Of all the Richemont watch brands, Baume & Mercier is by far the most accessibly priced—yet the company manages to offer great watchmaking. Now, like its fellow higher-end Richemont brands such as A. Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin, Baume & Mercier has unveiled its first in-house movement: the Baumatic BM12-1975A. The new caliber will be available in the brand’s new Clifton Baumatic timepieces, out this month and retailing for just $2,750.
In-house movements are costly and often take years to develop—this one is the result of 15 years of research and another five years to develop the caliber. Such investment tends to drive up the price of the timepieces that house them. However, Baume & Mercier managed to keep its watch in line with its other offerings by reusing mechanisms already used in various calibers that were up to par in terms of reliability and durability. That way, key components didn’t have to be reinvented from scratch.
“The quality and reliability of our products are at the center of all our concerns. In order to offer to clients better quality and reliability, we have developed our first in-house movement,” says Baume & Mercier COO Daniel Braillard. “The use of new technologies—Powerscape technology and Twinspir technology, developed by Richemont Group—allow us to increase drastically the performance of this new in-house caliber.”
The brand’s Powerscape technology increases efficiency and improves torque transmission between the components—less effort means less energy used, allowing for a longer power reserve of five days or 120 hours. Twinspir is used on the silicon hairspring and is a composite of two layers of silicon with a middle core of silicon dioxide, making it resistant to impacts, vibrations, and magnetic fields (up to at least 1,500 Gauss). The movement has an accuracy of -4/+6 seconds per day, and Baume & Mercier has lengthened the service time from three to five years for its average timepiece to five to seven years, allowing the brand to further extend the warranty.
Developed by ValFleurier, Richemont’s movement-making arm, the Baume & Mercier Baumatic BM12-1975A is the first high-performance wristwatch with real engineering feats at this price point to be offered from Richemont. And for those looking for a retro-designed timepiece with real watchmaking under the hood for under $5,000, the new Clifton Baumatic will be seriously appealing—especially to burgeoning young collectors who may one day be buying in-house movements from Richemont’s top-tier watchmakers.