If you looked at this watch and said “wow that’s a really beautiful Cartier”, we wouldn’t hold it against you and truthfully you are not that far off. Now it wasn’t that Baume & Mercier just blatantly copied Cartier. What really happened is a bit more interesting. Baume & Mercier is one of the oldest watch brands still in existence today dating back over 175 years and that is 175 years of continuous operations. Like many very old businesses even though the company has continued to operate, the ownership may have changed hands several times over the years. That is certainly the case with Baume & Mercier. The first major ownership change took place in 1964 when the company was purchased by Piaget. The Piaget ownership contributed to the brand by adopting the Greek letter Phi and its associated Golden Ratio as symbols for Baume & Mercier. Piaget also provided technical expertise in the form of ultra-slim movements. Watches from this period are often found with Piaget movements. This watch is the result of the next ownership shift which happened in 1988 when none other than Cartier took over the Piaget brand and as a result inherited Baume & Mercier.
Shortly after Cartier acquired Piaget, and, as a result, Baume & Mercier, they integrated the two brands into their Vendome group. The Vendome group produced watches across the three brands in this era that shared a number of features including stepped cases, Cartier style roman numeral dials, and pointed crowns. So earlier when we said we wouldn’t blame you for mistaking this watch for a Cartier it is because in a lot of ways it is a Cartier. Baume & Mercier produced two versions of this watch, one version featured a manual wind movement and the other, like this watch, was automatic.
The 26.5 x 26.5 mm solid gold octagonal case is in very good condition and only features minor lite scratches. The design is classic Vendome group for the era with its octagonal stepped case and jeweled pointed crown. All of the components are correct and thought to be original.
The Dial and Hands
The dial and hands are in excellent condition with no faults to note. The dial is very reminiscent of Cartier with Roman numerals and an interior minute track. The hands, while shaped in the fashion of Cartier, are black rather than blue.
The watch features an automatic movement. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Brand||Baume & Mercier|
|Case Material||Yellow Gold|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|