Wempe Watch Blog

Wempe Watch Blog

It isn't every day a Swiss watch brand in the affordable luxury category, such as Baume & Mercier, unveils a more expensive complicated watch. In fact, for this brand, it is only about once a year. To demonstrate its technical savior-faire and true watchmaking capabilities, once annually for the past five years, Baume & Mercier has released a specially made complicated piece in its much-loved Clifton collection. This year, that piece is a perpetual calendar watch.


The Clifton Perpetual Calendar features a silver opaline dial with day, date, month, leap year and moon phase indications. The perpetual calendar tracks day, date (taking into account different lengths of the months), month, year, leap year and moon phases via a mechanical memory of 1,461 days (four years).

Crafted in 18-karat 5N rose gold, the watch is powered by an automatic Vaucher 5401 base caliber that features a Dubois Depraz 5100 module for tracking the celestial factors, such as moon phase and perpetual timing.

Baume & Mercier designed and developed the concept in its Geneva headquarters, and the finishing and  assembly in the its Les Brenets (Jura Mountains) workshops. The dial — harmoniously balanced with four sundials — is slightly domed, and its fine silver opaline finish gives it a vintage appeal. The watch deftly achieves what it set out to do: demonstrate the abilities of the Baume & Mercier designers and watch makers.

Stop in any time to see our selection of fine Baume & Mercier watches.

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In the world of watches, there is a singular category that is arguably the most beautiful and mesmerizing of all watchmaking feats: the chiming watch. Generally referred to as minute repeaters, repeaters or sonneries, a chiming watch is one that melodiously sounds the time on demand.

Chiming watches are quite rare due to the unique nature of their craftsmanship. The timepieces utilize a series of hammers and gongs that chime the time with the push of a slide or button, by hammering against a metal gong.


There are several different types of the acoustical beauties. Repeater watches generally sound the time by striking the hours, the quarter hours and the minutes on demand. Sonneries also chime the time in a similar manner, but often do so automatically on the hour (although one can "silence" the automatic sounding). There are also special derivatives of these, including watches that chime in 10-minute increments and watches that incorporate automatons (moving figures on the dial) that move with each striking note. Some brands even offer multiple melodies with Westminster chimes – a special melody that mimes the tones of London's Big Ben.

Chiming watches and repeaters have roots dating back to the 1700s, when people used them to tell time after dark without having to light candles or oil lamps. Still, to date, they remain one of the most coveted top-tier timepieces that can be built. Today, much research goes into making the sound of the watch ever louder and more beautiful via materials of the gong or case, shape of the hammers — and more — to perfect the pitch.


While certain luxury brands specialize in the creation of minute repeaters, some brands only develop a single minute repeater (usually in limited numbers) just to prove they have the ability to make the complex beauty.


We have something very new and exciting coming into the store this week – the long-awaited Promesse collection of women’s watches from Baume & Mercier. After five years of research and development, Baume & Mercier unveils its first new collection for women since the Linea. The line consists of automatic and quartz watches with straps and bracelets – some with diamond accents and even decorative bezel inlays.

The concept of love is behind the new ultra-feminine collection of timepieces, whose new case shape (combining round and oval) is inspired by the brand’s rich history. In typical Baume & Mercier style, the brand researched its roots before delving into the project. However, instead of creating a direct re-interpretation of an archival piece, Baume & Mercier incorporates the architectural lines of several 1970s pieces into this modern rendition.


Promesse features an oval bezel that surrounds the inner round dial and is surrounded by an outer round case for geometric beauty. Accents on the watches include diamonds and mother of pearl, with several models even sporting a chic mother-of-pearl bezel ring that really catches the eye. The look is superb, the aesthetics are classic yet visionary and, best of all, the price is affordable, starting at just about $1,900 and going up to about $7,000.

The goal in creating this new collection was to offer women something elegant, comfortable, and wearable and that makes a special statement. “We wanted to bring the design together with the concept of celebration, of making a promise come true and to create something truly unique and different,” says Alain Zimmermann, CEO of Baume & Mercier, commenting that the word “promise” is a universal word with the same meaning globally.


The line consists of both 30mm and 34mm Swiss-made quartz and mechanical watches. The automatic versions feature a transparent caseback for viewing the movement. A host of different variations, with diamonds and without, offer today’s woman a great selection. The line ranges from stunning all stainless steel and two-tones bracelet styles, to strap versions and models with varying amounts of diamonds on them – further accentuating the "round-oval-round" design of the watch – making it both timeless and visionary. Stop by and see the all-new Promesse collection.