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offer two distinct faces of the brand. The former is feminine, curvy, and easily personalisable thanks to a range of easy-to-change straps; the latter is stylish, assertive and sophisticated. Between them, the two collections offer more than 30 pieces to choose from. This autumn marks an exciting new era for the brand – and the female watch lover – in the shape of a new collection from Baume & Mercier named Promesse. “We have been working on this for a long time – for four years in fact,” says Baume & Mercier CEO Alain Zimmermann, while recognising that this is nothing when compared to the 100 years the company has been seducing ladies all over the world. What Baume & Mercier has done with its Promesse collection is to create a new watch that feels as if it could have been plucked from almost any period in the past 100 years while at the same time retaining a relevant, modern feel all of its own via its alluring, unconventional shape – an oval bezel inside a circular case. The collection upholds the brand’s tradition of contemporary lines taking their cues from a historic model selected from Baume & Mercier’s museum – it is a watch from the 1970s that provides much of the inspiration for the Promesse line. “The ’70s were a special time for us,” says Alexandre Peraldi, the company’s Director of Design. “We really started to explore non-conventional design elements for the women’s collections and moved into uncharted territory of uniquely shaped watches.” The result was something of a creative maelstrom even by the brand’s own standards, climaxing in the award-winning Mimosa and Galaxie models, which became icons of the era. Fittingly, this extra-special period in the Baume & Mercier annals is subtly echoed in the Promesse collection. “Our aim, when we started designing the Promesse collection, was to reinvent the round watch,” says Peraldi. “The inspiration came from Baume & Mercier’s rich heritage of feminine watches, and the piece from the ’70s guided us with the ‘shape in a shape’ concept. It led us to investigate the idea of an oval bezel nestled inside a soft round case.” Even the strap was the subject of countless hours of research and experimentation, with inspiration this time coming from the world of nature. The detailing that forms the bracelet and its beautifully fluid curves reinterprets the ripples produced by a drop of water. No collection is complete without a head-turning, standout model, and the Promesse collection is blessed with two, each set with 61 diamonds in a black or white oval, mother-of-pearl bezel and finished with a glossy black or white alligator-leather strap. The 14-watch collection also features a number of two-tone models,

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“The inspiration came from Baume & Mercier’s rich heritage of feminine watches, and the piece from the ’70s guided us with the ‘shape in a shape’ concept”

t dust

PROV E NA NCE

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Baume &

Mercier Stardust watch; an advert from 1956; Baume & Mercier Promesse two-tone watch £2,600; white watch and black watch £4,900 each (black watch exclusive to Harrods)

including three composed of steel and red gold-capped steel and a silver-coloured dial. Baume & Mercier likes to say its watches are more than just a way of telling the time, that its watches are a “gift that contains feelings” – a sentiment that certainly reflects the name of the Promesse collection. The line has been created with the modern, independent woman in mind – one who appreciates the ideas of heritage, luxury and a certain refinement, and, perhaps, for whom the idea of promise will resonate. Fittingly, a sculpture of two interlocking hands was commissioned for the launch. Small padlocks, created to lock onto this art installation, mirrored the trend for couples to leave a padlock on bridges and other public places. “By attaching a padlock to the Promesse sculpture, they are creating a lasting moment,” Peraldi says. And creating lasting moments is what Baume & Mercier has been doing for generations. HMN Available from The Fine Watch Room, Ground Floor Mike Peake writes for The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian

Profile for Harrods online

Harrods Magazine October 2014  

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Harrods Magazine October 2014  

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