Baume & Mercier made a name for themselves making incredibly wonderful watches, many of which featured a variety of interesting designs.
However, one of their most popular lines of watches also happens to be their simplest. And that’s kind of the point.
We’re talking about the Classima, and we imagine you will be too after you feast your eyes on these beauties.
Sometimes, there’s beauty in simplicity. We often feel the strongest connection with the most basic of forms. The round moon in the night sky, a pine tree swaying in a gentle winter breeze. There’s something primal about the connection between our minds and these shapes as they appear all around us.
The Classima manages to pull this off with the gentle touch of truly masterful craftsmanship. Their designs speak to the core of what a watch truly is while simultaneously serving as a meditation on the nature of luxury.
All frills have been stripped away. Each iteration consists of a circular case, simple lugs, and a strap or bracelet. The dials are expansive and pristine without the barest hint of static noise or clutter. There are two, sometimes three hands, a date window, and hour markers. No sub dials, no tachymeters, no rotating bezels or chronograph controls.
And yet, despite this simplicity, or more accurately because of this simplicity, each Classima is magnetic in its grace and beauty. These are watches that simply refuse to try and brute force their way into your attention span. They simply rest easily on the wrist. Even still, they’re hard to look away from once seen, mesmerizing in their aesthetic.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the lovely Classimas we have here at WatchMaxx.
This Classima is Baume & Mercier’s haiku about the point where luxury and form combine.
The gold adds a touch of luxe that surrounds the pristine white dial without competing against it. Instead, the two colors play with each other, golden hour and minute hands sweeping across the negative space, making brief connections with hour markers.
Taken as a whole, it’s like a marvelous Swiss yin and yang, a delicate balancing act where each idea finds itself a part of its opposite, intertwined by the nature of the watch.
The black calfskin leather strap referees this dance of simplicity and opulence, reminding us that, after all, this is a watch for gentlemen of some refinement.
Here we have the beauty of nature as interpreted by a master watchmaker.
The forest green dial is mesmerizing, bearing the slightest reflectivity that gives the feeling of light filtering down through a thick canopy of leaves in an almost liquid fashion. The diminutive silver hands can easily get lost in the wash of color, which is a deliberate move on Baume & Mercier’s part to strengthen the dial’s illusory properties.
A simple silver case does nothing to take the eye away from the dial, which is exactly how it should be. The earth toned brown leather strap continues the natural theme and grounds the experience.
This Classima is a bit of a departure from the previous two. The build is still true to the idea of simplicity in form and function, but the silver dial carries just the slightest touch of embellishment with the patterned inner circle.
The interaction between the blue steel hands – the only splash of color across the entire piece – and the silver dial, is graceful and a true pleasure to watch. The pattern itself is faintly textured to add a bit of drama to the otherwise pristine aesthetic.
The silver toned polished steel bracelet is the perfect companion to make the watch look even more stately.
This women’s Classima is the feminine answer to the men’s version above.
Whereas the men’s version sports a faintly textured inner circle, this dial’s pattern is more of a suggestion than a tangible presence. It’s a mystery that begs to be investigated, but which will never fully reveal itself.
The hands are silver this time around, and they are as much a part of their surroundings as they are a visual representation of the mechanical movement beneath the surface.
Examined individually, each component of this watch is visually understated, but taken as a whole it’s a bold piece that can’t be ignored.
If the other Classimas on this list are meditations and ruminations on the concepts of luxury and form, this is a full-blown dream.
The dial is a zephyr cloud of mother of pearl, hazy and colorful and beautiful. Tiny sparkling dials mark the perimeter without overwhelming it. The case is crafted out of luxurious 18 karat rose gold, a display of opulence that is at the same time tasteful and subtle.
The tiny hands at the center of the dial are also rose gold, and their presence is made all the more delicate because of it.
The black alligator leather strap adds a flare of edge to the overall look, perhaps a tiny bit of bite lying in wait behind the mystery.