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After a decade, Baume & Mercier returns to women

By Michelle Graff

June 20, 2014

A 34 mm quartz watch from Baume & Mercier’s new “Promesse” collection of women’s timepieces

Click through this slideshow to see four of the timepieces in Baume & Mercier’s new “Promesse” collection of women’s watches.

New York--Baume & Mercier unveiled its first new women’s watch collection in nearly 12 years in an event this week held at New York’s Gotham Hall. 

The line, called “Promesse” (French for promise), will be available at select retailers nationwide and online at beginning in September. There are a total of 13 watches in the collection in two sizes, 30 mm and 34 mm. 

It is a combination of quartz and automatic watches, with prices starting at $1,900. 

Baume & Mercier said it based the designs for Promesse on a 1970s model from its museum collection. 

The watches have oval-shaped bezels, with either a silver-colored guilloché or mother-of-pearl dials. Some models are set with diamonds and some have mother-of-pearl bezels. They are available on bracelets, or alligator, satin or calfskin straps in either steel or two-tone with 18-karat red gold. 

A Swiss watch brand owned by Richemont, Baume & Mercier was founded in Geneva in 1830 and is the world’s seventh-oldest watch brand. It is predominately known for its men’s watches, collections such as the Clifton and Capeland, but it was actually a woman who inspired the original designs, Louis-Victor Baume’s daughter Mélina. 

The brand’s earliest women’s watches were Art Deco style, while the 1950s brought about the “Marquise” timepieces with bangle bracelets and the 1960s saw the brand’s watches grow more elegant and refined. In the 1970s, the decade that inspired the new Promesse models, Baume & Mercier combined creativity with original watchmaking shapes. 

The brand said the concept behind Promesse is that the watch is a promise the woman makes to herself to keep alive the memories attached to receiving the watch, whether it was for a birthday, anniversary, wedding or other special occasion.