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Baume & Mercier
Baume & Mercier is a Swiss watchmaking company founded in 1830. It is owned by Richemont, and with Cartier and Piaget they make up the core of the group .This enterprise is represented in 75 countries and produces around 200,000 watches a year. The most important markets are in Europe, especially Italy, Spain and France. Baume et Mercier is distributed by 220 exclusive retailers worldwide and has established itself as a manufacturer of sporty chronographs. In 1834, members of the Baume family founded the Societe Baume Feres in Le Bois. The Baumes had already been active in watchmaking for many years. At first, the priority went to enameled pocket watches. In 1844 Joseph Celestin Baume went to England to set up business relations there. Watches sighned "Waterloo", "Diviko" and "Sirdar" opened distant markets in Australia and New Zealand. The family company gave convincing proof of its dedication to mechanical elegance and precision when one of its timepieces won the 1893 timing competitions at the Kew-Teddington Observatory with a score of 91.9 out of a possible 100. In 1912, William Baume met the watchmaker and jeweler, Paul Mercier, at the Geneva watch and jewelery shop in Haas. The meeting resulted in the signing of an agreement on the 26th of November, 1918, for the establishment of Baume and Mercier in Geneva. This proved to be a very successful enterprise, and in 1921 they were awarded the coveted Poincon de Geneve, official recognition of flawless quality products. Watches dating from this period are now rare collectors pieces, worth thousands of dollars. In 1937 William Baume withdrew from active business. He was followed into retirement by Paul Mercier, and the jeweler Constantin de Gorski joined the company. After World War 2 Baume and Mercier concentrated on conventional men's watches, sports chronographs and ladies' jewelery watches. In 1965 the Piaget family outbid international competition for control over Baume and Mercier. One of the world's thinnest calendar watches with a mini rotor was produced under Piaget's aegis. In the same year the new owners swiched to electronic tuning fork movements, and from 1970 increased investments in quartz movements. At the end of the 1983, Baume and Mercier temperarily ceased production of mechanical watches. In 1988, Christian and Yves Piaget sold 60% of their stake to Piaget holding S.A, also selling Baume and Mercier S.A TO Cartier Monde S.A in Paris. In 1993 the Cartier group became sole owners of both Piaget and Baume and Mercier. The Richemont Group encompasses several of the most prestigious names in the industry including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Dunhill and Montblanc. Each of the Group’s brands represents a proud tradition of style, quality and craftsmanship which Richemont is committed to preserving. The individual heritage and identity of each maison is rigorously guarded, the Group’s designers and craftsmen being constantly challenged to keep the heritage alive through a continuous process of reinvention and innovation.
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