If we go back a bit over a year ago to Watches & Wonders 2014 Baume & Mercier launched a special edition of their sucessful Promesse line, with red lacquer, to mark the occasion. This year they followed up with another limited edition of eight pieces, this time with a jade bezel. It is the newest member of the pieces that they call Emblematic’ watches.
The new Jade Promesse is in the same 34mm case as its red predecessor, with sixty-one diamonds surrounding the oval stone bezel and silver-coloured guilloché dial in what they call a “drapé” design. With the use of jade perhaps more than with the use of red lacquer, Baume et Mercier have tapped into a stone that bears great sentimental and symbolic value to its intended audience. Not just this, but as Design Product Director Alexandre Peraldi told me during the fair, there was a lot of trial and error innvolved in finding the right jade and managing to cut a piece of jade into this shape. When you look at how thin it has to be in order to fit into this, you can completely understand what a difficult process this must have been.
Inside is a Swiss quartz movement, which is the only thing I’d have changed about this watch. Engraved on the back is “Limited Edition”. Coming on a glossy white alligator strap, the Jade Promesse is a rather attractive piece, it’s just a shame about the movement. It would have been fitting had something like jade, which is about longevity as much as many other things, been pared with a movement intended for longevity.
[Horologium attended Watches & Wonders 2015 by invitation of Richemont Australia]