It takes just a single glance at the fixed bezel to see that the updated Baume & Mercier Linea Automatic (ref. MOA10035 aka 10074) preserves the collection’s signature elements of design that is heavily influenced by Bvlgari’s unmistakable style (just like with the Hampton Small Seconds (ref. MOA10033 aka 10033) that was revealed a couple of months ago, they take their inspiration from a more established brand.) It is not for me to say whether it’s a good thing or bad: after all, we all make our choices and pass our judgment depending on our past experience. For me, it’s a nice take on a good idea. For you? Well, who knows.
Although the Baume & Mercier Linea collection of ladies watches was introduced around 30 years ago and then radically restyled in the early 2000s, the model never managed to become a living legend: the competition was too hard and, like in any race, there is always a winner and, inevitably, there are always “also-rans”. Regretfully, the Linea line belongs to the latter category.
Again, I don’t see anything bad in it and, if you don’t care much about the “legacy” behind the watch and other marketing tricks that are used to sell you an otherwise absolutely overpriced item, and are simply looking for an elegant and reliable timekeeper that features time-proven mechanism and looks good both with formal and more casual dress, this one may be of some interest to you.
The new Baume & Mercier Linea, for example, comes animated by a well-known ETA 2892-A2 self-winding caliber: the industry’s dependable and reliable workhorse. If serviced properly and at intervals recommended by the manufacturer, the movement will possibly give you no trouble during its entire lifespan: it will just do its job. I am not sure whether there was any extra fine-tuning involved in the process, but it is still a pleasure to note that the mechanism was fitted with a nicely finished oscillating weight that, while not featuring any ground-breaking decoration technique, still won’t make you feel embarrassed when someone asks to take a peek through the timekeeper’s sapphire crystal that covers its back.
As to the watch itself, it looks elegant and refined, although its mirror-polished fixed bezel with twelve Arabic numerals on it constantly reminds me of timekeepers sold by the Italian-based jewelry-maker Bvlgari.
Its main selling point is, of course, the exclusive interchangeable bracelet system that allows to quickly change the default (and very refined) bracelet for a leather strap that could be matched both for an evening dress and for a formal business suit. Women will simply love it, I guess.
Surprisingly, the dial is not only elegant but is also legible enough thanks to a contrast minute track and applied hour markers.
Of course, the dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands would look especially good if covered with thin patches of Superluminova, but night-time legibility doesn’t mean too much now when mobile phones and electronic desk clocks are just everywhere.
Price for the new Baume & Mercier Linea Automatic is still to be determined, but I expect it to sell at around €2000 – €2500*.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
* UPDATE ON PRICE: At this time, the watch is offered with MSRP of $3400.
Photos: Baume & Mercier
Baume & Mercier Linea (ref. MOA10035) specification
Price: $3400 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA 2892-A2, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 21
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Oscillating weight branded and decorated with Geneva stripes, polished screws, perlage on bridges and plates
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 32.00 mm
Case height: 10.00 mm
Lug width: N/A (proprietary quick-fix strap changing system)
Numerals: Arabic, engraved on the bezel
Hour markers: Stainless steel (there is also a version with diamonds, ref. MOA10074)
Hands: Steel, dauphine-shaped
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with fold-over safety clasp AND Extra natural leather strap in black with steel pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective