Baume & Mercier continues to surprise us with new renditions of iconic collections and of historic pieces. In fact, in January at SIHH exhibition in Geneva, I had the rare opportunity to speak at length with Baume & Mercier Senior Designer Sara Sandmeir about the newly revamped collection of iconic Classima watches being unveiled this year.
The new collection offers men’s Classima watches in a smaller sized 40mm case (the previous Classima line was 42mm), and features such versions as the Classima Automatic three hands with date in steel, steel and gold and with a variety of straps. The beauty of this new piece comes through in the elegant pin striped dial design that offers chic appeal. There is also an entire new line of women’s watches within Classima.
“It took us two years to design the watch,” says Sandmeir with enthusiasm. “We started with the marketing brief to get an overview of the consumer the price range, what women like and want. But then, as a designer, we also have to think about the movement the fit, the feel,” says Sandmeir, who admitted that while they knew they wanted to keep automatics in the line for men, they also knew they wanted both automatic and quartz versions for women.
So the process begins with knowledge of the market, the trends, and of the needs and wants of the consumer, explains Sandmeir – who is full of energy, enthusiasm and passion for the brand and is clearly an artist first and foremost. (She sports a stunning two-finger ring she has made for herself that matches her green caped ensemble with bold red handbag that was hand crafted. Ok, men, this description means nothing to you but to savvy women, it does. It demonstrates her artistic side.)
Armed with knowledge, the next step in the process is the designing, sketching, re-working. “It is a fun process that blends so many elements together,” says Sandmeir. “There is a lot of work to do just to get o a two-dimensional design that we can then scale. Once we have a beautiful rendering of the perfect size and shape we can go to a 3-dimensional printing of the watch.”
I got to see, touch and feel those three-dimensional pieces and I have to say they are superb and they have changed the way scale models are created. In years past, to get a 3D watch made took time, all the renderings had to go out and usual a mold was made and sometimes remade to have the perfect dimensions. Now, the specs are programmed in and within eight hours a 3D model is in your hands (or on your wrist). Even Sandmeir says this is a very exciting point in time.
Once a model is created, paper dials are created in the desired colors and designs to determine how the watch will look. For men the superb touch is a pin stripe dial that looks great against leather straps and the metal bracelets. For women Classima offers several 36.5mm pieces, and you can read a lot more about them by visiting our sister site, Watch Seduction here. Men, if you liked the Classima before, with the newest renditions, you will like it even better now. And- of course you will love the price. The new watches range from $2,200 to $4,450.