Baume & Mercier has been turning to its extensive watch archives to inspire its recent men’s watch collections, such as the Clifton. Last year, the Swiss brand launched a new watch line for ladies that takes its aesthetic cues from past models. The new Baume & Mercier Promesse, now in stores for Mother’s Day, is influenced by a classical model from the 1970s.
Baume & Mercier’s history with women’s watches stretches at least to 1918, when the founding duo of William Baume & Paul Mercier began creating jewelry watches in the Art Deco style of the era. The brand introduced the influential Marquise ladies’ watch, with a bangle bracelet, in the 1950s, and went on to introduce several award-winning models in the 1970s, including the Mimosa, Galaxy, and Stardust.
The 1970s also spawned the ladies’ watch model that most directly influenced the design of the new Promesse collection, which is characterized by the juxtaposition of an oval-shaped bezel inside a soft, round case.
The Baume & Mercier Promesse collection — Baume & Mercier’s first entirely new ladies’ watch line in nearly a decade — consists of 14 total references, in two case sizes (30-mm diameter and 34-mm diameter), and contains models with both Swiss quartz and mechanical automatic movements. They are available with either bracelets, whose curves accentuate those of the polished steel cases, or calfskin leather or satin straps. The oval bezels are either highlighted with mother-of-pearl, capped with 18k rose gold, or set with diamonds. The dials are either decorated with a “drape” guilloché pattern, or carved from mother-of-pearl. Baume & Mercier describes the design aesthetic of the new collection as “a visual interpretation of the ripples produced by a drop of water.”
All the watches have Roman numerals at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions and interstitial indices (diamond-set on some models). The Promesse watches with mechanical movements (Ref. 10182, 10183, 10184, 10162, and 10163) all have sapphire exhibition casebacks that display the finely decorated movement, which includes a rotor adorned with côtes de Genève. Prices for the Baume & Mercier Promesse watches, which the brand says will be available at select retailers nationwide starting in September, will start at $1,900.
This article was originally published on June 22, 2014, and has been updated.