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streety

Baume Watch

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Hi all, I'm trying to get information about this watch. It belongs to a good friend friend of mine, left to him by his grandfather.

I've found 'Baume and Mercier' but not found Baume as a single entity. I intend to get the watch looking good but wish to know some history first.

Baume Swiss Made on dial.

Outside S/S caseback 11253

Inside caseback Swiss 9512

Movement stamped AS 1525 1526

Any help would be appreciated.

  • Thanks 1

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Baume were the UK agent for Longines. I suspect they also 'cased' movements from other manufacturers (e.g. A.Schild) to sell alongside Longines products.

Cheers

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At one time Baume was an important figure in horology. Don't know about your particular watch. I have one from 1922 which promted me to look into the history.

AB Arthur Baume, and B&Co. Baume & Company

Longines%20Case.jpgAB.jpg

AB is is the sponsor's mark of Arthur Baume Managing Director of Baume & Co., 21 Hatton Garden, the London branch of Baume, a Swiss watch manufacturer based in the village of Les Bois, in the Swiss Jura Mountains. Arthur Baume was a prominent figure in Europe. A member of the Royal Geographical Society, he also became president of the British Horological Institute. He was made a knight, and later an officer, of the Legion of Honor, and was twice decorated by French President Poincarré. The King of Belgium made him a Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold II.

As well as their own watches, Baume & Company were the importer of Longines watches to the UK and all of the British Commonwealth. Otherwise unmarked Longines watches from the early 20th century often bear the mark "B & Co." for Baume & Co. next to the movement calibre number under the balance wheel. There is more on my page about Longines.

Baume watches earned ever-growing success and recognition under the impetus of the second generation.

The House distinguished itself at the national exhibitions and world fairs that began to be organized from the second half of the 19th century onwards, in Paris (1878 and 1889), Melbourne (1890 and 1895), Zurich and Amsterdam (1883), London (1885 and 1890) and Chicago (1893), winning ten Grand Prix awards and seven gold medals.

Baume watches also set accuracy records in timekeeping competitions, and particularly the timing trials run by Kew Observatory near London. When the Baume company first competed in the Kew Teddington competition in 1885, three of its watches were ranked among the top seven, and the following year, four of them won awards.

In 1892, Baume earned the highest score in the competition (91.9 points out of a 100) with a split-second chronograph, an all-time record that remained unbeaten until over a decade later. Up to the early 20th century, the brand won a steady succession of prizes for its simple and complicated watches, all equipped with the most advanced technological features. In London, Arthur Baume became a leading figure in the United Kingdom. He was named a knight of the Legion of Honor, and later became an officer, and was twice decorated by French President Poincarré in person.

The King of Belgium made him a Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold II, and he was received at the official state dinner given in honor of the King of England, George V, and Queen Mary. A member of the Royal Geographical Society, Arthur Baume was appointed president of the British Horological Institute in London.

Baume becomes Baume & Mercier

The end of World War I in 1918 brought sweeping changes in industry, the arts, and society in general. Women’s emancipation led them to wear jewelry watches as brooches, long necklaces or on the wrist, a trend made possible by the miniaturization of watch movements.

After proving its use in a military context, the wristwatch gradually took over from the pocket watch as the masculine timepiece of choice. Baume witnessed the emergence of a new generation, and the young William Baume, a great visionary and an accomplished watchmaker, was eager to take advantage of the new opportunities afforded by the ebullient mood of the era. Having by then settled in Geneva, he decided to partner with a colorful figure named Tchereditchenko, who subsequently adopted his French mother’s family name and became known as Paul Mercier. Born in Odessa to a Russian father, Paul Mercier was a passionate and refined individual, a dedicated art-lover who spoke seven languages and was endowed with exceptional business acumen.

Despite their very different yet complementary temperaments, the two men, shared the same vision of contemporary watchmaking, and decided to join forces in 1918 to create Baume & Mercier. William Baume handled technical aspects, while Paul Mercier was in charge of design and the commercial side of the business. Together, they established a full-fledged watch manufacture in Geneva, making top-quality watches as well as movements that were exported to the United States.

In 1919, barely a year after the company was set up, Baume & Mercier movements were awarded the “Poinçon de Genève†or Geneva Hallmark, the highest token of fine craftsmanship in watchmaking. A year and a half later, Baume & Mercier had become the watch brand producing the largest number of movements certified by this prestigious quality label.

On March 21, 1921, the Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic and Canton of Geneva awarded “Messrs Baume and Mercier, watchmakers in Genevaâ€, a diploma “certifying that their company ranks first in the number of pieces that received a hallmark at the official government office for voluntary testing of Geneva watches in 1920.â€

In 1924, Baume & Mercier appeared in the Davoine official watch industry directory, the benchmark register of watchmaking companies, as one of the four Geneva-based manufacturers alongside Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Haas Neveux. Focusing firmly on high-quality watchmaking combining technical excellence with a contemporary look, the company enjoyed swift success despite the major crises that hit the Swiss watch industry in the early 1920s and after the 1929 stock market crash.

Chronographs and Marquise

The period between the late 1930s and the 1950s saw the baton being passed on to a strong new personality at the head of Baume & Mercier, the Count Constantin de Gorski.

William Baume withdrew from the company in 1935 for health reasons, and Paul Mercier sold his shares in 1937 to the Ponti family,famous jewelers and goldsmiths from northern Italy.

During the 1940s and throughout World War II, Baume & Mercier chronographs became watches of choice that are still highly sought-after collector’s items today. After the war, Baume & Mercier launched one of its most successful models: the Marquise.

This jewelry watch, set in a “bangle†type bracelet, asserted itself as the leading post-war ladies’ model and remained a brand best-seller until the early 1960s.

In 1952, Baume & Mercier acquired a new production facility for its chronographs by buying up the C.H. Meylan factory in the village of Le Brassus, in the Joux Valley.

PHI becomes the brand emblem

In 1964, in order to reinforce its brand identity, Baume & Mercier chose the Greek symbol PHI as its new visual brand emblem.

Considered since Antiquity to be the “golden section†representing perfect proportions, the PHI appeared from then on as the Baume & Mercier logo on all its watch dials. It was from this time onwards that Baume & Mercier acquired its status as an affordable luxury brand, a positioning it continues to uphold. The brand also accentuated its avant-garde, innovative approach, especially during the 1970s.

In 1971, Baume & Mercier was one of the first brands to adopt the new electronic tuning-fork movements, forerunners of quartz, in its Tronosonic model.

In 1973, this was followed by the innovative Riviera model, one of the very first steel sports watches featuring an original twelve-sided design. The Riviera was to become Baume & Mercier’s best-seller and its flagship model for 20 years.

In 1972, the brand caused a sensation in the field of ladies’ watches by introducing the Mimosa and Galaxie models, both of which won the Golden Rose at the Baden-Baden international watch and jewelry competition held in Düsseldorf, Germany – the most important contest of its kind at the time.

In 1973, Baume & Mercier once again earned the supreme Golden Rose distinction for its splendid Stardust model featuring an onyx dial surrounded by 138 diamonds.

The 1980s witnessed the global success of the Linea ladies’ model, and in 1988 the destiny of Baume & Mercier took a new turn when the luxury group that would later become Richemont bought up both Piaget and Baume & Mercier.

Newfound independence

Within the Richemont Group, Baume & Mercier acquired newfound independence and renewed vitality.

The brand displayed noteworthy creativity, introducing a wave of models in its jewelry, classic and sports watch ranges: Catwalk (1997) revived the cuff-watch; Capeland (1998) played the adventurer; and Hampton (1994) became a classic rectangular steel watch and the brand’s new flagship model.

In 2002, Baume & Mercier took a further step towards autonomy by opening its own workshops in Les Brenets, in the Swiss Jura. This represented a genuine return to roots in more than one way: a return to production in the Jura, the cradle of the Baume company (although the Baume & Mercier headquarters remained in Geneva), and a return to a production mode known as établissage (or project management) and used by the “Frères Baume†throughout the 19th century, but combined with a full set of modern advantages.

The company continued along its successful path with new models such as Classima Executives, Diamant, iléa, as well as the Haute Horlogerie William Baume collections, and a number of sporting and sophisticated models interpreted in Riviera or Hampton versions.

Loyal as ever to its origins, Baume & Mercier continues to offer a range of authentic timepieces with a contemporary feel, that embody the attention to detail, the high quality standards, and the respect for the rules of fine craftsmanship on which the company has built its international reputation since 1830.

Edited by Stinch

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Thanks Stinch, I think I have already read this article on Wikipedea which tends to focus on Baume up until 1920ish, and from then Baume and Mercier. As this watch appears to be from around 1960 I was trying to find out about Baumes individual production around this time. Interesting article non the less,

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There's an interesting Ediary on Baume & Mercier's web site. I'd try and drop them an email to see if they have any info on your watch. Mine made in 1922 was imported into London by Arthur Baume & just marked B & Co even though Baume & Mercier was in place in 1918 so perhaps even in the in the 1960s some were exported under just the Baume name?

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Streety,

Sorry to get to this thread a bit late, but did you find out about the watch? I have one almost the same. Presented to my Dad for 25 years service. Although it's not dated, I believe it to be from the mid 70's

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Streety,

Sorry to get to this thread a bit late, but did you find out about the watch? I have one almost the same. Presented to my Dad for 25 years service. Although it's not dated, I believe it to be from the mid 70's

Sorry Bob I didn't get any further. I did fix up this particular Baume, new crystal , case clean up , strap and service. It was looking like new when I gave it back and my friend was delighted. Kicking myself now I didn't take any 'after' photos.

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AB Arthur Baume, and B&Co. Baume & Company

Longines%20Case.jpgAB.jpg

 

AB is is the sponsor's mark of Arthur Baume Managing Director of Baume & Co., 21 Hatton Garden, the London branch of Baume, a Swiss watch manufacturer based in the village of Les Bois, in the Swiss Jura Mountains. Arthur Baume was a prominent figure in Europe. A member of the Royal Geographical Society, he also became president of the British Horological Institute. He was made a knight, and later an officer, of the Legion of Honor, and was twice decorated by French President Poincarré. The King of Belgium made him a Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold II.

As well as their own watches, Baume & Company were the importer of Longines watches to the UK and all of the British Commonwealth. Otherwise unmarked Longines watches from the early 20th century often bear the mark "B & Co." for Baume & Co. next to the movement calibre number under the balance wheel. There is more on my page about Longines.

I would just like to point out that this material was copied and pasted from my page about Longines, which is why the spelling of Poincarré is wrong and the statement "There is more on my page about Longines." points to a page on my web site, not a page of Stinch's as the post implies.

As my copyright notice says, I don't mind my work being quoted, but it is really only fair to state where the material is copied from.

Kind regards - David www.vintagewatchstraps.com

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I will simply offer this; as the UK agent for Longines, their arrangement may have been very similar to the one that Wakmann had in the US with respect to the Breitling and Gigandet brands, in that if one of their customers did not qualify to be an AD for Breitling or Gigandet, they could get Wakmann watches brought in instead.  These would be quality watches with Swiss or French movements, and the store proprietor, when selling these watches, could talk up the "connection" of the Wakmann brand to the more desireable "name" brand they weren't authorized to carry.  This, I think more than anything, contributed to the greatly overstated connection between Wakmann and Breitling, for example.

Food for thought ...

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My grandfather, Louis Audemars, came to London sometime between 1895 and 1900.  He arrived with little more than his clothes and a few watchmaking tools and his ambition was to try to restore the family fortunes.  Depending on the year of his arrival he was between 19 and 24 years old. 

He got a job as a watch repairer for Mr Baume - 99% certainly the Arthur Baume referred to earlier in this thread.

Mrs Baume had a personal maid - Mina Küffer from the Swiss town of Mürten (Morat).  Louis and she misbehaved,  Mina got pregnant and the Baumes (it is said) obliged them to get married in some haste.

After the wedding (it is said) the Baumes sacked them both.  (The baby - yet another Louis - was born in 1901 and went on to be a very bright child, winning a free scholarship to the Bluecoat School, and eventually to Oxford.  He spent his adult life teaching classics and art history at Marlborough College).

Louis' father in Switzerland never forgave him:  not, it seems, for having "had" to get married, but because it was to a German-Swiss girl. 

Paul

www.audemars.co.uk

Edited by Paul Audemars
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This is all very fascinating - how these two seemingly separate company histories actually come together in the most unexpected way!

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"Louis' father in Switzerland never forgave him:  not, it seems, for having "had" to get married, but because it was to a German-Swiss girl."

As an American, the old "tribal" contentions that exist within Europe are fascinating!

Thank you, Paul, for continuing to share tales we otherwise are not likely to hear!

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"As an American, the old "tribal" contentions that exist within Europe are fascinating!" - Well, I think you have  a few over there as well......

But to return to the story; it got worse....

When my (100% English, but fluent french-speaking) mother married my father (a first-generation swiss immigrant) her father's family cut off all contact with her for the rest of her 99-year life.    My father's family weren't too pleased either.

In 2001 I discovered three cousins who had grown up within ten miles of me without knowing of our existence.  It's rather re-assuring to find you have relatives who actually look like you.  About the same age as me and great guys.

I like Baume & Mercier watches a lot and bought myself one as a retirement present (I was self-employed so no-one else was going to).  I'd post a picture but I don't seem to be able to do it yet.

P

www.audemars.co.uk

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""As an American, the old "tribal" contentions that exist within Europe are fascinating!" - Well, I think you have  a few over there as well......"

I didn't say the European ones were unique, simply fascinating, in that they are NOT the ones I'm familiar with ... people are people, as they say! :thumbsup:

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I too can't see how to post a picture, but I have a Baume watch dating from the late 1940s or early 1950s which I'm wearing as I write this. I've always understood that it cases a Longines movement, a matter that's been covered in other posts. I've never seen another one like it. My father bought it in 1955, but I don't know where.

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14614379_10154368720076084_1871418995_o_IMG_20161008_152512_zps0hdwrh9q.jpg 

Since we are taking about vintage watches i thought i would add this to an old post, picked this old marquise bangle watch up, but can only find them in 18k yellow gold or white gold, can see no stamp marks on mine to say its white gold so did they make this in a cheap metal ? lovely movement inside but unfortunately the winder  is not working 

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Hello,

I have the Baume watch below and did a bit of digging into the company and found the article that follows it. Baume seemed to make some nice watches. The company slogan was "Baume - The Good Watch".

baume800_zps2jyaydqo.jpg

baume_zpsk5yuaxvh.jpg

Thanks.

Carl

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