THE HAMPTON COLLECTION, OR THE ARTISIC HERITAGE OF BAUME & MERCIER
By symbolically breaking with the aesthetic codes of the times and revolutionizing the steel shape watch upon its launch in 1994, the Baume & Mercier Hampton Collection and its famous rectangular case superbly illustrate the transmission of designer spirit which has characterized the Brand since it was founded. The visionary intuition and artistic watchmaking approach of Paul Mercier – who partnered with the watchmaker William Baume in 1918 – lasted long after Mercier’s departure from the Brand in 1937. His successors carried on the work that he had begun, pursuing the legacy through different collections and variations thereon: ensuring that form and function correspond, upholding Swiss watchmaking savoir-faire, and asserting a strong, free, bold visual distinctiveness.
The three new Hampton models that Baume & Mercier presents today also carry that identity forward. Three versions express it through their luminous, subtly crafted blue dials: a self-winding version, a ladies’ gem-set jewelry version, and a very architectural steel version with an integrated three-row strap.
The majestically graphic rectangle
The Hampton Collection is one of the most illustrious timepieces in watchmaking. Its delicate case takes the form of a very studied rectangle with a streamlined profile, rounded corners, and curved lugs. The proportions are slender and harmonious. The eye is captured by the flowing movement and formal balance of its contours, the careful attention brought to its details, and the proud, architecture-inspired vertical orientation. The design is based on perfect proportions with respect to the golden reference, symbolized by the Greek letter Phi which Baume & Mercier chose as its emblem in 1964. Since then, the Brand has passed down its savoir-faire built around this structural aesthetic principle.
Inspired by an iconic 1960s model, the Hampton’s 1920s Art Deco style lends itself to all sorts of variations which are particularly flattered by its rectangular shape: a case in steel or gold; a dial available in a very broad color scheme, both simple and diamond-set; a strap in leather or steel, available in classic and bright colors, integrated, interchangeable, with a simple or wraparound design. For men and women alike, it is the epitome of watch elegance, and it adapts to the trends.
The gradual intensity of blue dials
Two of the new models feature an intense blue dial with refined finishes, each in its own tone.
A sun-satin opaline blue dial adorns the self-winding model M0A10732. Great attention is brought to the distribution of light, which illuminates the dial and brightens the center, scattering into exquisitely fine rays within the rectangle bordered by the hour and minute display. This optical effect and the recurrence of the geometric shape within the dial bring life and movement to the timepiece.
The deeper blue of model M0A10709 evokes the immensity of the night sky. Shades of midnight blue ranging from light to dark subtly brighten the dial. The sun-satin effect plays on the reflections of the light, which varies with the viewing angle and the wrist position.
The sun-satin opaline blue dial is adorned with rhodium-plated, riveted Arabic numerals and hour indexes, as well as a black minute track. The “glaive” hands are also rhodium-plated. The correspondingly rectangular case, with its elegant proportions – 43 x 27.5 mm and 9.95 mm thick – is crafted in polished stainless steel. It is protected by a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal. The sapphire crystal case back is fastened by four screws. It may be personalized with an engraving.
This model is mounted on a blue alligator strap with square scales and tone-on-tone overstitching. It is interchangeable without the need for tools thanks to a very reliable spring bar system. It features a triple folding buckle with security push-pieces.
This watch displays the hours, minutes and seconds. It is powered by a self-winding movement with exquisite finishes: a circular-grained bridge, a sand-blasted and snailed baseplate, and an oscillating weight adorned with “Côtes de Genève” and snailed decorations. It offers a 38-hour power reserve and water-resistance to 5 ATM (approx. 50m).
With its gem-set midnight blue dial, this precious ladies’ model has the elegance of a gala celebration. It may also be worn by day, thanks to the restraint of the pure lines that are characteristic of the collection and indeed all Baume & Mercier timepieces, none of which are ostentatious. Balance and harmony are also expressed through this decorative minimalism.
The sophisticated dial is adorned with riveted, rhodium-plated indexes set with four brilliant-cut diamonds (Top Wesselton diamonds, VS quality, 0.01 ct) at 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock, as well as rhodium-plated “glaive” hands. The minute track is blue.
The emblematic rectangular case in polished stainless steel is set with 28 brilliant-cut diamonds (Top Wesselton, VS quality, 0.35 ct), gracefully aligned on either side of the dial to better flatter it. A scratch-proof domed sapphire crystal protects it. The jewelry inspiration and depth of color extend to the steel crown in a cabochon shape, set with a synthetic blue spinel. The case back is solid and may be engraved.
The size of the case is perfectly suited to a woman’s wrist with ideal proportions: 35 x 22.2 mm and a thickness of 6.92 mm. This new Hampton offers casual refinement.
Just as elegant, the shiny midnight blue alligator strap features square scales, tone-on-tone overstitching, and a pin buckle. It is interchangeable and may be removed without the need for tools thanks to a reliable spring bar system.
The timepiece indicates the hours and minutes, and is powered by a quartz movement with an eight-year autonomy. It is water-resistant to 5 ATM (approx. 50m).
The rectangular shape of this timepiece reveals a harmonious rhythm that is both uniform and filled with contrasts, featuring subtle alternations of steel, gray and white; polished and satin-finished surfaces; and vertical and horizontal lines along the strap.
At the center of the dial, the rectangular shape appears again, stretching from one end to the other of the rhodium-plated “glaive” hands. It extends all along the gray minute track to the perimeter of the dial, reaching the inner tips of the riveted, rhodium-plated Arabic numerals and indexes. The opaline white that delicately adorns the dial highlights each detail of this sought-after graphic composition.
The case enhances this sculptural effect with its pure lines. In polished stainless steel with dimensions of 43 x 27.5 mm and a thickness of 8.65 mm, it is protected by a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal. The solid case back is fastened with four screws and may be engraved.
The new integrated strap, made up of three rows of links in satin-polished stainless steel, is an extension of the architectural dynamic based on the principle of perfect balance, for a simple, stylish, flowing effect. It is designed with a new trim for more comfort. The triple folding buckle is equipped with security push-pieces.
This model displays the hours and minutes and is powered by a quartz movement with an eight-year autonomy. It is water-resistant to 5 ATM (approx. 50m).
The rectangular case of the Hampton Collection continues to push back the limits of creativity. The graphic, chromatic and precious effects brought to the new models magnificently bring perspective to its structural and aesthetic foundations, derived from the world of design.
Model: Hampton 10732
Availablity: June 2023
Model: Hampton 10709
Availibility: June 2023
Model: Hampton 10740
Availability: June 2023