Baume et Mercier will soon start selling its limited-edition William Baume Monopusher Chronograph (ref. M0A08802). The new model will be produced in a small lot of only 20 units. Although not as high-ranked in terms of brand value as Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, or even IWC, Baume amp; Mercier nevertheless enjoys a good reputation as a serious watchmaker that sells a high-quality product, which is not only finely crafted but is also a great pleasure to look at.
To my taste, their dressy Classima Executives 8659 model in a small 18k rose gold body 33 mm in diameter looks better than some models from “established” brands that cost ten times more than this one.
And their Riviera 8594 is a good treat for those who can’t afford the premium-priced “real thing” such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore.
Some people will probably resent the very idea of buying a B&M at an outrageous price of some €21,200.
However, like most of their collections, this particular model looks like it is at least two times more expensive and, when it comes to luxury timekeepers, the looks are often more important than the logo of the brand on the dial (at least when all other parts are on par with the exterior.) Well, the choice of the logo may sometimes hurt the gadget’s resale value, but, if you don’t plan to flip the wristwatch in the nearest future, the price drop will not hurt you that much.
Also, there is a good chance that at some point the value of the Baume et Mercier brand may actually start to grow faster than that of the more established brands since the Swiss-based brand invests hefty chunks of cash into developing its own design language and, perhaps, one day we will even see a watch powered by their own in-house caliber (right now it is animated by a more mundane -but still good since even brands like Ulysse Nardin use it to power their expensive chronographs- La Joux-Perret caliber 5000 that, AFAIK, is based on ETA 7750 family of chronograph movements.)
Going back to the exterior, I think I need to reiterate that its compact case that measures approximately 41 millimeters in diameter (NOT including the prominent crown,) and is crafted from high-quality 18-karat rose gold alloy, features an entertaining design and offers a mesmerizing combination of surfaces that are alternately polished and brushed.
And its exquisitely guilloched silver dial with satin-finished elements looks especially great combined with rose gold hour markers and all five hands.
The black printed Roman numerals on the interior hour circle add an extra touch of “expensiveness” to the general style.
However, some may consider these excessive and even detract from the Monopusher’s legibility. Speaking of which, it would also be nice if B&M didn’t limit the 30-minute chronograph’s minute counter, which is located at 3 o’clock, to only “10”, “20”, and “30” indices.
Also, I don’t understand why the small seconds counter doesn’t have numerals at all. The sub-dial is large enough to make the display readable. However, rantings aside, this is a beautiful watch, and I would love to add it to my collection.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Photos: Baume et Mercier / Wikipedia
Baume et Mercier William Baume Monopusher Chronograph (ref. M0A08802) specification
Price range: €21,200 (MSRP)
Movement: La Joux-Perret caliber 5000, bridges decorated with Cotes de Geneve, Swiss Made
Frequency: 21,600 vph
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph monopusher
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Rose gold, 18-karat
Diameter: 41.00 mm
Case height: 9.60 mm
Dial: Silver, engraved
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Alligator strap in dark brown on rose gold pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective