Richemont has created a completely new watch brand that will only be sold direct to consumers via its own website.
The brand, Baume, has been created in every respect with modern younger customers in mind. It will sell only online; it is made up of four base models that can all be customised and configured on the website; and the designs are all described as ‘genderless’ by the watchmaker.
The watches are even promoted as sustainable. “We use no animal-based or precious materials and unused components are recycled or re-used,” says Baume Brand leader Marie Chassot.
“Our interchangeable watchstraps are made from natural, up-cycled or recycled fabrics such as cork, cotton, linen, alcantara and recycled PET. Packaging is kept to a minimum: there is no secondary packaging and only FSC-certified paper and cardboard are used. Our goal is to fulfill the utmost standards of quality and craftsmanship, while committing to the power of collaboration within a circular economy,” she adds.
Baume is unconnected to Richemont-owned Baume & Mercier, beyond drawing experience and insight from across the group.
The language of the launch marketing message is certainly a far cry from the stale, male and pale image of Richemont in the past.
“Today sees the introduction of Baume, a watch brand focused on encouraging individuals to participate in a design-led global conversation,” the press release chirps. “Baume launches with an innovative mindset and a commitment to create considered design in sustainable, recycled, and up-cycled materials,” it adds.
Baume launches with two minimalist collections: the Iconic Series and the Custom Timepiece Series, each of which will be updated seasonally — another departure from the once-a-year SIHH blitz of other Richemont brands.
Baume’s Custom Timepiece Series is a fully customisable offering. Customers can choose case-sizes of 35mm or 41mm, components, and movements to create thousands of unique designs.
A Limited Edition Series will follow later in the year, and will be produced in collaboration with global partners who will contribute to the design process. The first collaboration will be with a charity that cleans up plastic from the oceans.
“By accelerating change through innovation and collaboration, we will help to ask questions to aid generations to come. We are excited about forthcoming work with our partner Waste Free Oceans, an organisation that collects plastic from oceans, rivers and beaches. Ocean plastic will be transformed into material that will enable us to create a modern, recycled, and recyclable product while helping us to do our part in cleaning the oceans,” concludes Ms Chassot.
Baume watches launched world-wide yesterday (May 15) with prices starting from £430.