Baume & Mercier : A rejuvenated image

Hampton 1028 & 1029

Case : satin-brushed polished steel, decorated caseback with screws (transparent sapphire crystal for the gold version), cambered sapphire crystal Size : 32 x 45mm Movement: mechanical self-winding (ETA 2895 or ETA 2894 in chronograph version)Dial : sun satin-finished anthracite & opaline black, or sun satin-finished silver-coloured & opaline Functions : hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph (anthracite dial) Water resistance : 50m Strap : dark brown alligator leather

Building on a heritage dating back to 1830 and a number of carefully guarded museum pieces, the Baume & Mercier Design Studio is ideally equipped to draw upon this treasure trove when it comes to perpetuating the spirit of the House. In this instance, a 1940s Art Deco model was the inspiration for the new Hampton collection, and the distinctive ambience of this Long Island (NY) corner of paradise profoundly influenced its rejuvenated image. Baume & Mercier displays a renewed love for the ocean, albeit in a less specifically sporting mode than Capeland, and governed by a desire to win over devotees of a lifestyle shaped by elegance and culture at the foot of sun-kissed sand dunes. So how was the brand to set about merging Art Deco with the new “seaside living in the Hamptons” signature it has adopted? Arabic numerals have replaced the previous Roman versions (except on the red gold model with a Manufacture-made mechanical movement), the lugs are less curved, and the dagger-shaped hands are more pared down. The sapphire crystal and its distinctive cambered shape are two of the key identifying characteristics of this collection and create a prism effect. Depending on the angle from which it is viewed, the Hampton proves as fascinating to observe as the steady ebb and flow of the tide. Perhaps the next step will be a Hampton Cup regatta?

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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