Quality: the recipe for an everlasting success

At Baume & Mercier, impeccable quality is a natural prerequisite for all new developments. This philosophy informs every creative project that the Maison undertakes, subscribing to an overall vision. It is the reason why a single director is responsible for the development of each product, its production, and corresponding customer service. This organizational method promotes numerous benefits for the quality of the watch, ensuring that everything works perfectly at every stage of the creative process.

As Baume & Mercier’s signature semi-casual dress watch, the classically resourceful Clifton can play host to a fairly wide variety of complications — all from easy GMT and moonphase screens, to perpetual calendars and this wild minute-repeating pocket watch. So it should come as little surprise that for 2017, as in years’ past, the entry Richmont manufacturer is leaning on the Clifton’s flexibility to showcase their most recent technology: an in-house made manual-winding movement equipped with an exclusive system meant to enhance accuracy.The Baume & Mercier Clifton Manual 1830 is the first Richemont set watch to deploy this new technician, known as TwinSpir, which is centered around a new kind of proprietary ion hairspring developed by the Richemont Research & Innovation team. This new spring is comprised of a unique, composite construction that combines two layers of silicon, rather oriented and jumped through a coating of carbon dioxide. The goal was to produce a hairspring which wasn’t only immune to the typical effects — corrosion, magnetism, etc., but one that was also largely resistant to fluctuations in temperature and infinitesimal variances in pressure while it oscillates.Now, calling TwinSpir the basis for a thermocompensated mechanical motion could be something of a gross oversimplification, however this isn’t far from the premise, either. However, instead of actively adjust for changes in temperatures, this method mutes them. For example, in which a typical hairspring might show varying degrees of elasticity (and therefore subtly differing oscillation speeds) on the wrist on a warm afternoon, vs. sitting on a bedside table, the basic premise of TwinSpir is to create a more consistently stable hairspring that is largely immune from these thermoelastic variances whatever the watch’s ambient temperatures. Additionally, as the hairspring contracts and expands through its typical oscillations, the layered structure is designed to create a perfectly and more consistent oscillation, removing any subtle flaws in elasticity (or “elastic anisotropies”) that will also adversely influence the chronometric rate — a known performance trait exhibited by many traditional hairsprings.
Quality: the recipe for an everlasting success

© Baume & Mercier

Although the brand submits its watches and their components to a variety of production tests, it is ahead of time where the majority of production is decided. Brainstorming, meticulously planning, and outlining every last detail before pen is even put to paper is where the real challenge lies. Although quality assurance is essential, thinking ahead from the outset and anticipating all the requirements in the production, sale and use of a watch is much more efficient. Designing a watch also means imagining the life of the object years down the line, and considering questions of repairs, component logistics and production, along with legal issues to ensure that the product, its environment and the services it comprises comply with diverse national and regional legislation.

Quality: the recipe for an everlasting success

© Baume & Mercier

Every stage in the production of a Baume & Mercier watch is subject to rigorous tests and checks – and the same applies to the movement – the component of a watch consisting of the greatest number of elements. They both have to be intrinsically reliable. Once the first watches are assembled, the pre-series are tested on the wrist by Baume & Mercier employees. Improvements are then made as needed. Once production in series is launched, all feedback – no matter how minor – is analyzed to identify any problems and correct them. All of these observations are documented so as to enhance future development guidelines.

Quality: the recipe for an everlasting success

© Baume & Mercier

For this, the return of watches under warranty provides irrefutable proof. It’s impossible to cheat with such evidence. At Baume & Mercier, quality is not an empty promise. The most common reasons for a watch from the Maison to be brought to a service center for repair are shocks and magnetism problems. These factors are both external to the production process. Testament to the virtuous circle engaged in by the brand, the ratio of watches returned under warranty (already one of the lowest in the industry) has been falling steadily for several years.

Our customers have always been the focus at Baume & Mercier. With service and repair centers in more than 100 countries, we aim to meet their needs in close proximity to their geographical locations. However, for the most complicated timepieces, those produced in small series, and vintage models, watches are sent to Baume & Mercier at Les Brenets in the Neuchâtel Jura region, to be serviced or repaired in the hands of the watchmakers with the most experience of this type of exclusive product.

Quality: the recipe for an everlasting success

© Baume & Mercier

Baume & Mercier is committed to keeping components in stock for all of the contemporary timepieces, meaning all those produced in the last 20 years. For older timepieces, the Maison is committed to helping our customers restore their watches. The vision for this is clear: when a customer acquires a Baume & Mercier today, he can be confident that he will be accompanied by the brand for the next 200 years.

Because a watch is first and foremost a design in the eyes of the customers, Baume & Mercier pays close attention to this aspect of the creative process. Yet, beyond their design, the watches bear a host of non-visible elements – their reliability, performance, price, guarantee, ability to be serviced or repaired, and brand image. All of these non-material aspects are critical when purchasing a luxury watch. For this reason, a Baume & Mercier will always be so much more than just a watch.

Quality: the recipe for an everlasting success

© Baume & Mercier

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