or Ebel can boast. In fact, the level and sophistication of the complications brings Baume and Mercier closer to such names as Vacheron Constantin and Blancpain – all institutions with centuries of watchmaking and in-house development behind them.
Nor surprisingly, designers chose red gold to be the primary metal for the case and lugs in these watches. The jewelry touch serves to emphasize the significance of the caliber rather than undermine it: a precious metal frames a fitting movement; all timepieces come equipped with a leather strap that also directs the attention towards the moving parts.
As of today, complications include a flying tourbillon, a single pusher chronograph, a retrograde seconds hand, and an ultra thin case (vying with Blancpain Villeret Ultra-Slim). It's still a new department that can be expected to be filled with additions in years to come.
In itself, tourbillon is almost a routine complication in the world of high-end horology. At this high level, every self-respecting brand must have at least one such model – so Baume Mercier are admittedly keeping up rather than innovating (though their flying tourbillon is a relatively rare variation).
What does still change and leave room for creativity and uniqueness, is the placement. Some brands position their tourbillons at six o'clock, some at the center, others deep inside the mechanism and visible only from the back (Patek Philippe). Avant guard brands will even incorporate two, and leave the entire setup openworked.
Baume Mercier take the middle road and opt for the unusual 9 o'clock location. It's counter-intuitive at the first glance, but actually leads to a strong visual balance (setting off the crown), and a truly refreshing design.
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